Meet the Grannynet team
The Grannynet team is made up of real grandmothers who have volunteered to write blogs, product reviews and articles on their area of interest which range from education to beauty.
We are also fortunate enough to have our own panel of experts with agony granny, Jackie Highe; GP, Dr Susannah Rist and dental surgeon, Dr Genevieve Keane.
You can read more about them all below. If you would like join the team, just email us at email@example.com. We look forward to hearing from you!
Our panel of experts
Jackie has spent more than two decades working in the media, for national magazines and newspapers and been top of her profession, first as editor of Parents magazine and, for fourteen years, Editor-in-Chief of Bella, Britain’s biggest-selling women’s weekly magazine. Jackie does a lot of TV and radio work, and is a regular contributor to BBC radio, plus commercial stations. She is the author or two books; the excellent ‘The Modern Grandparents’ Guide’ (more info) which we urge every good granny to buy and ‘Now, Where Did I Put My Glasses?’ (more info). Jackie and her husband of 42 years, have five granddaughters, aged between 11 and 5. Please email your questions for Jackie to firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Susannah Rist MBChB, BSc(Hons), MRCGP, DRCOG qualified in 2003 from Bristol University Medical School. She initially trained to be a hospital doctor, working in various medical specialities including cardiology, respiratory medicine and care of the elderly. She also worked in A&E for a year dealing with emergency cases and then decided to switch to general practice and has enjoyed working as a GP for 5 years. She currently works in a busy practice in London. Please email your questions for Dr Rist to email@example.com
Genevieve is a Dental Surgeon working in a wonderful dental practice in Essex. She has a fantastic following of well-motivated patients in the over 50s age group, whom she has been looking after for many years. Although, she now works solely privately, she has worked in the NHS for much of her career spending a year in Basildon hospital performing oral surgery. She also recently returned from India where she carried out charity dental work in some of the poorest villages and towns of Gujarat. She is married to a Declan who is also a dentist and together we have two small children, Patrick and Elizabeth. They feel extremely lucky to have a strong network of grandparents around them without whom neither would be able to work, attend courses or socialise.
Our Grannynet team
I am 56 with three gorgeous grandchildren who I see often. I work full time as a Community Liaison Manager and a large part of my job is carrying out work related learning activities in schools and colleges, I can work with a class of 30 or a whole year group of 260. I also work with homeless people through a project called “Business Action on Homelessness” and disabled people through my own special project called ‘Time to Shine‘ of which I am particularly proud. I love my job but I cover Kent, Essex, Hampshire and London, so it can get a bit hectic at times.
I was born in 1938 and in 1959 I married a University Lecturer, who died this February. I have 2 children a daughter and son and for 12 years I have live with my OH in an annexe attached to my DD and SIL’s home so have had very close contact with the GC growing up. We have lived in the Buckinghamshire area for over 50 years and I worked in the local school for 30 years as a Support Assistant mainly involved with Art, Needlework and Cookery. I am also a judge for the childrens’ entries in the local Village Show.
I am a retired grandmother of six, five boys and finally a little girl. One of my grandsons is severely disabled as a result of meningitis. I have had many different jobs over the years and enjoyed them all but saved the best till last. I trained as a Birthlight teacher and taught Antenatal aquayoga, baby massage and yoga and pre-school swimming, so I knew most of my little swimmers before they were born.
I am granny to two little girls. The first was born to my daughter in 2006, the same year I retired from teaching, and coincidentally the year that Grannynet was born! To support my daughter, I look after my granddaughters in their home for 3 full days each week. I worked in special schools for 30 years with children with a full range of disabilities including autism and language difficulties. My interest is in helping young children to communicate in any effective way. On the days when I am not granny-caring I live with my husband in Buxton and enjoy walking, reading, music and being with friends.
Ruth qualified as a Registered Nurse in 1970 and went on to become a Midwife in 1971. Following a period in Children’s A & E Ruth completed her Health Visiting training feeling that many parents needed support in the community rather than medical attention. Ruth has been happily married for 38 years. Last year her daughter presented them with an adorable grandson born 9 weeks early and sadly his twin brother died 2 hours afterbirth. Ruth now looks after her Grandson every day and every moment is a joy.
