St Bon’s Baby and Toddler Group is held at St Bonaventure’s Church, Egerton Road, Bishopston. It runs on a drop-in basis on Wednesdays in term-time from 1.30 – 3.00 pm. I decided to venture there alone rather than with a friend, not always an easy thing as I find venturing into new groups on my own a little scary!
The playgroup is held in the church hall and it took a few minutes to locate the actual room as it was not signposted. Obviously this would not be a problem for regular visitors to the group but to a newcomer it was slightly confusing.
When I located the building the group was held, I found there was a big flight of stairs which was slightly difficult with two young children. I don’t mean these points to be criticisms of the group itself, I am merely talking about the practicalities in accessing the group.
However, on entering the room, I was immediately greeted warmly by one of the volunteers, who put me at ease and explained how St Bon’s Baby and Toddler Group works. The cost was £1.20 (£1 per child and an extra 20p for subsequent children: by far the cheapest group we have gone to!).
The room itself was large, light, modern and clean looking, certainly not the old, dark, slightly musty church hall I had envisaged; it is an ideal space for youngsters to play and crawl around in. The room was organised into various sections, for example, an area for babies with lots of appropriate toys and an area with toy cars and a garage (my son found this bit immediately and stayed there for most of the session).
My daughter was able to crawl about safely (nice smooth, modern floor) and she loved crawling through the little toddler tunnel provided. Teas and coffees were provided for parents and drinks and biscuits for the children, all included in the entry price.
Some baby and toddler groups can be a bit cliquey, however, not so with St Bon’s: I was approached twice by two different mums and another of the volunteers came and sat with me.
All in all, St Bon’s Baby and Toddler Group had a really friendly atmosphere. I visited this playgroup mainly with the purpose of writing about it in this blog and as a one off. However, it was actually such a nice play group that I plan to return there in future weeks 🙂
I must say your comments about st bons surprised me as I tried it many years ago and again 2 to 3 years ago and found them to be very clicky and unfriendly. Luckily I accompanied my daughter ,with her baby, but even so she left feeling very hurt and I was really annoyed. Never again.
I have been to St Bons last year with my son and my cousin and her 2 girls and we both found it very unfriendly as well. Some of the mothers would watch their children take/snatch toys from my son and not even care or tell them it was wrong. They obviously dont have standards and seem to think this is acceptable. Children wont learn its wrong if you dont tell them. Im not asking them to shout/smack their kids just showing them how to be kind would be nice. The only person that spoke to me was the lady that runs it. I would never go back their again and I certainly wouldn't recommend it.
This is just what my daughter and I experienced when we went. It was a carbon copy of what happened when I went with my first grandson 18 years ago. I have lived in Bishopston all my life and find the people really friendly and down to earth, but the select few at this group seem to think they are a cut above. Wake up ladies, all babies and toddlers are the same and should be treated as such, new Mums should be welcomed into the group .