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  • "Moonshine" started this thread

Posts: 3,147

Reg: Jul 3rd 2008

Location: South West

Children: 2 beautiful twin daughters :)

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Friday, April 15th 2011, 11:22am

Local Twins/Multiples Groups - how are yours run?

Hi All,

I am doing a bit of research on behalf of my local twins club. Ours seems to be really struggling lately for a variety of reasons and was just wondering how other twins groups are organised and run. The sort of things I'm interested in are:

How often you meet? Where? Is there a rent? Car Parking available? Cost per session? Anual membership? Age range? Snacks provided? Refreshments for parents? Who provides these and cleans up? Who opens and locks up? What support network is available within your group? How did you find out about this group? How is it funded?

And any other info you can provide that you think may be useful :)

Thanks in advance x


Moonshine



Ros

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Posts: 9,021

Reg: Mar 14th 2008

Children: twin girls thanks to PGD!

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Friday, April 15th 2011, 12:08pm

Hi Moonypants, I've moved house in the last few months but I can tell you about the excellent twin club I went to in east London, 10 mins from my house (which was a life saver and I miss being able to go to from my new home. I went there from when my babies were 9 weeks old).

It met every Monday morning 10-12 in a local community youth club hall.
There was a small car park but lots of places to park outside as in a residential area with no parking permits.
It cost £10 for the year to be a member and £2 for each session (this covered tea/coffee & biscuits for the parents)
The community hall had a caretaker who opened up the hall and there was a cleaner for the hall too.
The person in charge of the club (along with the first people there!) set up the toys each week (they were stored at the hall)
It catered for newborn babies through to age 4/5. The baby area was in one corner with soft mats for the babies to wriggle on.
There is a group email (which I'm still on) which gives out news, advice, a newsletter and a for sale/wanted list.
I found out about it on the internet - it is one of the original twin clubs in the country, been set-up for many years.
I guess it is funded from the membership and weekly money. The turnout was nearly always really good other than summer holidays when lots of people were away.
I found 4-5 people with babies the same age as mine, some already had a toddler (and one had two kids already) and they were a wealth of knowledge and so supportive.
They also used to encourage ladies pregnant with twins to go in when they were 6-7 months so they could see what it was like and chat to people with tiny babies to find out what was in store - I did this at 6 months pregnant and it helped me so much when the babies arrived, knowing that no matter how tired I was or if the babies were screaming non stop I knew that there was somewhere I could go where others would support me (and the screaming wouldn't sound so bad!) x

After 5 years of endo surgery, clomid, 2 x MM/C, 2 x ICSI cycles and 1 PGD cycle,
beautiful twin girls born 8th Feb 2010, we are so grateful

csam

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    United Kingdom

Posts: 1,520

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Friday, April 15th 2011, 1:02pm

Hiya
My twins group meets every 4 weeks at the the sure start centre (so it's free),it's a small room that's part of the library so there is a few parking spaces,but parking is not generally an issue.It's on a monday 1.30-3pm

There are no refreshments,and I suppose it's 'run' by a sure start worker,there was one there but she didn't introduce herself and just sat there watching.I guess if you had any general questions she would have helped and I think they have Bf support on occasions.

There was one of those soft rings for the babies to sit in,I don't remember seeing many toys.There were a couple of 2 year twins sat at small table drawing.It was hard work TBH,my twins were both crawling in different directions and crusing round the furniture and there were young babies lying on a mat,and I felt bad that I couldn't be in 2 places at once.

I think a twins group sounds like a good idea,people in your position etc but I am shy and I don't know if I'll go again (it is when the twins have their lunchtime nap and I have to pick my eldest Dd up from nursery at 3). I probably will go again but won't be able to go again when I'm back at work.

Ros,your group sounds fantastic.Very supportive.I hope you find a new one where you live now.

xxxxx

  • "Moonshine" started this thread

Posts: 3,147

Reg: Jul 3rd 2008

Location: South West

Children: 2 beautiful twin daughters :)

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Friday, April 15th 2011, 9:38pm

Thanks Ros and Csam, that's really useful.

Ros, my twins group sounds a lot like yours - but is really struggling to get people along to the weekly group. Csam it's useful to know that yours is linked into surestart but not that suppotive.

I found out about my group through leaflets given out in the maternity unit. Some members hold an expecting twins evening in their own homes, and some go along to a hospital talk given by a midwife. It was a really nice way to meet people and I got a good feel about the group, so went along whilst pregnant. There is also a newsletter/website etc

Our group is run from a church hall, which is rent free (although a donation is made by the group anually). The hall has a caretaker who does come along, but to be honest I've never figured out why as it's the mums who open and lock up on a rota basis, as well as clear away and set up. The mum responsible on the day has to buy enough snacks and prepare them (ie: halve grapes, slice bananas beforehand etc) as well as make the teas and coffees and wash and dry up afterwards. A few mums do chip in, but of course that means their twins being left alone for most of the morning. I did this once, and found it so stressful (especially having M in hip spica left screaming and being ran over by toddler on trikes!) that I removed myself from the rota immediately. Supermum I am not! One end of the hall is a dedicated baby area and the other half for toddlers - with tables and craft activities (again, run by the parents). The refreshments are served on the stage. The toddlers all run around the stage and play at the bottom of it, so getting hot drinks up and down can be quite precarious. This was actually recommended by the H&S officer as they used to be served on ground level by a volunteer.

A big problem a lot of the new mums have found is getting to the group on time, the parking situation and the fact they feel almost pressurised into joining the rota for opening up etc. A whole cohort are now meeting at each others houses instead - which in turn has put off more new mums as there's such a low turn out for babies that they're often left alone in the baby area at the other side of the hall.


The members currently pay £1.50 per session and a £6 annual membership.

There's a few very protective, political, existing comitee members who will see no wrong! We've recently had a new chair who wants to bring in some changes - I think some changes would be so beneficial, but what they should be and how they should be implemented is part of the reason I'm asking these questions.

I think Bouncytigger was assigned a mentor mum while she was pregnant which I like the sound of. Also, I was wondering if we could affiliate ourselves with a local childrens centre and perhaps either use their facilities or have some professional and/or practical support.

I haven't been to my twins club for over 6 months now as it's on in the mornings when my girls prefer their naps. I also felt pressurised into the rota of running the group, which I found offputting, It's effort enough getting to and from - I want to spend that time WITH my twins watching them interact and explore and keep them safe. I have felt lonely on my lonesome in the baby area, not a nice feeling considering the effort. The comittee is a political minefield which I am keen to avoid, but I'd really hate to see the group fold as it was invaluable to me in the beginning so I am gathering a group of my friends I made from there to gather some ideas which may help.

I now take my two to an afternoon playgroup ran by a childrens centre. It's cheaper, with a free car park (so I don't have to load them from car into their buggy to get them in), dedicated play leaders who do all the organisation and a tea lady. So the mums just turn up and play with their kids and it's so stress free. Well, it is for the singleton mums. I'm the only twin mum - trying to rinse G's mouth out after eating PVA glue and trying to rescue M from the middle of a wet pain collage all at the same time...at least at the twins group everyone was just as frantic :snigger:

Thanks again guys!


Moonshine


This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Moonshine" (Apr 15th 2011, 9:43pm)


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