King Street Babies and Toddlers celebrate their 21st year

The group's 21st anniversary party, held last month.
The group's 21st anniversary party, held last month.

Last month saw the 21st anniversary celebrations of a Rothesay children and parents group.

The King Street Babies and Toddlers Group was opened in May 1996 by health visitors Isabel Buckridge, and today is run by Rachel Green.

A Buteman picture to illustrate the group's opening in May 1996.

A Buteman picture to illustrate the group's opening in May 1996.

The group meets on Thursday mornings at the Ardbeg Baptist Church on King Street, with babies and toddlers getting a chance to play with other kids and sit down for a healthy snack, while parents can enjoy a tea or coffee.

Grace Strong and Elizabeth Rae are members of the church, and have been helping the group since the first meeting in 1996 by providing food and drinks, and tidying up afterwards.

Grace told the Buteman: “It was started by two mothers who thought it would be good to put together a group for parents to meet up, and I suppose it has just mushroomed from there.

“The reunion party was quite an emotional occasion, but a very happy morning.

“We invited along several of the mothers who had been at the very first meeting, and we had a ‘birthday’ cake and celebrated the 21 years.”

Rachel Green, who took on the running of the group in August 2015, said the reunion was a big success.

She said: “It was fantastic.

“We had about 45 parents and kids on the day, it was difficult to get in the door at all!

“We wouldn’t have been able to keep it going this long without the help of Grace and Liz.”

Nikkita Dadd has been attending the group for four years, and now brings her three young children.

She told the Buteman: “The group did wonders for me.

“After I had my first child I wouldn’t leave the house, I had quite bad agoraphobia.

“I heard about the group through the health visitors and it has been brilliant for me.

“It’s a very open, welcoming group, not cliquey like some groups might be.

“I would certainly recommend it to any new parents, I have made some very good friends through the group.

“Becoming a parent for the first time can be really tough, and groups like this help parents find others in the same situation.”

The group also organises regular trips to Funworld in Inverclyde, thanks to members’ contributions and donations from outwith.

Bute bus driver Paul Tritschler raises money for the group and for Appletree Nursery by dressing up as Santa Claus in December and collecting donations.