New Dads Club Aims to Get Men More Involved in Parenting
|Published: 20th March 2017 13:17|
Matt Foster has set up DadzclubA Portsmouth dad is on a mission to raise the standard of fatherhood in the city.
Matt Foster has set up Dadzclub and says it's a way for dads to network and support each other.
Matt told AboutMyArea, "Dadzclub is a response to the current trend within society for fathers to be playing a much more engaged role when it comes to raising a family.
"As a dad, I wanted to be much more involved with my children and I wanted a service to be out there that puts the message out that dads are not just glorified babysitters. It's not babysitting, it's parenting. I wanted to be able to make sure that the children and families in our city had a service that is something for the dads and not just focused on mums - we do celebrate mums too - we have a whole holistic approach to the family unit but we just wanted something there for the dads as well.
"When I became a dad, it hit me really hard and all of a sudden, the amount of responsibility was something that became everything to me and was the most important thing to me. Before doing this. I worked on services in the city where I've been supporting people who, it's fair to say, were the result of parenting gone wrong."
Every Saturday, Matt can be found running his Lego Club in Milton Village Hall to which all the family are welcome.
An active member of the Portsmouth Parent and Carers Board representing views and opinions of local fathers and their families, Matt said, "One of the reasons we initially set up family friendly activities like Lego Club is that by doing that, we are then able to bring in the dads as well with the families. A lot of dads are a bit shy but if we get them in as as family unit, it gives us a chance to engage with them. We can then build up that relationship and encourage them to attend some of our more 'dads only' events."
A whole range of activities are on their way Matts says, including chocolate making workshops, picnics, sports days and even a day when dads can learn how to do their children's hair. The organisation will also offer bespoke parenting workshops and will celebrate dads with an awards evening for the most inspiring.
"This isnt about taking anything away from mums but at the heart of Dadzclub is the wellbeing of children and making sure that dads have a part to play in it."
Matt added, "I want this to be a supportive network so that dads can get support from other dads. By doing that we will raise the standard of fatherhood within our city. I want Portsmouth to be leading in that. I want us to build a generation of children who aren't spending their adulthood getting over their childhood."
Any dads who would like to get involved can get in touch with Matt through his Facebook page or on Twitter at @pompeydadzclub.