After 30 plus years of teaching in primary schools here and abroad, my husband Gary and I decided to retire and live in Suffolk. Since then I have helped my youngest daughter Verity Gill set up Grannynet and reinvented myself as a watercolour artist and amateur horticulturist. I have two daughters and four grandchildren and I travel to Essex and London every week to see them all.
I was born in England but my parents emigrated to South Africa when I was a babe-in-arms (how brave!). I have been back in the UK for 10 years and have 7 grandchildren in South Africa, Spain and England. After 5 grandsons I gave up on having a little girl to spoil, then suddenly two popped out one after the other! I would love to see more of the overseas grandchildren but technology and social media helps keep in touch. I am a retired graphic designer and still like to keep my hand by helping friends and family with designs, I also love sewing and reading.
Hello, my name is Julie and I became a Grandma at 52, to a lovely little boy. He is very much a part of my life as I look after him three days a week. He was born early and with difficulty, so he needs a bit more help than some, but we learn together. He is doing really well and he will catch up I’m sure, because of his determination. I have worked in retail for 20 odd years, fitting around my two daughters. Family has taken over my life for now, with my parents and MIL need some extra help too. My husband is very supportive being a family man, that’s why we’re still together after 29 years.
I am currently a self employed training consultant and assessor, after spending over 22 years working in education. My husband and I arrived back in the UK from 8 years in Australia to be nearer of our two grandchildren, since we arrived we now have another new granddaughter to add to our collection. We miss the Australian lifestyle but it doesn’t compare with being near our lovely family. I enjoy my work and also spending time with our family.
I am 70, live near Dartmoor & look after two small girls 3 days a week, aged 6mths and 3 yrs. I used to play a lot of tennis but had a knee op & now need the next one done. My partner & I have been together for 28 years & he is a wonderful help to me over the small girls. I cook a lot & do a meals and wheels service once a week. I used to run a smart B&B but am retired now. My interests are reading, travel when I can afford it, food & wine, walks & gardens. We have downsized & it was quite an upheaval but although I miss my girlfriends I am very busy with grandparenting!
Hi, my name is Elaine Harvell and I’m 59 years old. I work as a chef and Duty Manager in very sheltered housing. I’m the proud Granny of four gorgeous girls. My interest in fashion and beauty began many years ago. Researching what looks good for the more mature lady is a great interest of mine. I’m a bit of a shopaholic and love searching out a bargain. Fashion is a minefield as we mature and endeavour to avoid the mutton dressed as lamb scenario. But fashion can work for all ages, sizes and shapes, it’s just knowing how.
Hello, I am Jean I am 56 and mother of two, a Daughter 39 and son 31. I have two grandsons (cousins) 8+4 who I have looked after daily both from being babies. The youngest started school recently, so I will only have them after school. I also care for my disabled husband. I have several hobbies but for last few years I have not been able to do much with them having the boys, but now I will have more time on my hands I intend taking them up again.
I am 58, and mother to three lovely daughters, all now grown up. I have a gorgeous little granddaughter almost 3 years old, whose arrival led me to Grannynet! In October I will become Grandma to two, as my eldest daughter is expecting a baby boy. I always hoped for lots of grandchildren, but two is certainly a good start! I have worked in theatre and childcare, and for the past 8 years have run my own business, working as as a reflexologist. I enjoy spending time with family and friends, theatre, eating out and watching the antics of our 4 cats.
I am a first time grandmother and look after my (almost 3 year old) grandson on a weekly basis. We always have fun going to the zoo, soft play, park, lots of conversation and travelling by bus and train. I work on a part-time basis for a charity called Beanstalk which helps children in state primary schools who have difficulties reading. I keep fit by walking, pilates and swimming.
I am Gran to a beautiful granddaughter who I sadly have not seen since 2007 due to family breakdown and I run a support group for other grandparent who find themselves in this heartbreaking situation. When I am not involved in the group I am a gardener. Marc, my husband of 39 years, and I maintain peoples gardens who can no longer manage them, themselves. I have set up the Grannynet gardening corner and am ready to answer questions and hopefully give you some tips.
I am a very recently retired deputy head teacher but still working part time supervising post graduate trainee teachers at a university. I’ve also taught in Pakistan and Uganda. I have two grown up children and one grandson – so far, whom I look after two days a week in term time (my DIL is a deputy head too). I love being a Granny and find it much less stressful than being a first time Mum. My special interests are Primary Education 3 – 11, local history & environment and child protection as I am also a member of the Family Panel, being a magistrate in the adult and family courts.
