Group set up for parents of twins and triplets opens its arms to more families

Looking after a baby or toddler can be a handful for anyone - but for parents of twins or triplets, it’s twice or three times the work.

That’s why a playgroup set up especially for families with multiple births, and mum’s are keen to spread the word to others just like them.

It brings together families from across the region to give them a place to meet and exchange stories or offer a listening ear.

The team also offers an affordable session for parents and grandparents to take children along to as households manage a budget of having more than one infant to look after, with siblings also welcome to attend.

Held at Springwell Village Hall, in Fell Road, the group is run by Anna Maven, 40, from Roker, and husband Paul, 39, who are parents to Felicity and Florence, 17 months, as well as Monica, five, and Honor, seven.

The co-leader is Laura Brown, whose family lives with two-year-old twins Ruby and Joe in Stanley.

Anna, who worked as a teaching assistant before her twins’ arrival, said: “A lot of the original mums who went to the toddler group have now got their children at school and the numbers had really depleted and we were worried it would close.

The group has brought together families as they share their experiences of being parents to twins and triplets.

“We want to spread the word because not all parents are on Facebook.

“A lot of those in the group have babies of a similar age and all the sessions are based around play and we always have a snack time.

“Dads, mams and grandparents are all welcome along and I think for me, for parents it’s amazing to have friends who also have twins or triplets.

“I have two other children, but it’s a very different ball game having two babies, there’s a real difference.

The twins and triplets family play group meets each Friday at Springwell Village Hall and centres around play and includes a snack time.

“There are those who can’t afford childcare with only one parent’s wage, it’s really difficult and sometimes you can’t go to a class with two babies and it can cost £7 or £10 for a 45 minute class.

“This costs £2 per family for two hours and that’s affordable, when a lot of mams aren’t at work and can’t pay for childcare.

“When you’re a parent of twins, it’s double with everything.”

She said members were able to benefit from people who had been through similar experiences or seek advice from others who had already overcome situations.

Andrea Willey with Emily and Lucy Willey, three months, the youngest of the group.

“It’s also about being around like-minded people, there are some who have had fertility problems, there are others who have been through IVF, some have had really premature babies, and it’s about those bonds and people talking about how to cope, share ideas and let others know where they can find discounts.

“It’s a real team effort, everyone makes it work and it’s very welcoming.”

The Friday session runs from 10am to noon.

Mum Michelle Mason with Killian and Kyron Carr, one.