Who Let the Dads Out

The organiser of a soft play group in Salford that offers a chance for men to meet says he is overwhelmed with the response to the first group back following Covid restrictions, after 60 dads and their kids turned up.

Who Let the Dads Out first arrived in Salford in 2018 and brings male carers, dads and grandads together. The group is based at King’s Church and offers a free breakfast and play for 0-11 year olds and guardians, along with a play session too.

Organiser Dan Eden says the monthly event offers a unique opportunity to families in Salford.

He said: “What I loved about it last time it was running, there were three guys that went to school together, but they’ve all got kids now so don’t really get the chance to see each other anymore, and they used to use this as an opportunity to all meet for a morning, give the wives a break and catch up with their pals.

“We run it as a way of bringing the community together under one roof. We feel like we’re filling a gap, there’s nothing really like it for guys.”

Dan took over the role of organising the event from another lady at King’s Church’s Salford Campus and explained: “The idea was to get a team of guys running it eventually so that it was a completely male environment.”



After being shut for two years, the group were eager to restart.

“We were a bit worried, starting it up again after two years,” says Dan. “Some of the dads’ kids would have moved on age group wise, so we’d have to reach out to a different set of people but from putting the advert up two weeks ago, it’s gone pretty wild and I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be kicking it off with a bang.”

The aim of the group is to provide a safe space for men and their children encouraging them both to form friendships and take some time out. “People like the idea of it, they just wonder what the atmosphere will be like and guys are probably the ones not to necessarily step out of their comfort zones I suppose.”

“Once people have been they’re pretty much guaranteed to come back because the atmosphere’s great, they’re getting free food, the kids love it, what more could you want.”

Previously, the event has proven a success with as many as 40 men in attendance. But on Saturday February 5, more than 60 dads came along, a record high for the community hub.

 The group meet once a month and every session varies slightly from the last. “Every month I like to try and mix it up a bit, but we have the usual bouncy castle, some of the bigger toys out like the badminton nets, and at the next one (March’s meet)  we’ve got a local karate group, Red Tiger Karate coming down.”

As well as providing a way for adults and children to gain confidence and make new friends, small businesses can also promote their services, whilst providing a fun activity for the children. Dan added that “We’re just going to give them free space, they can promote their business, but also give us a free session for all the kids too.”

Dan is also hoping to get a few special guests involved as time goes on. “Hopefully after that we might invite someone from the fire service to come down.”

Who Let The Dads Out runs from 10am-12pm once a month.

The next event is running on the 5th of March 2022.

For more information and to find out how to get involved visit their Facebook page

King’s Church Salford

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