The most significant support we are able to offer struggling families is often focused around the mother – but we are finding that there are lots of dads needing support too.
One of the Dads we support has been caring for his wife and 2 little girls for the past year. It’s been a tough time for everyone as his wife has been in hospital for 6 months, critically ill with kidney failure. Thankfully she’s now in the process of getting home for spells of rehabilitation – but the process will be drawn out over the next few months.
Throughout the crisis we’ve managed to offer Dad lots of practical support, and he’s also been into the storeroom we keep at our office, to collect toys and equipment for the children. However, we began to notice a pattern in the support being given to the family – it was all provided by women, which included not only Safe Families volunteers but also the family social workers and other agencies involved.
So, last week we arranged for one of our male volunteers to drop off a tumble-dryer at the family home, to replace the old broken-down machine. As our volunteer chatted with dad he quickly discovered that they were both ex-military. Common stories and bonds like that are important in building friendships and so we were excited about the new possibilities this might present.
By way of follow-up we texted dad to ask if he would appreciate some ongoing ‘ bloke support’ from the volunteer who had delivered the tumble-dryer. His reply was ‘Yea, that be great, he’s a canny bloke!’
We must never underestimate the power of friendship to transform a situation and bring new hope into tired and troubled lives. There are lots more struggling dads out there waiting for another guy on their level to get alongside them. If you think you could be a ‘Family Friend’ to a dad like that please do drop us a line to email@example.com