Parents aged 34 and 35 become Britain's youngest nan and grandad

By Beth Kilgallon & Abigail Nicholson

A couple in their thirties could be Britain's youngest grandparents, with people often mistaking their 16-year-old daughter's newborn for their own.

Jenni Medlam, 34, and her husband Richard, 35, were shocked when their 16-year-old daughter, Charmaine first told them she was pregnant.

But while it did come as a huge surprise, the mum-of-three says she's been supportive of her daughter after she also became a mum at the age of 17.

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She argues there is an 'unfair stereotype' around young mums and believes her daughter's new role has been the 'making of her'.

Jenni said: "When we are out with Isla-May everyone just assumed that she is mine and Richard's daughter.

"When we explain to them that we are actually grandparents they get the absolute shock of their life.

"Most people don't believe us when we tell them.

"But I can obviously understand why people would think we are her parents as we are still in our early thirties.

"When Charmaine first told us that she was pregnant and that we were going to become grandparents we were really shocked.

"It has been a whirlwind but we love our new roles. I'm Nanna and Richard is G'pa.

"Being young grandparents just means you have more time to love your grandchild and longer to cherish them.

"And we might even get great-grandchildren."

After becoming a teenage mum herself, Jenni, who lives in Hull who also has two other daughters, Chelsey, 13, and Scarlett, 10, didn't have a support network to help her through it and she was very isolated.

Jenni didn't want her daughter to have the same experience as she did and vowed to support her.

She said: "I knew exactly how Charmaine would be feeling having to tell her mum she was pregnant.

"But I told her it's her body and her decision and I would support her either way.

"And since falling pregnant it has really made Charmaine grow up, Isla has been the making of her.

"She is an incredible mum and I think it has made the bond between Charmaine and me even stronger.

"I think she has even more respect for me now as her mum.

"We all live together under one roof too which is lovely.

"She's still with the baby's dad and they've been together almost two years, so Isla also has all of his lovely family.

"We look after Isla quite often to give Charmaine a break.

"I think it's brought us all even closer. My other girls absolutely love having a baby in the house, they love having a niece."

Jenni, who runs her own cleaning business, thinks that teenage mums are stereotyped but having a baby doesn't mean your life is over.

She says that although she was a teen mum she was still able to work and bring up her daughter, and even start her own business.

"I think it's brought us all even closer. My other girls absolutely love having a baby in the house, they love having a niece."

Jenni added: "Charmaine has watched me go to work and do well for myself while bringing her up, so she knows it's possible.

"She wants to go to college and do beauty. There is a stereotype about young mums which I don't think is fair.

"You can still enjoy your life and achieve whatever you want even if you have a baby when you're younger.

"I am glad that I am able to show my daughter that everything can still work out for you."


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