A playgroup for dads, grandads and male carers has launched in Salford – and is already making a difference.
Who Let The Dads Out runs at Kings Church on the first Saturday of every month and aims to give back to the men of the community while providing a fun and safe place for them to spend time with the children they look after.
The playgroup, set up by Lisa Dickson, is free for all who want to attend, with refreshments, such as bacon sandwiches and ice cream provided for both the children and the adults.
Andrew Daley, who lives in Salford, has attended ‘Who Let The Dads Out’ with his three-year-old son Henry since its opening session. He credits the event for turning his life around.
Andrew said: “When I split up with my partner last February, I lost my identity and ended up in a really dark and lonely place. Coming to the church really helped me and showed me that a lot of the dads are in the same boat as me.”
More than 8 million men in the UK say they feel lonely at least once a week, according to the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness.
He added: “Men don’t usually get the same supportive environment as mums do, especially when going to other play places and groups. We love coming here now for both ‘playing church’ as Henry calls it and Sunday services. Some of us dads even went out for a curry together last night!”
One of Andrew’s family members David visited the event for the first time and praised the impact that it had on his cousins wellbeing.
He said: “I think it is such a good idea to come to groups like this as when you get older it does become more difficult to socialise, especially as a single parent. I’ve seen such a difference in Andrew since he started coming here and its great to see him back to his normal self.”
The event is open for all children of primary school age and every male carer in the community, whether they follow the Christian faith or not. You can find more information about Who Let The Dads Out, which is a national scheme, and Kings Church, on Bolton Road, on Facebook.