Our new project: Ask Dad

 

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Hello! I am Mark, the new(ish) Ask Dad Project Officer and this is my first ever blog for Fast Forward.

Having previously enjoyed 13 years as a Youth Worker at the Pilton Youth and Children’s Project, I was delighted to take on a new challenge and join the team at Fast Forward at the beginning of May to work on the development of a brand new project called Ask Dad. The post attracted me because I feel that it draws on my experience as a parent as well as that of a youth worker and it provides a service that doesn’t seem to exist elsewhere in Scotland.

The Ask Dad Project seeks to deliver an innovative health education, training and upskilling programme to Scottish Dads nationwide, in partnership with Fathers Network Scotland. The programme will engage with father’s groups to provide customised workshops and information sharing sessions addressing risk-taking and health and wellbeing. This in turn will allow Scottish Dads to respond better to their children’s health queries.

I have found that the experience and training I have received as a youth worker have given me confidence when talking to my daughters about topics I would have otherwise found difficult or embarrassing. I hope that in the Ask Dad Project Officer role, my experience combined with the resources of Fast Forward and the contacts and support of Fathers Network Scotland that I can empower dads to confidently engage with their children in conversations that will benefit the health and wellbeing of all the family.

Ask Dad officially launches

The development of the project reached its first milestone on the 28th of June when Fast Forward held an event to officially mark the launch of Ask Dad at the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The event was a huge success in terms of how widely interest came from across Scotland, how well attended it was by professionals from many sectors and regions and the information it helped gather about what Scottish dads need from me as Ask Dad Project Officer. Thanks to all who attended and contributed on the day.

Special thanks must go to my two excellent guest speakers: Dr Gary Clapton, Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Edinburgh and a founder member of Fathers Network Scotland, and Ryan Warren, Family Support Co-ordinator, Home Start Glasgow South and DadsApp founder. Both speakers did a fantastic job of informing, entertaining and inspiring the audience with their insight and passion for promoting the role of fathers in Scotland.

If you have a group of dads that you think might be interested in receiving an Ask Dad workshop or if you have any advice or questions for me, I’d be delighted to hear from you mark@fastforward.org.uk

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