A NEW support group for grandparents who no longer have contact with their grandchildren has been launched in Wyre Forest.

The Severn-Stour Grandparents’ Support Group is holding its first meeting next Tuesday and will provide support and information for grandparents who are looking to make contact with their grandchildren.

The group is part of the nationwide Grandparents Association, which was launched in 1987 and receives more than 8,000 calls a year from grandparents who need advice and encouragement. The association’s website also receives more than 120,000 hits per month.

Organiser Ruth Gregory decided to start a group in Kidderminster as she had to travel to Solihull for the nearest Grandparents Association group.

She hopes the group will be more of a social event, rather than a formal meeting.

“It will be a relaxing space, where people can come and share their situations with each other,” she said.

“The other group members can then provide them with the support and information they need.

“We hope the members will make friendship groups and will get a lot more than just information and support from it.”

At the official launch of the group last week, various dignitaries, including Wyre Forest District Council leader Marcus Hart and Stourport Mayor Cliff Brewer gave their backing to the new group.

Mr Hart said: "I am sure that the group will flourish and provide valuable support to grandparents wishing to have contact with their grandchildren."

Mr Brewer said: “When marriages break up the grandparents seem to get overlooked and they are the ones who lose out as they don’t get to see the children. The group will be very beneficial and will help people in these situations.

“It’s a good idea and I hope, if it gets off the ground, that the district council will help provide funding for it.”

Support for the grandparents will be given by directing them to a solicitor, help finding a social worker or even just provide someone to listen to their situation.

Mark Garnier, MP for Wyre Forest, said he was delighted that a branch of the national association had started in his constituency.

“This local support group will be a vital asset to many people who, unfortunately, have seen family dynamics end," he said.

“It will assist them with building new lines of communication so that they can enjoy their relationships with their nearest and dearest.”

The group will be meeting on the last Tuesday of every month at 35 Mill Street, in Kidderminster, between 1.45 and 3pm.

For more information about the group call 07530 677138.