New Leeds club for twins

The birth is announced of a new club for very special little people.

How special? Well, just one in 34 babies is born a twin or triplet.

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"When you are expecting twins or more," said proud mum Hazel Ramsay, "you get so much attention from medical staff. But when you have your babies there is nothing."

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Hazel, 32, became aware of the problem when she had twins Charlie and William 19 months ago. She had already given birth to a singleton, Samuel, now aged four.

"I took the twins for walks in Roundhay Park," she recalled, "and often came across other mothers with twins. We started chatting and the idea of a group just for us came about."

And so Leeds Twins and Multiples Club was born.

It was launched at St Andrew's United Reformed Church, Shaftesbury Avenue, Roundhay, and will meet on the first Thursday in each month.

Some 15 families were represented at yesterday's get-together.

"St Andrew's has been really good to us," said Hazel who runs a children's entertainment business called Shuffles with her husband Jason.

"Mothers with twins or multiples can sometimes feel they are the only ones struggling and so it is good to get together and share problems and experiences.

"You have to have a strategy before you go anywhere. Cafes cannot always cope with buggies and so you are not always welcome. And preparing to go out of the house takes so long. It is a big operation."

The church hall makes it easy to keep an eye on the toddlers and the mums - and the occasional dad - are grateful for refreshments.

Older twins and multiples are being offered handicrafts as well as play and mums hope to introduce their youngsters to sing-songs to round off the monthly sessions.

Hazel has launched a Facebook page for the club. She said: "We also accost mothers who are wheeling twins about in supermarkets."