Bringing up twins is a wonderful gift but can be quite daunting, especially for first-time parents.
With this in mind, mother-of-three Anne Siequien launched Twins and More in 2016, as a support group for mums and dads with multiple births.
The club, based at Charnock Richard Scout Hut, is now run by Debi Holland, who has twin boys Ben and Jack, aged two, and Joanne Pledger, who has two-year-old daughters Isobel and Zoë.
Debi, 39, of Buckshaw Village, says: “I started going to the club while I was heavily pregnant, to get some tips of what to expect.
“Everyone welcomed me with open arms. It was great meeting people who knew what it was like to have twins and give me advice. I have never forgot that and I have been going ever since.
“We have two hours of play, inviting parents and siblings. It offers expectant mums to find out what it is like and new mums to have a bit of a break whilst we take care of the babies so they can have a drink and a snack. The older children have a lot of fun as they play with toys.
I remember my first visit and within the first 10 minutes another mum had taken my girls off me so I could have a hot cup of tea, which is quite rare for me.Joanne Pledger
“The club is very valuable. I know lots of mums but having twins is very different, especially when they are born early and have health complications.
“A few of our members have these issues.
“At the moment we just have twins in our group, but we certainly welcome triplets.”
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Joanne, 33, of Standish, says: “I found it difficult to go to normal groups as they were set up for parents with one child. You can’t do the same things when you have two children, such as baby sensory or massage as you can’t do it with two hands.
“I was looking for people in the same situation who understood how it was different. I knew there were groups out there as I had been to sessions with TAMBA (Twins and Multiple Births Association). I Googled and found Twins and More, set up by Anne.
“I first came when the girls were three months old and then I didn’t go for two months because I struggled to get out on time.
“I started again when they were five months old and I go every week.
“For me, it is important to speak to other mums and get advice from parents about what they have tried.
“It is great to speak to people who understand the challenges of having two children or triplets.
“Having a place to go where people understand and you gain practical and emotional support is so valuable.
“I remember my first visit and within the first 10 minutes another mum had taken my girls off me so I could have a hot cup of tea, which is quite rare for me.
“There is a lot of solidarity here. If one parent is looking a bit flustered, there is always someone to help out. Some of the children are slightly older, so they go off and play, leaving their mums free to support others.
“This group is also important to my girls. It is important for them growing up to know that being a twin is normal and they are not a circus act.
“They have made a lot of friends in the group and they always look forward to coming. When I ask what we do on a Thursday morning, they say ‘twin club.’
“This is a great group and we always welcome people who have twins or triplets, or those caring for twins.
“It is just a place for them to go and find friendships with other twin parents.”
Anne, who handed over the running of the club to Joanne and Debi two months ago, adds: “I set the group up to fill a local need for parents of multiples to meet and support each other. It ran for two years in a room provided by Coppull Children’s Centre and Primary School. Staff at the centre and school supported the group, which we are very grateful for.
When the school expanded its nursery facilities this summer, Debi found the new venue in Charnock and took over the organisation.”
Twins and More runs every Thursday, 9.30am until 11.30am.