Sheffield United players Jose Baxter and James Wallace were on hand along with Rt. Hon. David Blunkett MP to give out certificates and prizes at an event to launch the findings of a report Being a Grandparent in Sheffield Today.
Sheffield 50+ has found that more than half of grandparents in Sheffield are providing care for their grandchildren and one in six of them have given up work, reduced their work hours or taken holidays in order to care for their grandchildren.
The report, which was carried out jointly by Sheffield 50+ and Grandparents Plus, found that grandparents are making a growing contribution towards caring for children and that grandparents do so because they want to spend quality time with their grandchildren.
Baxter and Wallace were delighted to present the prizes to school children who had taken part in a competition to accompany the launch saying what their grandparents mean to them.
A number of the Blades players have small children and are well aware of the value grandparents have in supporting families.
James Wallace, who has recently become a father himself said, 'I was really impressed with the comments the children had made and it was nice to see them at the event with their grandparents. Grandparents can make such an important contribution in supporting families. We have a large number of grandparents in our Senior Blades and they can make such an important contribution in supporting families'.
Rt. Hon. David Blunkett MP commented, "It is time to celebrate the joy of ageing, the contribution to family and community which older people make, to recognise the often lifetime's commitment to caring and to say a big 'thanks'".
Dr Tony Maltby, Chair of Sheffield 50+ added "Grandparents have and always will play an important part in family life but today their influence can go much further. They give emotional support, assist with childcare and in times of crisis step in when parents are unable to care for their children. This work reveals important insights into how Sheffield's grandparents support their families and how they in turn are valued by their families. We are delighted to be able to work with Grandparents Plus on this major initiative and hope that this project can also support their work on a national basis."