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North Belfast woman still holds UK’s youngest gran title

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RECORD: The daughter of the Belfast woman who became a grandmother at 29

RECORD: The daughter of the Belfast woman who became a grandmother at 29

RECORD: The daughter of the Belfast woman who became a grandmother at 29

A Northern Ireland woman still holds the record for the UK’s youngest granny despite a 33-year-old childminder making headlines.

Gemma Skinner, from Amersham in Buckinghamshire, is thought to have become the youngest grandmother in Great Britain after daughter Maizie (17) gave birth to little Larosa Mae earlier this month.

The family spoke of their delight in the Sun newspaper and revealed people were already mistaking grandma Gemma for Larosa Mae’s mum or auntie.

However, despite becoming a grandmother, Gemma is not believed to be the youngest gran in the UK.

That title is held by a north Belfast woman who it is thought to have become the UK’s youngest granny at 29 years old when her daughter (then 15) had a child in 2015.

The mother-of-two, who had her first child at 14, discovered her teenage daughter was pregnant in late 2014, with the family expressing their delight on social media at the time.

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Sunday Life's report from March 2015

Sunday Life's report from March 2015

Sunday Life's report from March 2015

After announcing the news of her pregnancy on Facebook, the then secondary school pupil (15) wrote, “I can’t wait to be a mum”, having previously told friends on the social network: “Just can’t wait to hold him or her in my arms. Really don’t think it’s hit me yet.”

The teenager’s boyfriend, who was 17 at the time, also spoke of his joy at his impending fatherhood in 2015.

The couple, from opposite sides of the political divide, shared their news with friends and expressed their excitement at becoming parents.

Commenting under a picture of their unborn baby’s scan, the dad-to-be said he was hoping for a baby boy, while his girlfriend replied: “I know love, but we don’t care as long as it’s healthy.”

Friends of the couple also took to social media to express their congratulations on their first baby together.

One wrote, “Wow, I’m so excited”, while another said: “Gonna be a beautiful like its mummy”.

The father’s mother also added her congratulations. Writing under the baby scan photo, she told the couple: “My precious little bundle, so proud of you and [dad’s name]. Love you.”

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The Sun's front page naming Gemma Skinner (33) as the UK's youngest grandmother

The Sun's front page naming Gemma Skinner (33) as the UK's youngest grandmother

The Sun's front page naming Gemma Skinner (33) as the UK's youngest grandmother

Sunday Life contacted the north Belfast woman about keeping hold of her title despite the Skinner family’s recent arrival, but she did not respond.

After becoming the youngest grandmother in Great Britain earlier this month, Buckinghamshire woman Gemma said she had already been mistaken for the child’s aunt or mother.

She added: “I did the school run with the baby and someone came over to me and asked if she was mine.

“I had to explain that she’s my grand-daughter and they were quite shocked.

“Everyone has assumed she is Maizie’s younger sister, so we have to keep explaining that she’s actually her daughter. People mistake me for her mum all the time.

“When Maizie was in hospital, the nurse who came to give her an epidural asked if we were sisters.

“We can laugh about it because it happens all the time. I’m used to it now.”

Ms Skinner had Larosa’s mum Maizie when she was 16 years old.

She also has two more daughters in 10-year-old Gracie and Bella, who has become an aunt at the age of just four years old.

Ms Skinner was initially worried when she found out her oldest daughter was pregnant because she remembered how difficult she had found motherhood at such a young age.

“My first reaction was worry because it wasn’t easy for me when I found out that I was pregnant so young,” she said.

“But I wouldn’t change anything for the world and I love our little family. Maizie has taken to being a mum so naturally and I’m so proud of her.”


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