Tips for inclusive family groups and buggy walks

New Tips guide for family groups

Read and download our new resource: Tips for inclusive family groups and buggy walks.

This blog shares why we think informal social connections and support among families is powerful – and ideas for shaping inclusive groups.

Family connections and supportive peer groups

As the pandemic restrictions ease, many of us want to get out and meet new people. Friendships and social connections can be some of the most affirming and supportive things in our lives. Especially when we’re going through specific things – like the joys and challenges of having a family – having people to share our experiences with makes a huge difference.

Whether we call it friendship, community, social connection, peer-support or something else, as humans we seek out spaces together to talk, empathise and lean on one another. With more ways to meet up outdoors and indoors now, lots of families are joining or starting informal, friendly groups. Whether you want to meet up for walks with other parents with babies and toddlers, find breast-feeding support, or have picnics with local families – there’s probably a group which wants to welcome you!

Informal family support, friendship and walking groups: barriers to taking part

Not everyone feels comfy just joining a new group of people. Some people want to take part, but feel a bit anxious. It’s helpful to think about how you can welcome new members.

The Queer Families peer group explained that some LGBTQ families worry they won’t be accepted in family groups. There might also be language barriers, or barriers which make it harder for Disabled people and their families to take part.

Simple ways to build an inclusive space

There are lots of simple things groups can do. From saying a warm hello and introducing yourself, to finding addressing barriers, inclusion is something we can all work at.

Whether you run a family group, or take part in one, we hope our new Tips for inclusive family groups and buggy walks guide gives you some ideas!

The power of sharing good information

The guide also shares some resources you might want to talk about in your group. From honest chats about perinatal mental health, to workplace rights – family groups can empower people by opening up different conversations.

Local resources, groups and activities can be hard to find if you don’t know about them. Being a parent can be isolating, so telling each other about other opportunities for social connection is important. Share what you know, and ask people in your group what supports they have found helpful. You could even write up a list of local family-friendly resources for new members!

Buggy walks

Buggy walks, baby walks or toddler walks are about getting together with other families for a relaxed local walk. We recently shared some tips for starting a buggy walk, and Paths for All have a great buggy walks resource page.

We hope you find this useful, and find pandemic-safe and inclusive ways to connect with other families!