This is the second of our summer issue of Connected At A Glance where the spotlight is now turned towards Alison Todd and her work with the Mother and Toddlers Group that meet in our church halls every week.
Read on to get an insight into one of Alison’s many rolls in our church family, as she replies to some questions I put to her:
Q: Alison, can you briefly some up the Mothers and Toddlers group that meets here at our church in Mossley?
Being a mother can be a lonely and isolated role where there is little time or opportunity to meet with other adults. It was partly with this in mind that we started a mothers and toddlers group in the Church.
We meet every Wednesday morning at 10:00am except for those Wednesday’s that correspond with school holidays. Mums, Dads, Grannies and Childminders are all welcome to drop in for a cup of coffee and a chat while the children can have fun with the toys and various activities.
We have around 16 – 20 adults and 20 – 28 children. It is our aim to provide a welcoming environment where local people can meet others from the community as well as members and friends of the Church. There are a variety of toys to play with and a little sing song is included in the programme.
Anyone interested would be most welcome and we look forward to seeing new faces throughout the year.
Q: How long has the group been running?
The group has been running for over 30 years. I began going to the group as a young mum myself and that was 27 years ago. There were two ladies who took the group before me.
Q: How did you get to take over the Toddler Group?
I guess it started with me attending the group as a young mum with my children. Through watching and participating in the routine and structure of the group over the years that when the lady before me couldn’t do it anymore she asked if i would take over rather than it close…and here we are approx. 25 years later!!!!
Q: Do you have any idea of the number of infants that have went through the group?
It’s difficult to say but i reckon we must be near 60-80 children over the years.
Q: Have you seen or experienced any lasting relationships?
Yes most definitely! I myself through the group all those years ago made great friends and I’m very glad to say that these ladies have become my closest friends today. Actually one of these ladies, Christine also runs Toddlers with me. Also i have seen many friendships grow through our mums and children and they go on to socialise outside of the group and for many years ahead.
Q: Does Toddlers give opportunities to share?
Yes! We all listen to each other and give advice were we can. For those that are new to the area, its a great place to gain local knowledge of other groups, schools, libraries, leisure centres, doctors etc.
Q: How does it feel greeting new faces and saying goodbye to the old?
We love to see new faces coming to the group, its what we are there for. It encourages us and reminds us that there is a need for the group. Saying goodbye has mixed emotions, as yes we are sad that the child is leaving but yet we know that they are now ready for the next step in their life, and we hope that somehow we have made that move a little easier for them by gently building their social skills and confidence. However it is wonderful when we get a wee visit from a passed child…this happens allot!
Q: What keeps you going week in week out, opening up a cold church on wet winter mornings?
That’s very easy to answer. Seeing the children toddle in, unzipping coats ready for action and the mums’ appreciation of somewhere to go to get a break from the house.
Q: What are the benefits of a Toddler Group?
Adults get a bit of me time, they get to share experiences and a good laugh! The children get to learn structure, routine, sharing, freedom to let off steam all in the security of their mum/guardian. Friendships are developed and you get a lovely cuppa!!!
Q: What would you like to say to anyone thinking of coming along?
Please come! I know how hard it can be to step out on your own, i was that person 27years ago. I can assure you that you will be met with kindness and you will be made very welcome. We have had quite a few new members towards the end of the summer and they said they would be definitely back in September. Everyone is very welcome we have mums, dads, grannies, aunties, childminders and we had one granddad! Please come along and just give it a go, we would love to meet you.
I think it is safe to say that we are very proud of the work Alison and her team do for our community in this way. I am sure they would all really appreciate our continued prayers. If you would like any further details or like to get involved please get in touch with us.