Start voting today for the Nottingham Post's Grandparent of the Year
Readers can start voting today in our heartwarming Grandparent of the Year competition.
Sneaky treats, daft jokes, fun days out and a whole heap of hugs - these are the things that make Notts kids love their grandparents so much.
150 have written in to tell us what makes their granny or granddad special in our fabulous Grandparent of the Year competition.
We asked children to write a letter telling us why their grandparents were so great - and we were overwhelmed with the warmth, love and laughter that came through.
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Letters like the one written by Hollygirt School pupil Charlotte Birchall, aged nine.
“You and I always have a laugh together,” she tells her grandma. “Do you remember when I said that you had a moustache? You didn’t get cross - you just burst out laughing.
“Your smile is like a light bulb that brightens up my day.”
Some entries were enhanced with colourful pictures, including one from Martha Scurr, aged five, a pupil at Abbey Road Primary School, West Bridgford.
“My grandparents are so much fun,” she writes. “I am lucky because I see them a lot. We have midnight feasts at six o’clock.
“I catch frogs in your pond and I plant seeds and pick plums off the tree. I can stay in my pyjamas and have pancakes for breakfast.”
Meanwhile, Elliott Love, aged seven, from Arnold, says he loves his grannie (sic) and granddad because they share special memories and go on lots of holidays together.
“I like it most of all zooming around on granddad’s boat and going crabbing in the rock pool with him,” Elliott writes. “Granddad has taught me lots of useful things. Grannie makes the best homemade soup ever.”
The competition was the brainchild of Becky Rogers, a field sales media advisor for the Nottingham Post.
She says her own grandparents provided a crucial support network when she came back to work after having son Daniel, now six - and she wanted to organise a competition that would recognise this vital yet often overlooked role.
Becky explains: “Not only have they saved me the financial cost of childcare but they have helped my little boy become a well-rounded and confident person.
“Like all of our entries, he loves spending time with his grandparents.”
Becky adds that she has been truly touched by the response to the competition. “The quality of entries and the humorous stories have been fantastic,” she says. “It will be very difficult for our readers to choose a winner.”
Now comes the tricky part - choosing those winners.
Our special supplement of entries is free inside today’s Nottingham Post, it features 40 of the finalist letters, chosen by a panel of judges and verified by an independent verifier Wendy Evans, from the Notts office of parenting charity Family Lives.
Entrants have been divided into two age groups – between 5 and 7 years (KS1) and 8-11 years (KS2).
The winner in the younger age group will get a Footprints Theatre experience for their whole class, based around the story of an amazing magic carpet, while the child who writes the winning letter in the older category will earn a class trip for a private screening at the Savoy Cinema, including travel provided by Nottingham City Transport.
Each winning entrant will also receive a £30 John Lewis voucher to spend on toys or books.
Each winning grandparent will receive a family photo shoot and framed family portrait supplied by local specialists Revolution. They will also win a family meal at Red Hot Buffet, Hockley, plus a pair of pamper day passes for Eden Hall Day Spa.
To top it off, winners also receive a trophy and framed certificate.
To vote for your favourite, all you need to do is enter the name and unique reference number on the voting coupons that we will be printing every day until 9th March, 2013. Look out for special double, treble and quadruple voting coupons which will help to build the number of votes cast for each entrant.
Voting starts today. You can vote as many times as you like and for as many entrants as you choose, but each batch of voting coupons must be accompanied with a completed voting registration form to be accepted as valid. Voting coupons sent without a voting registration form will NOT be counted. Registration forms will be printed every Saturday until 9th March
Please send your voting coupons and registration forms to:
Grandparent of the year 2013, Nottingham Post Media Group Ltd, Floor 3 Tollhouse Hill, City Gate East, Nottingham, NG1 5FS
The closing date for votes is 5pm on the 13th March.