ONE of the most precious relationships is that between grandparents and their grandchildren, and not being able to meet is creating a big hole in people’s lives – old and young alike.

Niki Pearce, who lives in Grosmont, hasn’t seen her grandchildren other than on FaceTime since lockdown started, and, she says, the technology is no substitute for the real thing.

Her daughter, Catherine, a single parent to Ralph, three, and Rosie, one next month, lives in Hereford, as do Sam, Niki’s son, and his partner Hannah and their one year old daughter Willow.

“Before lockdown,” says Niki, “Catherine would have brought the children over at least once a week, and Ralphie had regular sleepovers with us. He’s really missing his Bampy (Neil) and Nanna and doesn’t understand why he can’t come to see us.

“I really miss the cuddles and closeness and being able to look the children in the eye – when we FaceTime, Ralphie always asks when he can come and see us. And Rosie has started crawling since we last saw her, that makes me sad, to have missed a big milestone.”

They do, though, read stories together on FaceTime, and recently, when Ralph couldn’t sleep, Niki read to him from a favourite book, Tabby McTat, while he turned the pages of his copy. “That was lovely,” she says, adding that she also really misses being able to give Catherine the support that any parent, let alone a single parent, needs when she has small children.

“FaceTime,” she continues, “is a lovely thing, but Ralphie especially, doesn’t understand that’s all he can have, and that really burns me.”

Susannah Jones, of Much Dewchurch, said: "My three children love sending and getting things by post from their friends and family.

"They pull faces at their friends on video chats. The children have loved making Happy Birthday videos for their class mates and they did a class Lego competition last week.

Christina Plant, of Clehonger, is managing similar routes of contact: "My two girls have enjoyed face-timing their friends in the afternoon after their school work.

"They also have both been participating in clubs through Zoom. Georgina has continued to do her guitar lesson though Zoom whilst Harriet has been able to sing and chat with her drama group.

"Carrying on with these sessions has allowed some sort of normality.

"Both girls have also written letters to their grandmother, who is having to isolate alone.

"Being a very social person myself, social media platforms have been a godsend.

"I have been able to keep in touch with my roller derby team-mates in Cardiff though various Zoom meetings. We all train together once a week as well as talk about tactics and what we want from next season when we'll finally get to skate again!

"On a Friday we have a social event where we usually do a quiz or just chat.

"To keep my self busy I've been playing guess the movie round by dressing up in what I have around the house! It's kept me from getting bored and provided entertainment for my friends!"

Of course, we are all missing someone, and suddenly cutting off from social activities has been difficult. But thanks to the digital age and social media, friends and family and finding different routes to entertain and keep their spirits up.

Sarah Jane Chapman, of Pontrilas, said: "My friends and I have been having weekly catch-ups using Skype or WhatsApp video. Sometimes we play a quiz, other times we just have a natter and catch up on what our respective families have been up to."

Share your Missing You messages through the Hereford Times

ARE you missing someone loads?

A grandad or grandma perhaps, or a friend you haven’t seen for ages?

Here’s your chance to send them a special greeting for free through the pages of the Hereford Times.

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My lovely Dad Ken Gibbs and Stepmum Mandy Gibbs, who live in Manchester....Dad who works for the NHS at Salford Royal Hospital is self isolating at the moment due to his health not being 100%......I love you Dad and Mandy and cannot wait for an extra massive cuddle, we miss you, when this is all truly over I promise to make more of an effort to visit back home, you never really realise how important life and family is until your told your not to see each other at all....we love you xxxxx

My lovely Dad Ken Gibbs and Stepmum Mandy Gibbs, who live in Manchester....Dad who works for the NHS at Salford Royal Hospital is self isolating at the moment due to his health not being 100%......I love you Dad and Mandy and cannot wait for an extra massive cuddle, we miss you, when this is all truly over I promise to make more of an effort to visit back home, you never really realise how important life and family is until your told your not to see each other at all....we love you xxxxx
Claire Kinsey

