Cheltenham Twins Group celebrates its twentieth anniversary this year and to mark the occasion the group threw a big summer party for past and present members.
On Saturday 30 July, 40 twin and triplet families came together with balloons, bunting and a bouncy castle to commemorate twenty years of their support group. The group was started in May 2002 by a local twin mum keen to create a community of parents and caregivers of twins, triplets and more where they could unite around the joys and struggles of parenting multiples.
The group has been running in some form ever since and boasts a thriving online community as well as organising weekly meet-ups. It has been described as a “game-changer”, a “lifeline” and a “very special tribe” by its members. Parents have spoken of their relief at finding a group of people who “get” the twin parenting juggle, and the group has helped to forge lifelong friendships.
The group has experienced many challenges over its 20-year history, however. It has survived venue changes, committee rotations, volunteer shortages and funding difficulties. And of course, the Covid-19 pandemic threw up new challenges, resulting in a loss of venue, a lack of publicity and a ‘lost generation’ of parents of multiples who missed out on this crucial support network.
Through the tenacity of its Chair and a dedicated committee, however, the group found a new venue, allowing face-to-face meet-ups to resume after an eighteen month hiatus, and has successfully rebuilt. Committee members have worked tirelessly to attract new members who missed out on face-to-face baby groups during the pandemic, and now the group is flourishing once more.
It is vital, however, that the group continues to welcome new members as children grow up and volunteers move on.
If you have or are expecting twins/triplets, you can go along to the weekly group, which meets on Mondays from 10:00-11:30 in Prestbury WI Hall.
The group hopes to resume its hospital talks and information evenings for expectant parents in due course, and is confident this summer’s party will be one of many more. Who knows, perhaps there will be a 40th birthday party in 2042!
They have a Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/41174342003/