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Single dads and their children invited to relaunch of Daddy Cool Breakfast Club in Deal

A play group for single dads and their children is relaunching in Deal thanks to people who shop locally.

The Daddy Cool Breakfast Club which offers fathers a chance to make friends and seek advice - all without judgement - has been set up by Luke Shaw from Dads House-Kent.

The single father says it's been an ambition to re-start it as he understands the difficulties men face when attending parent groups.

Luke Shaw from Dads House Kent is relaunching a breakfast club for dads and their children
Luke Shaw from Dads House Kent is relaunching a breakfast club for dads and their children

For four years since the club was withdrawn by Sure Start due to government cutbacks there's hasn't been a service like it.

It's now thanks to the town's Co-op stores, which are donating 1% of their annual sales back into the community, that he has been able to secure funding.

The free weekly service will run from 10am until noon every Sunday, starting on January 27, at Betteshanger Welfare Club in Cavell Square.

Mr Shaw said: "When I moved to Kent as a single father about eight years ago, I struggled to adapt into that life.

"I started doing to a few play groups but they were dominated by mothers.

"It was quite intimidating going into a play group where you're the only man and then all the questions started coming, 'Why have you got the kids?'.

"I felt I was constantly being judged. I didn't like the way the set up was."

His experiences led him to become involved with Dads House, a registered charity which works to reconnect children with their fathers, and he is now the area manager for the Kent branch.

Since 2013, he's helped provide support to more than 600 fathers, many of which are battling to gain regular access to their children.

He also runs a buddy service where he will meet a dad over a coffee, listen and give advice and in recent months has been assisting fathers through the process of mediation, helping to establish a staple plan for contact without involving the courts.

The breakfast club is not exclusive to single dads but all fathers or father figures in need of support.

Bacon rolls, cereals and toast plus tea, coffee and soft drinks are included and there is also arts, crafts and toys for children.

Mr Shaw said: "It's just a place for dads and their children to come where it is just dads.

"They've all got something in common and they're all be at different stages of that path so they can share their experience and see that there is support out there. They build up friendships.

"It's important to note that we're not anti-mums, or anti-women, we're pro families."

Unsold stock from Poundland in Deal has been donated to Dads House-Kent
Unsold stock from Poundland in Deal has been donated to Dads House-Kent

Dads House-Kent has recently received support from Poundland in Deal, who donated boxes of unsold stock to help raise funds.

Tesco in Mill Hill and The Co-op in Mill Road is also donating unsellable stock to help families on a weekly basis.

Last year, a Tesco Bags of Help token scheme enabled fathers and their children known to the charity to undertake first aid courses and learn how to use a defibrillator.

Find out more at Dads House-Kent on Facebook or email luke.shaw@dadshouse.org.uk.

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