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Why I set up a Dads network for Preston and Lancashire

Posted on - 27th October, 2018 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Kid's stuff, Opinion, People, Preston News, What's On in Preston
Graham Sims and his daughter Chloe
Graham Sims and his daughter Chloe

We are a peer to peer support group that covers the whole of Lancashire. And we have helped with issues ranging from suicide, post-natal depression, and social anxiety just to name a few.

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The group has been going for little over a year now and has gained over 600 members in that time.

When I first became a dad I felt a little lost and looked for help and I came across Dadsnet which at the time was the Dad Network, I received great support and help from dads all over the world who had been through the same things. So after a while I wanted to give something back so I became an ambassador to help spread the word of who we are and what we do as a group. Since then I created, with the help from the owner of Lancashire the Dadsnet local community. The reason I created this local group was to give help and support to all dad’s across the Lancashire area.

Our community is a closed group where only dads are allowed to join, this does include step dads, adopting fathers, male carers, and any other father figures.

I am very proud of my Group as seeing the way a group of dads who have never met each other come together and support each other is amazing.

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In conversations I have had with some of the partners of the dads in this group and they have all said that after joining they have noticed an improvement in their partners in all different ways confidence, social aspects and even mental health has improved.

We have all different events going on In our group such as Monday Cheer up Monday posting pictures from the weekend that made you smile, Throwaway Tuesday where dads can offer items for free like clothes and baby items. Kick about on Wednesday where dads get together and play football, Thursday is couch reviews, where we review the selected film for that week. And Friday is I’ve got that Friday feeling where dads can vent and get things off their chest. And that’s just what we as moderators of the group put on people post their own things in between.

As a group we have meetups where we go out and do things, in the past there has been dads night out, Go Karting, Various Play centres, and don’t forget the mums yes we include mums in some off our get togethers, Parents Evenings, and play time at Tiny Teacups.

The mums were allowed along to this meetup at Tiny Teacups
The mums were allowed along to this meetup at Tiny Teacups

It’s an amazing group to be part of and a real great bunch of dads.

Whilst the Facebook group is a massive part of what this is all about there is a bigger picture and I have been recently working with the NHS Maternity Services in Preston, Maternity Voices Partnership and Better Births Lancashire to help give dads a voice and provide dad feedback on Maternity Services if we can work together and help dads become more educated in the thoughts, feelings and the maternity process then hopefully this can help with mother go through the birthing process with less stress.

We are also in talks with Blackpool Football Club community trust and in early talks to work together to do something in the near future.

We are always looking for new dads to come and join the group as you can never get too much advice or experience to pass on to others to help them through the journey hood of being a father.

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