Today saw the return of the Saturday dad's session at the Waterside Sure Start Centre in Chesham.
Late last year, many fathers in the area were saddened to lose their monthly "Dadtastic" get together. The leader of the session, Lee, recently qualified as a teacher and did not have the time to continue with them.
A few weeks back I bumped into David Rogers who mentioned that the sessions were beginning again on January 14th, and they were every week from then on. I have to say, I was a bit surprised that there was a switch to a weekly meeting. This is because Dadtastic wan't really growing, and the attendance was quite sporadic by all except a core few dads (I was a sporadic one).
Today I went to the first session of what has been billed as Dads Stay and Play, and was pleasantly surprised to see 30+ people at the centre. I think this is the most people I have ever seen there! It was fantastic! And all that despite there being very little advertising of Stay and Play outside of the regular weekday activities.
Hopefully this can be built on by the attendees today telling their friends about it, I know a couple of people I will mentioning this to. It is also worth noting that this is not just for Dads. It's for anyone. Dads are targeted as quite often they miss out on the activities due to working during the week. Having said that, in a modern society, it isn't necessarily the dad who misses out; it could be the mum, or even both.
I also hope that Sure Start and Family Lives (who were also there today) will be able to get Bucks CC to mention the session on their activities calendar.
Long may Stay and Play continue!
To find out more about Sure Start centres there is information on the Direct Gov site.
Click the links to find out more about the Sure Start Centres at Waterside and Newtown. This includes their timetables.
See also the Buckinghamshire Family Information Services website.