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New parenting group for same-sex families: Nether Edge play centre wants to help LGBT parents meet each other

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Cafe supervisor Katy hopes the cafe will introduce families to others in the same boat.

A Nether Edge play centre has launched Sheffield's first parenting group for same-sex families.

Rattle & Roll Playspace on Vincent Road decided to start the group in November, with the hope of introducing same-sex couples and their children to each other and giving them a place to chat.

"The main goal is to make it normal - to get children of same-sex couples meeting others like them," cafe supervisor Katy Middleton-Groom told Now Then. "It's good for them to see that there's a lot more than just them that don't have a mum and a dad."

Katy, who is in a same-sex marriage, brings her own daughter to the cafe regularly. She hopes the group will give other children of LGBT couples the same chances her daughter had.

"My little girl is very lucky, we've got loads of friends with kids that are in a lesbian relationship," she said. "But one of the ladies that came here said her little girl had never met another child with two mums."

The stigma needs to be removed

Rattle & Roll decided to start the group after discovering that nowhere in Sheffield offered LGBT families the chance to meet face-to-face.

The group intends to be a relaxed session, where parents can chat over lunch while their children play with a multitude of brightly coloured toys. Although they didn't receive quite the turnout they had hoped for at the first session, the play centre's staff are positive about the future.

The cafe remains open to all other families while the group is running. Katy hopes this will give children from heterosexual couples the same chance to engage with different family structures.

"The stigma needs to be removed," she said. "It's okay to have two mums or two dads, or one mum or one dad. We need to teach the young people that are going to be the future that it's alright, it's normal."

Jasmine Norden

The group runs every Friday from 10 until midday and all children five and under are welcome. Entry is £4.

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