With Father’s Day come and gone for another year last Sunday, there’s a local project making a difference to local dads all year round.
Midlothian Sure Start’s ‘Dynamic Dads’ project provides parenting support to local fathers who have complex family issues. Over three years 350 dads will benefit from the antenatal programme, baby massage classes, play sessions, support sessions, parenting interventions, parenting courses and respite.
Rory Skene (34), who was granted care of his two-year-old son last September, didn’t believe he needed any help. However, since finding the charity online when he moved to Mayfield he has noticed a huge difference in his life. He said: “They have done quite a lot since I have been involved with them. As soon as I got in touch they were very helpful.
“We meet every Thursday in the dads’ group, there are seven or eight of us. We chat about anything to do with your child’s needs .
“They are looking to put on different courses, like on how to talk to your teenage kids. It gives you the chance to feel supported and not on your own. They also have a group on a Saturday where you bring the kids along.
“My son goes to the twos group, that’s like nursery for him, it’s a new scheme by Sure Start every weekday morning. It’s a huge help, it gives me time to get things sorted out and it’s good for him he has come on so quickly there. He is always excited to go.
“They have been brilliant, I can’t thank them enough. It’s important to us. They are always on hand if you want to phone and talk about things.
“I think they have given me more confidence, when I first joined the Thursday group I didn’t know what to expect but I just gave it a go.
“Everyone was just having a general chat about things and I was made to feel very comfortable. You get to talk about the difficulties of being a dad, it gets it off your chest. And you also learn so much from the other dads.”