Grateful mums and their children paid a visit to a library worker last week to thank her for the key role she played in helping the group to forge their friendship.

Claire Baillie, who first joined West Dunbartonshire Libraries 38 years ago, has been a Bookbug session leader for the past 12 years.

The friends first started attending her sessions at Alexandria Library five years ago until their children were around three years old.

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And thanks to Claire’s enthusiasm, the mums and their children have been firm friends ever since, enjoying everything from playdates to birthday parties together.

Last week with many of the youngsters heading off to primary school for the first time, they decided to go back to see Claire in their new school uniforms.

Donna Sewell, who is mum to new St Kessog’s pupil Freya, said: “The sessions were invaluable for me because I’m originally from Coatbridge and didn’t know any mums in the area.

“Claire would go around all the kids and learn their names and got everyone involved, which was important because she got us talking and allowed everyone to get to know each other.

“I couldn’t fault her in any way, from the way she would tell the stories to how she treated the mums. It was a great experience.”

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Claire Morrison, whose daughter Anna has just started P1 at Christie Park, added: “Claire was great with the kids and used to give them wee parties and bring them ice lollies.

“It was a basis for us to make friends, which was important for me as a first-time mum. I imagine we’ll always know each other and the kids are really comfortable in each other’s company.”

Claire, who lives locally, has loved delivering the sessions, which involve songs and rhymes, as well as sharing stories.

She told the Reporter: “I could see from the very first Bookbug session these lovely Mums and babies attended, that they all got on well, but I don’t think I could have envisaged that their friendship would have continued and grown as much as it has.”