WHAT IS DAD MATTERS?
Dad Matters Gloucestershire exists to support dads to have the best possible relationship with their families.
We aim to:
- Help dads have positive relationships with their families
- Support dads with their wellbeing and mental health
- Encourage dad’s participation in services that have traditionally been targeted for mums
- Provide peer support for dads
The support is led by a Dad Matters Coordinator and volunteers known as “Dad Champions”. We are part of Dad Matters UK and belong to a large network that is successfully supporting dads within other Home-Start Schemes across Greater Manchester and Warrington.
Dad Matters Gloucestershire will recruit and train other dads to work as our volunteer Dad Champions to help support other dads throughout the county. We will also work closely with other professionals within Gloucestershire and nationally to better support dads in the first 1001 days of their parenting journey.
We provide this through a “Universal Offer” that supports Dads to access the following:
- Antenatal and Postnatal classes/groups for dads
- Outreach services/drop ins at maternity centres and community venues
- Provide 1:1 peer support to dads.
- Signpost and support dads to access services and information to help make sense of being a dad
- Support dads with anxiety, stress and mental health awareness
Lee Houghton is our Dad Matters Coordinator for Gloucestershire. As this is a new, developing service within the county, we are in the early stages of the roll out.
Please note that due to the impact of Covid-19 and national lockdown restrictions, the services currently on offer are virtual, and as restrictions ease we will be developing our offer to see more dads face to face.
SUPPORT CURRENTLY OFFERED
Perinatal Mental Health: Dad Chats
Dad Matters offers Dad Chats that are specifically designed to allow dads to talk about all aspects of their experience, mental health awareness, how to support their partner, awareness of conditions such as post-natal depression/post-partum psychosis etc. The sessions are led by Kieran Anders (Dad Matters UK Operations Manager) and Lee Houghton (Dad Matters Coordinator Gloucestershire) and we have peer support volunteers with lived experience of perinatal ill health that support us. The sessions are virtual and use a group format via Zoom.
The aim is to provide dads with a forum to share their experiences, have those experiences validated and receive guidance and support on how to navigate this crucial period of their life, as well as signposting to organisations and services that can best support them. The sessions are approx. 90 minutes long.
These sessions are designed to support dads who are supporting partners engaged in local Perinatal Mental Health Teams, or who are seeking support for themselves. it is not a public group, and access is through invitation only. Perinatal Teams can distribute the details as invitations, but all other services should speak to us directly with any queries. The perinatal mental health sessions for dads in Gloucestershire and can be booked onto by contacting the Gloucestershire Coordinator (Lee) directly.
In addition, Lee Houghton will be hosting an additional sessions to look at general wellbeing in the perinatal period, with a focus on attachement and bonding, mental health and access to services. This session can be booked via Dad Matters Gloucestershire and will be facilitated via Zoom.
The project accepts referrals for one to one support of dads. This will be virtual and will take the form of an initial telephone discussion to collect information on the current situation of the dad and then to assess the support that can be offered. This can be via on-going telephone contact for a specific period of time and may also include advice on coping strategies, how to access IAPT services in Gloucestershire, as well as signposting to additional organisations and services, some of which may be local, whilst others are national.
Dad Matters Antenatal sessions can be booked onto directly here:
Dad Matters Antenatal Sessions
The sessions are approx. 90 minutes, accessed via Zoom and free to all participants.
They run on the first and third Tuesdays at 7pm, and on the third Saturday at 11am.
In addition, we will be running a Dad Matters Gloucestershire group specifically for Gloucestershire dads. Contact us to find out more
Self-Referrals or enquiries can be made via telephone on 01453- 821340 or emailed to: email@example.com
You can also contact Lee Houghton our Dad Matters Coordinator directly on his mobile number 07515678454
Professionals can find our flyers, resources and referral forms here: dadmatters.org.uk/gloucestershire/dmg-referral-pack/