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7 fantastic facts about grandparents

Sunday, October 1 marks National Grandparents Day; a chance to celebrate the amazing contributions that grandparents around the country make to their families and wider society. To mark this annual occasion, check out our round-up of fantastic facts about grandparents!

1. They’re generous! A recent Saga survey found that cash-strapped young people are turning to the Bank of Gran and Granddad for help - and benefitting to the tune of an enormous £37bn! One in 10 grandparents who gift financial donations do so in order to help their grandchildren get onto the property ladder, while the average sum given is £9,365. Grandparents in London and the south east are the most likely to gift money, while those in Yorkshire are the least likely to do so!

2. In addition to lump-sum gifts, grandparents make a significant financial contributions while their grandchildren are growing up, too. A report by the International Longevity Centre found that more than two thirds (68%) of grandparents offer payments towards clothes, toys and hobbies, leisure activities and pocket money, while 23% even pay for babysitting in order for parents to have a rest!

3. Staying physically active certainly isn’t just for young people. According to a 2012 survey conducted by non-profit organisation AARP, which aims to improve the lives of over-50s, more than half (58%) of grandparents take part in regular physical activity, including sports, exercise and gardening, with their grandchildren. The benefits of staying active into old age are well documented; improved joint mobility, increased cognitive function and better sleep, to name a few.

4. Teaching grandchildren about family history is also seen as an important role for grandparents. When asked whose job it is to educate children about their heritage, 28% of grandparents questioned by AARP said that it was theirs, while 66% thought that grandparents and parents have an equal responsibility to do so.

5. A staggering 93% of families rely on grandparents for help with childcare, according to Grandparents Plus, a UK-based charity dedicated to grandparents and their important role in the care and development of grandchildren. A recent poll published by the charity found that a quarter of working mothers would give up work if they didn’t have grandparents available to help - the equivalent of more than one million women leaving the workforce.

6. According to life insurance provider SunLife, 70% of UK grandparents leave an inheritance - with 55% ring-fencing the money to ensure grandchildren receive their fair share because they don’t trust parents to pass it on! Life insurance is a smart way to help protect your family’s financial future; it can seem like a very difficult topic to talk about but it’s an effective way of ensuring security for the family members you want to help. From over-50s life insurance plans to whole of life policies, there are different options to suit your own particular circumstances.

7. Some of the most famous and successful people in the world were raised by their grandparents. Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Jack Nicholson and Eric Clapton are all examples of public figures who grew up living with grandmothers and fathers.