A support group for parents and carers of twins and ‘multiple births’ in Ramsgate is to stop offering term-time sessions.
The group, which meets every Monday afternoon at the Priory Children’s Centre in Cannon Road, will only be open during the school holidays from next month.
Parents using the group were told the end of term-time sessions was due to funding cuts. Kent County Council say the change is because of low attendance.
A KCC spokesman said: “Kent County Council has been running a support group for the parents and carers of twins and ‘multiples’, aged 0 to four years, at the Priory Children’s Centre in Cannon Road, Ramsgate, on a Monday afternoon during term time.
“Although the Twins and Multiples Group has proved popular for a small cohort of families in the past, there has been a very small number of families attending in recent years.
“As a result of this low attendance, and following consultation with local families, KCC has decided to run the Twins and Multiples Group throughout the school holidays only. This will coincide with increased capacity as there will be fewer other groups taking place.
“This is something parents have told us they would like to happen and it also means older twins and multiples, who would normally be in school during the afternoon, will be able to join in. These groups will also support families to access other amenities within the local community, which they may not have had access to otherwise.
“We appreciate the admirable way the staff involved have managed this change and are grateful to parents and carers for their understanding.”
But parents at the group say they were not consulted on the latest change and the group has been steadily growing.
Ramsgate mum of twins Melissa Hodder said: “There was no consultation with the parents whatsoever! The day was changed to a Monday as it suited more and this was working so well with many more mums joining.
“This group has literally been a lifesaver for myself and many twin mums. It’s a unique group unlike the hundreds of toddler/family time groups currently running everywhere, Now we have absolutely nothing in Thanet for multiple parents and there is so many of us. Lots of new mums had joined the group recently, this is such a bad decision.”
Members of facebook group Multiple Mummys in Thanet are now looking for either a new venue or another organisation to host the group.
Beth Hollow, who is part of the group, said: “This is so disappointing. I have met loads of twin mums at this group and it will be a real loss to the area. When you first have twins it is really daunting and the group was a great place to meet similar families who can support each other.
“We are working to find a new location or an organisation to run one for us.” Find the facebook page here
The first holiday session of the Twins and Multiples Group in Ramsgate will take place from 1pm to 3pm on Monday, April 9.
Further dates will be advertised on activity schedule handouts, available at all children’s centres in Thanet, or can be found at https://www.kent.gov.uk/education-and-children/childcare-and-pre-school/childrens-centres, on the Thanet Children’s Centres page on Facebook and via @ThanetCCentres on Twitter.
This is such a shame as there is no where else in Thanet for parents of multiples to meet and give each other support and tips. Having multiples is hard work and to be able to go somewhere where others understand your situation is invaluable.