A new survey of 1,396 Gransnet users reveals that 69% of those who have had a grandchild born during lockdown have not yet held the baby. 28% of all survey respondents have not seen any of their grandchildren since lockdown was imposed at the end of March, and 76% have not hugged or touched any of their grandchildren in that time.
Get grandparenting tips delivered straight to your inbox...
72% expect to see at least one of their grandchildren within the next month, but 28% don’t expect to see any of their grandchildren in that timeframe, and 66% don’t expect to touch or hug their grandchildren in the next four weeks. 41% say lockdown has made them feel less close to their grandchildren, and 28% say they are worried about rebuilding the relationship once lockdown is over.
As civil society groups across the country band together for Loneliness Awareness Week, one-third say that they were not lonely before, but lockdown has made them feel lonely. A further 11% say they were lonely before, and lockdown has made it worse - meaning that 45% say lockdown has made them feel more lonely than they were before.
Gransnet Editor Lara Crisp said: “Gransnet users are pretty stoic about loneliness and are usually keen to point out that the coronavirus pandemic has had serious impacts on lots of different demographic groups. But these figures are a stark illustration of how lockdown has had a particular effect on grandparents, who have been starved of physical contact with their grandchildren and worry about whether these crucial relationships have been permanently affected.”