A CLIPSTONE dad says an activity group for fathers and young children has helped bring his family closer together.
Ray Pinnock (33) attends the Clipstone based sessions of the Sherwood East Dads’ Group, which also operates in Bilsthorpe and Edwinstowe.
Ray said as a courier, he was often away from his family on long shifts and the Saturday sessions gave him a chance to spend some quality time with daughters Charlotte (three) and one-year-old Emily.
“I got involved around two and a half years ago after hearing about the group through my wife.
“It has been very beneficial because I get to do the sorts of activities with them that they might normally do with their mum. It means I get to see for myself the achievements the girls are making rather than hearing about them second hand,” he said.
“I can’t say enough about the staff who really go above and beyond to make the sessions fun and enjoyable.”
Ray said the sessions also gave him a chance to chat to other dads and gave his wife a break from looking after the youngsters.
“My wife has a very busy week and while we are taking part in the sessions; it’s a great opportunity for her to have some ‘mum time’.
Sherwood East Dads’ Group has been meeting regularly every fortnight on Saturday mornings for more than two years at Nottinghamshire County Council’s Sherwood East Children’s Centre, with sessions also held in Blidworth and Edwinstowe.
There are play and creative activities to encourage dads to join in with their children.
Last year outdoor activities included pond dipping at Vicar Water, a trip to Sherwood Farm Park, and a nature walk around the local allotments.
At Christmas the group went to Sherwood Pines, picked a tree for the centre and decorated it in time for the Christmas celebrations.
The group has parties too, the most recent was the ‘Autumn Party’ at which dads and children dressed up and played traditional games like ‘apple bobbing’ and ‘bran tub’, as well as parachute games and ‘feely boxes’.
All dads and male carers are welcome to come to the sessions with their children under five-years-old with older brothers and sisters.
To join the group or for more information ring Jeanne Raspin, Nottinghamshire County Council community involvement worker, at Sherwood East Children’s Centre on Mansfield 629203.