In this new interviews series, people working with dads will share more about the work they do and their experiences of working with dads.
To kick the series off, Thomas Lynch, the National Development Manager at Dads Rock shares his thoughts on working with dads…
Esmée: How did you first get involved with working with dads?
Thomas: When I became a dad I looked around for other dads to talk to, I was looking for a wee bit of advice and dads to bounce some thoughts off and couldn’t find anything. I’d been to some groups, and most were welcoming, but I wondered where all the dads where, so myself and a friend decided to start something ourselves
E: Can you tell us a bit more about the dads group you run- what kind of things do you do with dads?
T: Dads Rock now runs weekday and weekend playgroups in north and south Edinburgh. The playgroups are open to kids aged 0-5 yrs, and for all dads/granddads/male carers. We play, have a healthy snack, read stories and sing some songs. We also offer free counselling to dads and mums, we’re working on plans to work with young dads and soon will take our playgroup into the prison setting.
E: What are the challenges and rewards of working with dads?
T:The challenges I see are in people in the third sector and health sector especially understanding they need to change and actually doing so. There is a great willingness and desire, now is the time to see that turn into reality.
The rewards are seeing the relationships between dads and their children blossom and the dads resilience and confidence grow. There is now a sense of community within dads rock, which is truly humbling.
E: If you could have one wish granted that would improve things for dads, what would it be?
T: To have a ‘manternity’ service! I just made that up apologies. I believe we need a separate service as our current one does not meet the needs of fathers, we need to start from scratch and ask them what support they want.
E: What’s been the proudest movement/best achievement so far in your work with dads?
T: Ah that’s a tough question, there have been so many. One that recently struck me was when I saw the friendship that had developed between a couple of dads, two dads who would possibly have never met had it not been for dads rock.
Thanks Thomas for taking part in the interview! Dads Rock do some amazing work with Dads in Scotland, and can be found at: Dads Rock and they are definitely worth a follow on twitter: @DadsRockEdin