On the 5th anniversary of the date we recognise as the foundation of Dads Unlimited, our Director of Mentoring and Co-parenting – Adam, takes a look back at how it all started and how far we’ve all come.
5 years ago, Nav, a guy I’d happened to meet at a kid’s birthday bbq, invited me for a coffee in a garden centre. He told me that he thought that his Facebook page that he had set up to help dads could actually “be a thing”.
He asked if I wanted to help him. I sketched out a logo (literally on a napkin) and built a quick website. We worked for free and celebrated when he achieved our first grant from Matthew Scott, the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, to run a support group.
Knowing that Matthew believed in us spurred us on. The dads we met spurred us on. The suffering, the sadness, the suicidal ideation – it all motivated us. There had to be a better way to support parents through family separation. There had to be a way to improve the lives of the children of separated families.
5 years on, we’ve supported over 1377 parents (91% dads, 9% mums, and some grandparents and guardians). We have a charity that employs 15 people. We developed a national early intervention Co-parenting programme. We’ve launched one of the first male-victim domestic abuse services. We run a helpline, peer support groups, a mentoring service, and we even instruct Barristers. Ultimately, we’ve supported a positive outcome for 2519 children.
Nav was right, and I thought that this was a good time to acknowledge that he was right. It is “a thing”, and a pretty incredible thing at that.
Thank you to Matthew Scott and all the team at the Office of the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner; Josephine McCartney, Bruce and everyone at Kent Community Foundation; The Lawson Foundation; Kent County Council; The Tudor Trust; The Henry Smith Charity; Repton Community Trust; Jacky Tiotto, Teresa Williams, and all the FCAs at Cafcass; All the wonderful Barristers at Stour Chambers, 10KBW, and more; Nav, Tristan, Gay, Helen, Zachary, Mandy, Michelle, Millie, Anna R, Anna M, Emily, Georgia, Aga, Sarah and all our mentors past and present; Suzie, Adam, Lindsay, Kate, Kim, Mark, and all our wonderful trustees past and present… You all helped make the thing 💙 Dads Unlimited!