The forgotten generation: Children in Northampton have no knowledge of grandparents’ skills, says survey

A survey says children and young people do not ask their grandparents about their lives and accomplishments.
A survey says children and young people do not ask their grandparents about their lives and accomplishments.

Children from across Northampton have no knowledge or interest in what their grandparents did for a living, or what they used to do before they retired, according to the results of a nationwide survey.

A poll of 1,000 young people aged five to 18 has revealed that two-thirds of all those in Northampton have never spoken to their grandparents about their proudest achievements, with the majority saying they’d simply never thought to ask them.

More than 50 per cent admitted they didn’t know whether their grandparents have any special skills or talents, while almost half of the children polled across Northampton said they had no idea what their grandparents had done for a career.

The research, which was carried out by retirement housebuilder, McCarthy & Stone, revealed that in Northampton, teenagers were the least likely to have talked to their grandparents about their history, or what they were like in their youth.

Just nine per cent of the 5 to 18-year-olds polled from the region said they would spend time with their grandparents to find out more about them.

Nevertheless, it might not be the pleasure of their company they are after - almost one in five of children in Northampton confessed they are more likely to see their grandparents to get pocket money from them, while more than a quarter bow to pressure from mum and dad, and see their gran and grandad because their parents want them to.

Cheryl Bissett, regional sales and marketing director for McCarthy and Stone East Midlands, said: “We find it really surprising that the younger generation is not benefitting from the knowledge and capabilities of their grandparents. We know this generation have lived full lives with heroic tales to tell and so much to offer, but how many of us have actually thought to ask these questions of our older family members?

“We want to shout about the amazing feats retirees have achieved in their lifetime and put the spotlight on the wonderfully colourful lives of today’s older people. We are calling on parents and children in Northampton to talk to their grandparents, find out what they have done in their lives – and continue to do – and tell us all about it so we can give them the credit they deserve.”

McCarthy & Stone is now appealing for people over 60 and all those who know an unsung hero to enter the Inspirational Generation search, either online at their website, or by visiting their nearest McCarthy & Stone development. The deadline for entries is 1st April 2018 and the top prize is a cheque for £2,000.