ONLY the cold and calculating system of university research could ever come up with the idea that grandparents serve no real purpose.

Yet, that is exactly what a team of serious scientists from Edinburgh University conclude after carefully studying the subject. What I’m beginning to suspect may have been a team of robots has come to the conclusion that the “evolutionary purpose of grandparents is a mystery.” Fortunately, the evidence to the contrary is everywhere - in every street, town, village and city not just in this country but across the world.

Grandparents have always had a strong influence in the lives of younger generations. In fact, I believe they are more valuable in every way today than ever before. When many parents both have to work grandparents come into their own.

They are loving babysitters, cook endless nutritional meals, pack children’s schoolbags and ensure they don’t have to come home alone or to an empty house.

They are the interested, concerned and caring listeners to children’s daily recounting of their lives, they’re totally committed supporters at any sort of event from sporting to musical and children’s advocate as someone who actually knows how they like their toast and who really is their best friend.

Grandparents generously give their time, talents and experience to fill any gaps in family lives if they can. They may regularly also provide financial help to their children and grandchildren and are an enduring shoulder to cry on for family members of all ages.

They bring the wisdom of experience and family history and are fierce in their loyalty to grandchildren who need support or just someone to watch their back. And, because they can go home at the end of the day and hand them back to parents, they give 100 per cent of their dedication and energy into ensuring grandchildren enjoy time with them.

Trying to quantify what they give to their families is like trying to work out a mathematical formula of why people fall in love with someone. If you try to examine it too closely, you’ll ruin it. Grandparents also know that, whatever happens, they will love their children and grandchildren totally, purely because they are their grandparents and blood is thicker than water always. Without them, family life for many would definitely crumble.