Dads Can, the Big Lottery funded project that supports fathers and father figures across Monmouthshire and Newport has made it to the final of the UK Housing Awards 2018 in the category of Outstanding Approach to Equality and Diversity.
Monmouthshire Housing Association who host the Dads Can project are delighted to have been selected as finalists, John Keegan, CEO said, “It’s great to see the Dads Can service being recognized for the remarkable work they do to address the parental inequalities that exist within society today. Many of the dads we work with have no one to turn to which often results in crisis and family breakdown. Other dads just need to someone to talk to. The team do a fantastic job in reducing stigma and barriers attached to males accessing support services.”
Working on evidence documented by the Fatherhood survey, 78% of all UK fathers feel less support is available for fathers than for mothers and 47% feel their role isn’t valued by society, the team work hard to ensure dads have a voice in their children’s lives and to coach other services to engage fathers more effectively.
Additionally the project works with local solicitor Rhys Warren of Rubin Lewis Obrien to provide advice and representation that enables fathers to gain access to their children. Many of the dads who are referred are working in low paid but are trying to turn their lives around. These dads are automatically at a disadvantage as they can’t access legal aid. 30 dads were able to increase or gain access to their children last year through this initiative.
“Without a project like this many fathers are left with nowhere to turn and without the vital support that they desperately need.” Kay Perrott - Everett, Tomlin, Lloyd & Pratt (ETLP) Solicitors told us.
The flagship project also raises awareness of mental health issues experienced by men and actively promote services to help develop support projects that assist men fleeing domestic abuse and help them appropriately address their mental health issues.
“Dads have emotions too. I don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for this service.” David Rees, dad, explained.
“This organisation means so much to me. If it wasn’t for Dads Can I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to in confidence for support morally and emotionally.” Ben Beynon, dad, added.
As a result of the project 120 dads benefitted from support last year with 79% now engaging with other agencies and 94% of dads feeling more confident and positive about their future. Through Dads Can intervention many fathers have formed friendships and now attend community groups; they feel more confident in attending sessions that are traditionally female oriented; and have formed a wider support network within their communities to open up and talk honestly about their situations.
Guy Jones, funding officer at the Big Lottery Fund commented “We are delighted to see the recognition Dads Can is getting. National Lottery players will be proud to have supported a project which is giving much needed support and a voice to Dads in Monmouthshire and Newport. We’ve got our fingers crossed for them to win an award.”
The team of three are preparing for the finals being held in London in March 2018 and are really looking forward to raising awareness around the project on a national scale.
This one’s for you dads!