Grandparenting Circle

A Residential Circle at Hawkwood College with Judith Hemming

Please join us for this rather special residential Grandparenting Circle in Gloucestershire.

We will gather together to explore the topic of grandparenting through the systemic constellation approach. This event will also mark the beginning of a new initiative which, though you, we gather together to seed further grandparenting circles around the globe.

The arrival of a grandchild marks another significant step along the path of our life, and it asks a huge amount of us… We will explore the following questions.

The Journey from Parent to Grandparent – engaging with transition

Where is my place? What resources do I need? What am I to do with my own unfinished business, and what is needed so that my grandchildren don’t carry a family burden?  What are my hopes and expectations – of myself and my grandchildren? Do I feel pulled to put right my own deficiencies as a parent through my grandchildren? What happens when the child in me is summoned by the grandchild? What is allowed?

And what about me as a grandchild? How do I feel about my own experiences of having or not having grandparents? How do I share the story of our family – what do I tell, and what do I withhold? Some information is consequential and has a place in the fate of the family, and some things are best left behind. Who am I as an elder, as the history-keeper? Am I willing to be wrong because I am out of date?

And looking outward – what supports my hope for a world in which my grandchildren can flourish? And what of hopelessness and helplessness in me? How do we manage this? What capacities do I need to move from being in charge, to being helpless, or at least not in charge in the family?

What are the qualities in me that I want my grandchildren to know they can draw on? What do I love doing with the grandchildren, and what is a strain? What do I make of falling in love with a baby or grandchild? How can I help when I am still working?

Being a Grandparent – how do we do it?

How do I make space for the other family’s values?

Am I allowed to have favourites?

Where are the boundaries?

What is allowed?

What is the quality of support and criticism that genuinely helps in difficult circumstances?

What do I do when my son or daughter in law does things that betray our deeply held family values?

How do I manage what I feel to be important, when this doesn’t have a place?

How can I remain in good heart, if I’m required to leave well alone?

What is my role when my grandchild is distressed?

How can I offer advice helpfully?

What do I pay for?

What am I willing to risk if I act from gut instinct?

Do I fight for music lessons for my grandchild, if the parents don’t agree?

Do I help if I support the grandchildren’s hopes over their own parent’s wishes?

What is the quality of support and criticism that genuinely helps in difficult circumstances?

What is the difference when your son or daughter is the parent?

What if I don’t enjoy childcare?

The in-laws?

Where is my place alongside the other grandparents?

How do I balance my input helpfully?

What about when there are specific challenges?

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This conference represents 8 hours of continuing professional development (CPD). Certificates of Attendance will be issued after the conference on request.

For more information or help with booking you place, please contact [email protected] or call +44 (0) 7929313976

The Facilitators

Judith Hemming MA, UKCP

Senior teaching faculty member with a background in education and Gestalt psychotherapy. Since learning Hellinger’s approach in the early 90′s and studying with many practitioners, she has been practising and teaching constellations and intensive training across the world, from Mexico to Australia. She has developed and taught the applications of the systemic approach in a variety of contexts, and is on the faculties of the European Family Constellation Intensives.

Jane James

A qualified teacher, systemic coach and supervisor. She has worked with constellations since 2002 particularly in the field of families, children and education. She also works with leaders and organisations to catalyse breakthrough and release potential.

Hawkwood College

Travel Information

Train: Hawkwood College is a 6 minute taxi journey from Stroud railway station. Stroud railway station is a 1 hour 35 minute train journey from London Paddington, or a 1 hour 22 minute  train journey from Bristol or Birmingham.

Coach: National express coaches to Stroud are available from London Victoria for as little as £8

By car: The drive is 2 hours 30 minutes from London or 48 minutes from Bristol 


The catering at Hawkwood strongly reflects their ethos. Home cooked food is prepared daily on site by experienced and excellent chefs, using seasonal, locally sourced, organic produce wherever possible.
A typical day brings a vegetarian breakfast, homemade biscuits for morning break, a two course meat or vegetarian lunch, homemade cake in the afternoon, and all rounded off with a delicious vegetarian supper for the residential guests.

We can cater for almost all dietary requirements if advance notice is given. Much of the produce comes from the kitchen garden just behind the main house and the biodynamic Stroud Community Agriculture farm on site, and we also use food suppliers like Essential Trading Bristol and Global Organics in Stroud.

All of this is included in the ticket price, please mention any dietary requirements or allergies in the Eventbrite booking form.

How to book

To book a place please click the booking button at the bottom of the page and pay a £250 deposit.

We’ll then send you an invoice for the remainder of the fees. Fees for different rooms are listed below.

Early bird – single room, full bed, board and refreshments (available until 31st August) – £620

Full price – single room, full bed, board and refreshments – £735


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