A PLAYGROUP aimed at French speaking families has discovered a thriving French community in St Albans.

Les P'tizamis - small friends' - based in Dagnall Street Baptist Church in Upper Dagnall Street, has just celebrated its first anniversary.

The last 12 months have seen around 100 families sign up to weekly playgroup with around 20 children a week dropped off to play.

Around half of the parents are native French while others simply speak the language.

The group was started by a group of French mums eager for their children to interact with the French culture on a more regular basis.

Founder member Zohra Benaissa, from Jersey Farm, who has two children, said: "What is really surprising is just how large the French community is here in St Albans and how many non-native French speakers there are too.

"We put everything we have into making this playgroup as welcoming and interesting as possible for both the children and the mothers too."

Parents are also given the chance to meet new people and refresh their mother tongue while children enjoy crafts, french nursery rymes and story-telling.

The playgroup for up to five year-olds meets every Friday from 9.45am to 11.15am. For more information click the link below.