I live in rural Northumberland with my husband John and we run our own business developing and manufacturing 100% natural products ranging from Violet’s Magic Laundry, Cleaning to Toiletries. We started 5 years ago when our granddaughter suffered with childhood asthma and we discovered that synthetic chemicals in everyday products can be at the root of this distressing ailment and decided to do something to help. We have a house in Italy but can’t visit it as much as we would love to. I love everything Italian, most types of music, developing new products and driving my Citroen C5.
I’m a young gran -still in my 40′s. My daughter is expecting her second child in February-just after her son’s first birthday. I also have two sons, the younger is at university in Salford and the elder lives away from home. I used to work at senior level customer service but am currently not working as my husband is unable to work due to ill health & I cannot earn enough to replace his benefits – I would if I could. I am currently working on a novel.
I am newly retired from work as a College Lecturer and I have have 9 grandchildren! I am half Canadian, and my sons remain in Canada and my daughter lives here, close by. It has been a difficult thing, but modern technology, right down to Skype used at Christmas, have made it somewhat more tolerable. Since my retirement I have been caring for my grandson two days a week. I have many interests – am an avid reader and I enjoy art, history, movies, love animals especially cats and could not live without music.
I moved down South to Essex eight years ago from the North where I was born and bred. I have two daughters who also live in the South which was one of the main reasons I upped sticks and moved to the “Big Smoke”.I am employed at the moment but will soon be starting up my own company doing accounts for small businesses, which I am really looking forward to. I have five beautiful grandchildren and enjoy gardening, the outdoors generally and history. I practice Reiki and like to try alternative therapies whenever possible but most of all I love to spend time with my family.
I am 51 years old, at the moment I work full time in a busy accounts office. I am in charge of purchase ledger and treasurer. I am shortly going to reduce my hours to three days a week in order for me to spend more time with my family. My life revolves around my family and friends and I like nothing better than spending time with them. I enjoy cycling, walking reading, gardening and more than anything I love to laugh and have fun.
Margaret is a leading consumer finance journalist who has edited and written for personal finance pages of the Daily Mail and before that The Times and The Daily Express. After the hurly burly of editing Money Mail for 12 years she stepped aside to become ‘Dear Margaret’ – the influential and successful column which solved the problems of countless readers who were unhappy at the ‘couldn’t care less’ treatment they received from banks, insurance companies, telecoms and travel firms and the like. She now welcomes your questions on similar topics, so if you have a question for Margaret please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. She has two fine grandsons, aged 2 and 4, and four delightful step granddaughters.
I was a hairdresser most of my working life and at the age of 49 decided to go back to college and studied maths and IT. I then became a civil servant and have since retired. I have 2 children, and a beautiful granddaughter who is 2 yrs old. I look after her 3 days a week, a tiring job at times but also a real privilege. My other half is also retired and we are keen DIY fanatics, along with gardening, but we do enjoy our weekends away. We have a little 2 seater sports car we bring out in the summer and become teenagers again. I also enjoy lunches out with my girlfriends and the odd cocktail.
I am a lucky 60 year old granny with 4 gorgeous daughters (one of whom is Grannynet’s director Charlotte) who have produced 3 grandsons and a granddaughter. The birth of my first grandchild was one of the most moving and exciting days of my life. I live in stunning West Sussex, love to travel and visit one of my granddaughters who lives abroad, as often as possible. I was a beautician and aromatherapist and love to browse French pharmacies and discover new products. I still play as much tennis as I have time for and have recently taken up bridge.
My name is Jean Williams. On my 9th birthday I was given a camera, and I instantly embarked on a life-long love affair with photography. When I gave up teaching in 1999 I converted my hobby into a new career, and over the last 13 years I have worked in studios photographing everything from family groups to products. I’ve photographed many, many weddings, all sorts of family celebrations, and of course the arrival and progress of my own three beautiful grandchildren.
Valerie Wood Gaiger MBE is the passionate founder of Learn with Grandma, a not-for-profit organisation committed to mutual learning between the generations. Valerie, who has been nominated the Beth Johnson Foundation Volunteer Champion for intergenerational work in Wales, travels around different countries giving presentations and encouraging intergenerational links. Valerie’s vision is to create a global network to reunite the generations, and she is ready to help anyone who wishes to set up a Learn with Grandma in their own country.