Grandparents in Oxfordshire provide families with £4,543 of unpaid help

20 August 2013

Grandparents give families unpaid help

The average mum in Oxfordshire calls in 160 favours from Nan and Grandad every year, a study has revealed.

The poll by McCarthy & Stone, the UK’s leading developer of retirement apartments, found that grandparents get called upon for everything from taking the kids to the dentist; walking the dog; weeding the garden; baking cakes for the school fete and even waiting in for deliveries to arrive while the rest of the family is out.

The 2000 parents polled estimate that if they had to cough up and pay someone for all the help their parents give them it would amount to £86 per week, or the equivalent of £4,543 every year. But more than half of those polled said they never offer to pay their parents for their help, despite the fact that two thirds said they would be lost without their input.


As well as running errands and helping out with DIY tasks, grandparents play a vital role in childcare arrangements with a quarter of respondents saying they wouldn’t be able to hold down a job if they didn’t have grandparents to help out with childcare. 37 per cent said they rely on grandparents for childcare because they can’t afford to pay nursery or child minder fees.

Gill Sabin, Regional Sales and Marketing Director for McCarthy & Stone, said: “This research shows what a huge part grandparents play in modern families. Many parents are juggling the responsibilities of bringing up their young children while holding down jobs and working long hours, so are relying heavily on their own parents to help out.

“Jobs like visiting the bank, keeping on top of the housework and DIY can be hard if you work full-time and if you have retired parents who are in good health it can be invaluable – especially if you are fortunate enough to have two sets on hand.”

Whilst grandparents are proving to be an invaluable support for parents, 35 per cent said they fear their mum and dad are getting too old to run errands and help out with childcare arrangements.  One in ten of those polled admitted they probably take their parents for granted, although 19 per cent said their parents know how grateful they are.

Gill continued: “It’s important not to dump too much responsibility on parents; very few elderly people would like to say no to helping out their nearest and dearest so their help needs to be appreciated and their goodwill shouldn’t be overlooked.”

But it’s not only families who are benefiting from the kindness of grandparents.  50 per cent of grandparents in Oxfordshire are also involved in community work while 25 per cent also help out with charity work such as fundraising or working as a voluntary driver.

Gill added: “This survey confirms what we see everyday amongst thousands of residents at McCarthy & Stone developments.  Grandparents today are more active than ever before and not only provide wonderful support to their time-pressed sons and daughters but are also very involved in both their local communities and charity work.”

McCarthy & Stone currently has one apartment remaining at Foxhall Court on School Lane in Banbury. As well as offering a low maintenance lifestyle, purchasers can benefit from maintained landscaped gardens, a shared lounge, a table service restaurant and the peace of mind of added security.

To find out more about the McCarthy & Stone lifestyle, please visit the development, open Thursday to Saturday from 10.30am to 5.00pm, call 0800 201 4741.

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For further press information:

Gemma Hitchcock / Lucy McDade
Haslimann Taylor PR
0121 265 7070
gemma@htpr.com / lucy@htpr.com