Tamba logo - Twins and Multiple Births Association

Saving lives, supporting families

Campaigning for Families with Multiples

10th December 2018

Helen Peck, Scotland Coordinator

Anyone who knows me will know that I like nothing more than standing up for what I believe is right and fair, so when Jennifer Edmonstone approached me last year to ask if I would support her petition to the Scottish Government for better support for families with multiple births, I jumped at the chance.

My identical twin daughters are now 14 years old so all the struggles she highlighted rung true to me. I can honestly say it took us about six years to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel of financial hardship. Like many other multiple birth parents we hadn’t planned for the joy of two babies, or that I would have to stop working early, due to the nature of my high-risk pregnancy and complications I had - this meant less maternity leave at the other side. I couldn't afford to go back to work for a number of years as childcare was more expensive than my monthly earnings. I had to rethink my entire life and move home to be closer to my parents so I could have their help (I fully appreciate I was very lucky to have them nearby). There was very little out there in the real world by means of financial, practical and emotional support for me.

As I say my girls are 14, and what struck me most was that 14 years down the line things hadn’t changed that much at all. Multiple birth families across the UK still face similar challenges and hardships so it seemed right to support Jennifer and ask the Scottish Government for better support. The petition was first addressed in June and both Jennifer and I were asked to provide huge amounts of evidence to the petitions committee. We were even given an extra ten minutes over the allocated time slot as they were “very struck" by the evidence given.

I am pleased to say that 6 months down the line, this petition is still gaining traction. The politicians are listening and genuinely seem to understand the unique challenges our families face. They understand that multiple births are “not something that is particularly planned for, but can have a huge impact on the finances of the family”. They want to know what the implications are for our families practically and are even asking questions around employment law. It is truly brilliant.

You can watch the latest petitions committee meeting which took place on the 6th of December 2018 here. - Fast forward to 11.06.

Thank you to everyone that has backed this petition so far and please continue to share to help us improve the support available for families. 

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