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Islington has a club... for parents of twins and multiples

PUBLISHED: 16:27 06 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:27 06 March 2018

Hannah Brooke, pictured right, with Islington Twins and Multiples Club co-founders Heather Shelton, left, and Clare Thomson, centre. Picture: Polly Hancock

Hannah Brooke, pictured right, with Islington Twins and Multiples Club co-founders Heather Shelton, left, and Clare Thomson, centre. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Did you know Islington has a dedicated group for parents and carers of twins and multiples? The Gazette speaks to its founder, Hannah Brooke, about why it’s such an important service.

If having one kid is an intense experience for parents, then having twins – or even triplets – is on another scale.

That’s where Islington Twins and Multiples Club comes in.

It formed three years ago to support pregnant mums, parents and carers as they deal with what founder Hannah Brooke calls a “massive shock to the system”.

“The challenges of twins and multiples are so different,” she says.

“But there was nothing in the local area when I had my twins in 2014. The closest groups were in Highgate, Crouch End and Stoke Newington. I was sure people would use one in Islington.”

Hannah got together with friends Heather Shelton and Clare Thomson to form the “club” in February 2015. It meets for two hours every Monday at St Andrew’s Church in Thornhill Square, Barnsbury. The generous church leaders allow them to use it free.

Hannah, of nearby Huntingdon Street, continues: “The kids play and parents are encouraged to let everything out on all things ‘multiple’. It’s a support network, with people helping each other solve their problems.

“I found the physical demands of having and looking after twins to be massively intense. You sleepwalk through the first year. I was lucky to have lots of support, but other people don’t have it.

“So it’s massively rewarding to have formed a group where fellow parents of twins and multiples can help each other.

“There’s obviously plenty of information available out there. But nothing beats human beings suggesting to one another, ‘you should do this,’ or ‘have you tried that?’”

Just as valuable is the group’s 100-strong WhatsApp group, which parents can turn to when they need advice at short notice.

But Hannah adds: “I’m a little concerned for the future. I’m willing to do this for as long as I’m available, but will be returning to work at some point and it will be harder to sustain. We are not funded, either, so that’s an ongoing challenge.”

Whatever happens, though, Hannah says: “We have built a community and I am so proud of that.”

For more information about Islington Twins and Multiples Club and to get involved, email twins_inct@yahoo.co.uk

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