Search launched to find 'inspirational older person'


After a survey found almost half of children in the South East have never spoken to their grandparents about their proudest achievements, a national search has been launched to find the 'unsung heroes of the baby boomer generation'.

A poll of 1,000 young people aged five to 18, which was carried out by retirement housebuilder, McCarthy & Stone, has revealed 48 per cent of those polled in the South East have never spoken to their grandparents about their proudest achievements, with the majority (54 per cent) reasoning they’d simply never thought to ask them.

Less than one in five said their grandparent was inspirational, while mum's topped the chart with 43% per cent saying they look up to them the most, dad came second with 31 per cent, while just five per cent look up to a grandparent.

More than a third (41 per cent) admitted they didn’t know whether their grandparents have any special skills or talents, while 42 per cent of the under nine’s polled said they had no idea what their grandparents had done for a career.

Geoff Bates, Head of Brand and Communications for McCarthy & Stone, said: “We find it really surprising that the younger generation is not benefiting 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 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.”

As a result McCarthy & Stone has launched a national search to find an inspirational older person, offering a top prize of £2,000.

It is being backed by TV and radio personality, Gloria Hunniford, who along with her husband, have ten grandchildren between them.

She said: “I absolutely love being a grandparent, and I am incredibly lucky to have a family who are forever asking lots of questions – both about my past and the things I’m up to now. I love watching their reactions when I tell them stories going back to my youth. It really is lovely to take them with me down memory lane from time to time.

“I would urge people of all generations to get talking. Next time you see your grandparents, ask them about their past and what they got up in their younger days. I’m pretty sure they will have a fascinating and inspiring story to tell, and they will be thrilled to be able to share it with you. And, I’m sure you’ll be equally thrilled to nominate them for an inspirational award!”

The research revealed 31 per cent of grandparents live just 15 minutes away and the majority of children actually see their grandparents quite regularly. More than half of children see their grandparents every week (55 per cent) and 49 per cent speak to them weekly, while 21 per cent see their grandparents daily.

However, according to the poll, the younger generation still has a lot of love for its elders. More than half described their grandparents as loving, friendly or kind. It seems older definitely means wiser, with 64 per cent saying their grandparent was good at giving advice, and 61 per cent same number saying they were a good listener.

To find out more about the campaign, click HERE and if you know someone we should be writing about get in touch!