Tuesday, July 20, 1999 Published at 02:50 GMT 03:50 UK

Grandparents the unsung heroes often are going without themselves to help keep their grandchildren above the poverty line. The ‘Charter for Grandchildren’ created by the Scottish Executive in 2005 would give the rights to the children for grandparents to be considered more in their lives.

The Charter for Grandchildren contains all grandparents would need for a child’s best interest without compromising parental rights where it would cause more conflict in the family. We believe a child should have equal parenting with grandparents and extended family as a close back up.

Grandparents are the biggest carer of children in Britain today and could save the public purse further millions. They have insight for early detection of child abuse. They baby-sit usually without pay. They pay for holidays, school fees, uniforms and are always helping mothers out with a few bob here and there and it is seldom taken back. No grandparent would ever see a child go hungry so the 4 million children in poverty could be nearer 8 million if grandparents were not helping.

I have just spoken to Mrs Sinclair from Dundee, a pensioner who will not see her grandchildren go without; she regularly leaves herself short in helping out as her daughter is below the poverty line.

Grandparents need to be recognised seriously for the role they can play in children’s lives and making the Charter for Grandparents mandatory for professionals working with children would certainly do that.

Think About It!

Jimmy Deuchars

Grandparents Apart UK

22 Alness crescent

Glasgow G52 1PJ

0141 882 5658


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