Worthing community interest company Dad La Soul celebrates trio of award wins
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The small team of volunteers based in Worthing are celebrating after a run of recent success in the last week, starting with a £10k grant fund from Comic Relief to expand their innovative "Dads0only meetups, an event currently running in Worthing, which will take place every month at incredible venues in Brighton, and Hove.
The meetups are open to dads, step-dads, grandads and all male-identifying carers, with a mixture of entertainment and opportunities to meet new friends and support each other. Branded "a youth club for dads with a difference", the idea was borne out of the group discovering that men tend to witness their social circles shrink after they have children, and there are fewer opportunities for them to open up to their peers.
The Brighton meetup will occur at leading Digital PR agency Propellernet offices in Castle Square and The Hove event is housed at co-working space, Freedom Works at Hove Business Centre on Fonthill Rd, just one minute from Hove train station.
This expansion comes on top of last week's announcement that the group was selected for the daily Points of Light award from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in recognition of its work creating a support network of over 10,000 fathers across the UK and internationally and that founder Dan Flanagan was nominated for the" Purpose Entrepreneur of the Year" at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, the "Grammy's of Entrepreneurship" as they known will be announced at London's Grosvenor Hotel, later this year.
Dad La Soul founder Dan Flanagan said: "We want to create a dads night out that is fun, silly, and enjoyable, but also which goes deeper than just generic "bloke" chat. It is a safe space for dads to come and let off steam, rant if needed, and offer and receive support. We have some fantastic partnerships with organisations, such as Mind West Sussex, to create direct pathways that, traditionally, men don't access due to work commitments or societal constraints that they should "man up."
Starting with the common theme of being a dad, the conversation can go anywhere and often does. That is why we commission a range of stand-up comedians and TedX-level speakers to cover everything from eating disorders, dealing with mental health struggles recognising addiction, and what men need to know about the menopause and beyond. It is a common misconception that men only talk about beer and footie.
The groups are a ready-made friendship group of over 3,000 dads based across the UK, Germany, the US and New Zealand, which is perfect for those dads who don't get around to catching up with their old mates any more.
We know from our research that 73% of dads have felt socially isolated, so events like this target the source of the issue by creating everything from nights out at gigs and stand-up comedy nights to VR headsets, DJ workshops, board games, and sea-swimming sauna sessions to help with mental and physical health issues."
On the funding and recognition, Dan said: "Dad La Soul is incredibly grateful for the continued support of all our funders, especially the fantastic Comic Relief for recognising the work we do getting men together and talking. Their £10,000 will help us support so many dads on the south coast with this much-needed resource, and getting the call from 10 Downing Street was the cherry on the top of the cake. - It is incredible to think that the work of our team of volunteers is being heard in Westminister!”
Dad La Soul, founded in 2017, exists to orchestrate a revolution in the way that the stories and struggles of the six million dads in the UK are seen, heard, and supported, and is now widely recognised as the leading organisation of its kind in the UK, using a unique mixture of arts, tech, music and play to start conversations that matter. It runs regular award-winning playdates in Worthing and Brighton for dads and kids, online dad sessions, and the Dads-Only Meetups.
For dates, times and more information, visit www.dadlasoul.com