I'd like to send a message to my beautiful granddaughters lola rose Thomson & Amelia ann Thomson & my children jemma louise Thomson & ryan Thomson.. unfortunately I cant send my son Liam Thomson as he was killed 3 years ago.😪💔 lola & Amelia are his children and absolutely heartbroken I cant see them and comfort them through this awful pandemic there going through enough.. my granddaughters live in Wales and my children jemma & ryan only live 5 mins away from me one in belmont one in newton farm. I've not seen any of um since end of Feb it breaks my heart and struggling through it all.. cant wait for this awful pandemic to be over. Love & miss u all so much it hurts nanny cant wait for the day I can have u stay over and give u the biggest hugs and kisses and cant wait to spend quality family time with u all miss my kids so much... thank god for facetime ❤ love u all stay safe all my love mum & nanny.. Lisa ann Thomson xxx🙏🌈💜💔xxx

I'd like to send a message to my beautiful granddaughters lola rose Thomson & Amelia ann Thomson & my children jemma louise Thomson & ryan Thomson.. unfortunately I cant send my son Liam Thomson as he was killed 3 years ago.😪💔 lola & Amelia are his children and absolutely heartbroken I cant see them and comfort them through this awful pandemic there going through enough.. my granddaughters live in Wales and my children jemma & ryan only live 5 mins away from me one in belmont one in newton farm. I've not seen any of um since end of Feb it breaks my heart and struggling through it all.. cant wait for this awful pandemic to be over.  Love & miss u all so much it hurts nanny cant wait for the day I can have u stay over and give u the biggest hugs and kisses and cant wait to spend quality family time with u all miss my kids so much... thank god for facetime ❤ love u all stay safe all my love mum & nanny.. Lisa ann Thomson xxx🙏🌈💜💔xxx
Lisa Thomson
I'd like to send a message to my beautiful granddaughters lola rose Thomson & Amelia ann Thomson & my children jemma louise Thomson & ryan Thomson.. unfortunately I cant send my son Liam Thomson as he was killed 3 years ago.😪💔 lola & Amelia are his children and absolutely heartbroken I cant see them and comfort them through this awful pandemic there going through enough.. my granddaughters live in Wales and my children jemma & ryan only live 5 mins away from me one in belmont one in newton farm. I've not seen any of um since end of Feb it breaks my heart and struggling through it all.. cant wait for this awful pandemic to be over.  Love & miss u all so much it hurts nanny cant wait for the day I can have u stay over and give u the biggest hugs and kisses and cant wait to spend quality family time with u all miss my kids so much... thank god for facetime ❤ love u all stay safe all my love mum & nanny.. Lisa ann Thomson xxx🙏🌈💜💔xxx
Lisa Thomson
I'd like to send a message to my beautiful granddaughters lola rose Thomson & Amelia ann Thomson & my children jemma louise Thomson & ryan Thomson.. unfortunately I cant send my son Liam Thomson as he was killed 3 years ago.😪💔 lola & Amelia are his children and absolutely heartbroken I cant see them and comfort them through this awful pandemic there going through enough.. my granddaughters live in Wales and my children jemma & ryan only live 5 mins away from me one in belmont one in newton farm. I've not seen any of um since end of Feb it breaks my heart and struggling through it all.. cant wait for this awful pandemic to be over.  Love & miss u all so much it hurts nanny cant wait for the day I can have u stay over and give u the biggest hugs and kisses and cant wait to spend quality family time with u all miss my kids so much... thank god for facetime ❤ love u all stay safe all my love mum & nanny.. Lisa ann Thomson xxx🙏🌈💜💔xxx
Lisa Thomson
I'd like to send a message to my beautiful granddaughters lola rose Thomson & Amelia ann Thomson & my children jemma louise Thomson & ryan Thomson.. unfortunately I cant send my son Liam Thomson as he was killed 3 years ago.😪💔 lola & Amelia are his children and absolutely heartbroken I cant see them and comfort them through this awful pandemic there going through enough.. my granddaughters live in Wales and my children jemma & ryan only live 5 mins away from me one in belmont one in newton farm. I've not seen any of um since end of Feb it breaks my heart and struggling through it all.. cant wait for this awful pandemic to be over.  Love & miss u all so much it hurts nanny cant wait for the day I can have u stay over and give u the biggest hugs and kisses and cant wait to spend quality family time with u all miss my kids so much... thank god for facetime ❤ love u all stay safe all my love mum & nanny.. Lisa ann Thomson xxx🙏🌈💜💔xxx
Lisa Thomson