Providing support and services to dads/male carers who are involved in the care of
Mayfield's Dads group has had yet another successful year with 7 attending on a regular
basis. Gillian Hunter, Centre Co-ordinator offered a varied programme of activities
which included stained glass painting, picture frames, cooking/baking (spaghetti,
bolognese, soups, mince) to name but a few. This resulted in the school commenting
that "We would have to share it with them as the smell was going through all the
Ali Birrell helped the men make presents for their partner consisting of jewellery
and even made the wrapping paper. Karen Hooton held relaxation classes and Kevin
Robertson Psychotherapist held an Anger Management course. We had day trips to Vogrie
country park, Deep Sea World, Eastlinks Farm and Butterfly World the children and
dad's had a great time.
The dads went to Mega Bowl as their Christmas day out.
During the course of the year our Parenting Skills Co-ordinator Jennie Jacobs helped
2 dad's join the Mayfield group from the Penicuik and Loanhead area. She brought
these parents/children along to the weekly sessions and on a few of our outings.
As a result of demand by dads, we decided to start up another group in the Penicuik
area. This has had a very successful start with 9 dads registering an interest in
joining and 6 fathers have been attending regularly. Kevin Robertson, a psychotherapist
has facilitated the start of this group. He has also started a therapeutic programme,
"Realising your dreams and releasing your potential". In this course, clients start
to think about and share what they want to do with their lives in the future. The
aim is to support the men to move toward taking positive action in their lives and
in the process, highlight or identify the areas in which they feel that they need
more support to make the necessary changes, or to take the requisite action, whether
it may be:
A training course
Renegotiation with a significant other of priorities and boundaries between them
Learning to deal more effectively with anger issues and the more effective management
of emotions, in a general sense
Being supported to trust their feelings and intuition in choosing their next steps.
Choosing a new career direction
The men have been planning the future direction of the group. This will include looking
at ways in which to attract more men, the continuation of the realising your dreams
and releasing your potential course, relaxation sessions, MALANI story sacks and
an exchange visit with Ruchazie centre in Glasgow.
All group members are asked to complete evaluation forms to comment on how they experienced
this service. To date all comments have been very positive with the following comments
"If it was'nae for this group and you Kev, I'd be deid" [Service user in Mayfield]
"For the first time in ages I feel great, am away tonight down... today was great."
[Service user in Mayfield]
"This group is fantastic, it's exactly what I've needed for a couple of years" [Service
user in Penicuik]
“It's good to be with other men, led by a man talking about what matters to us" [Service
user in Mayfield]
Midlothian Sure Start is working in partnership with NHS Lothian to provide antenatal
education and support for expectant fathers.
The course will supplement existing antenatal classes providing additional support
for dads as an inequality group and strengthening universal services.
It will provide dads with a safe and open, non-threatening environment in which to
explore topics and questions that they may have relating to pregnancy, labor and
It will provide dads with information on preparing for birth as well as practical
sessions on baby care.
Each course will be lead by Sure Start Dads Co-ordinator and will have input from
To increase mens confidence to support their partners during labour
To prepare and provide dads with knowledge and skills needed to care for, handle
and to meet the basic needs of their newborns
To improve a fathers and child's ,mental health and well being
To reduce stress and anxieties in caring for newborn babies
To increase a fathers confidence and ability to take care of and nurture their babies
To make links with other agencies and services to provide ongoing support after birth
To provide links for Dads2B to access sure start programmes to support them in their
For more information please download the leaflet below or contact Tim Porteus on
0131 660 9932