West Winch man leads campaign against parental alienation

Natasha Gilson and Simon Cobb.
Natasha Gilson and Simon Cobb.

A man from West Winch is fighting what he calls the ‘epidemic’ of parental alienation, after admitting having experienced it himself.

Simon Cobb, 26, set up a Facebook group, with the help of his partner and friends, to support those suffering after being denied access to their child and to raise awareness.

People Against Parental Alienation (PAPA) now has more than 30,000 members since it was created about 10 months ago, during which time numerous people have shared their own stories and have sought advice from Mr Cobb and his partner Natasha Gilson.

The issue appears to be an international one, as the Facebook group now has members – and administrators – as far away as Australia and America, as well as a large percentage from the West Norfolk area too.

Mr Cobb said: “We are getting about 3,000 new members a month and we’ve managed to help a lot of peoople who have been able to get access to their children again. There’s so many members in the group so it highlights the problem.

“It’s about the children at the end of the day, parents should put their differences aside for the best of the child.”

One of the key aspects of their campaign against parental alienation is raising awareness, Ms Gilson said.

“Until I met Simon I didn’t know it was such a problem – a lot of this goes on behind closed doors,” she said.

Using artistic and political means, the pair hope to challenge current views on the situation.

Mr Cobb said: “My mission statement has a political and artistic angle, so I’m trying to push it both ways. I’m currently working on a spoken word album and clothing line to try and inspire others by the problems they have had.

“I would like to implement an MP scholarship programme for men and women alienated from their children so that we are more proactive about changing legislation regarding this.”