A Wigan mum of twins has set up a support group for families with “multiple” siblings.
Natalie Metcalfe, from Kitt Green, launched a playgroup back in September to help parents of twins, triplets and other multiple children.
The 35-year-old mum of three, who has two 19-month-old boys Nate and Noah, wanted to help support other families in her situation.
She initially asked if a session could be set up at the Westfield Start Well Centre, but was encouraged to start her own group with their support.
“There is nothing run for parent with twins,” she said. “Sometimes when you walk into a playgroup, and this has happened to me a handful of times, you can feel people instantly judging you because you can’t do things the same way with two.
“People don’t mean to it’s just the way they react. I wanted to meet other mums who have had the same experiences as me.
“I wanted people to understand me and for me to understand them. It is so much harder with twins - you have two of everything.
“I was told that there was a group 24 years ago and it was well attended, but it fizzled out as the children grew up and went to school.
Natalie, who set up the group back in September last year, said that it has helped her and other families with raising young twins.
“The women who come have turned into friends now,” she said.
“I didn’t realise how much I needed these ladies in my life.
“I have about six regulars who come every week, but it does fluctuate. I have had up to nine sets of multiples at one time.
“The response has been amazing with people travelling to come to group.
“One lady moved to Liverpool and travels back on a Thursday to come to the group and see family.
“I didn’t realise how much of an impact it would have on people.
“I thought they would just come every week but some of them have turned into really good friends.
“I also didn’t realise that IVF can play a massive part in having multiple children. That’s how my twins happened.
Each week, parents and their little ones come along to the playgroup to take part in activities and crafts that would be found at a regular playgroup.
The themed sessions cover a range of topics, including seasonal holidays just as Valentine’s Day, Easter and Pancake Day.
The group meets every Thursday from 10am to 11.30am at Central Park on Montrose Avenue.