On the 12th November we were fortunate to host an ESRC Festival of Social Science at Leeds Beckett University. The Festival of social science is an annual occurrence in which events celebrating, showcasing and engaging people in social science happen around the UK.
For our event we ran a ‘holiday themed’ family fun day to showcase research into men, masculinities and fatherhood. Whilst having a ‘summer holiday’ in November on face value may seem an unusual choice, the reason for the theme came from research and focus groups with dads. In my recent research about Supporting Young Dads, one of the things young men said they would like was opportunities to have holidays away with other dads. Similarly, the Leeds Dads group found that their members also wanted trips away and holidays. So to highlight that, we embraced the holiday theme in our festival event.
For our event we organised a range of family games, including giant bowling (a big hit with children and adults alike!), indoor crazy golf, table football, as well as arts and crafts for children to make portraits of their parents. We also had a postcard to a parent activity, where parents could give advice to other parents, and our ‘sister event’ at Sunderland University Mums the word also gave out postcards to their attendees with the intention that we will swap them after the events!
Leeds Libraries came with their amazing Lego Club and books, and building was soon in action!
It was wonderful to see so many families engaging in social science, reading our posters, taking part in the activities, and engaging in conversations about fatherhood and families. All in all a fun day was had by all. As a researcher being able to welcome the community into the university is among the most enjoyable things we do, so thanks to the ESRC for making that happen this year!
To see more from our event and other events search for the hashtag #Esrcfestival on twitter.