Multiple births can be a daunting prospect for any parent, especially those who are already struggling.
Imagine having a toddler and then finding out there are not one but two babies on the way. Twins can cause a lot of stress for parents but Home-Start volunteers in Arun, Worthing and Adur are ready and willing to help.
They are already supporting 13 sets of twins, the most the service has seen to date, and volunteers say it is twice the fun, so there is no need for people to worry.
Vicky, one of the mums, said: “You can have double the cuddles but the washing pile seems more than double.
“It’s hard splitting my time between the twins and my three-year-old son, too. I feel like I’m always going from one to the other and when one cries, they all do.
“My Home-Start volunteer is a lifeline and I can go to groups with my three-year-old when she comes round.”
Home Start Arun, Worthing and Adur is a charity that works to transform the life chances of children in the community by recruiting, training and support volunteers to work alongside families in their own home, or a group setting where more appropriate.
Some of the volunteers are twins themselves, so they love to support twin families.
Mrs Bridget Richardson, scheme manager, said: “Twins can be such a joy and attract a lot of attention when families are out and about but behind closed doors it is extra challenging for them.
“We want to support more families finding it tough with twins but we need more funds to do so.”
Working to give children the best possible start in life, Home-Start supports parents to grow in confidence, develop and strengthen the relationship with their children.
Multiple births are unplanned, so parents may need more preparation, but volunteers help to reduce the stress that can be caused by the arrival of two babies at once.
They also help to prepare existing children for the change in family dynamics.
Through home-visiting and group work, volunteers respond to each family’s individual needs to help manage the stresses and strains of bringing up a young family when things get tough.
The trained volunteers provide confidential, non-judgemental, practical and emotional support to help build family confidence and introduce coping strategies.
Last year Home-Start volunteers supported 132 families that needed a little extra help through difficulties such as mental health issues, disability and lack of confidence.
To help Home-Start support more families through challenging times, visit mydonate.bt.com/charities/home-startarun