A COMMUNITY group which brings local dads together and organises fun activities for them to enjoy with their children is going from strength to strength.

Yorkey Dads was started in January 2015 by Jack Woodhams, of Prior’s Walk, Acomb, after he realised there was no community group for fathers in the area.

Jack said: “Yorkey Dads started as an online community of dads looking to support each other. I was aware of similar online groups for mums but there didn’t seem to be anything like that primarily aimed at fathers.

"We’re an inclusive group that any York-based father, grandad, carer or soon-to-be dad can join and air any worries or concerns, or simply find fun activities to do with their children.”

The inclusive nature and need for the group has seen a growing number of dads and father figures join each week while their Facebook page now has more than 400 followers.

Dan Braidley, Yorkey Dads secretary, said: “It’s great to see how our social media presence is going from strength to strength and how dads are using it to help each other.

“We encourage dads to talk openly and if they want to initiate any group conversation we can do it on their behalf. Through the group, dads are now talking about many subjects including mental health issues such as anxiety and loneliness.

“It’s really encouraging to see how dads are coming together to offer members peer support, encouragement and understanding to others with the same thing in common – being a dad.”

Over the past year the group has held cookery schools, Lego clubs, gymnastics sessions and bushbabies sessions at Westbank Park.

The breakfast meeting held at Lidgett Methodist Church in Acomb has become very popular with both Yorkey Dads and the older gentlemen’s breakfast club who now share the same slot.

The group's work has not gone unnoticed with Yorkey Dads winning the ‘Spirit of York Council’ award at City of York Council’s VIP awards in December.

The group has also been awarded funding from the council and The Joseph Rowntree Foundation for the weekly breakfast club and monthly Lego and Duplo mornings.

Dan said: “We wanted to give something back to Lidgett Grove for putting on the weekly breakfast club. Therefore we applied for £500 ward funding to help replace some of the well-used toys that can be used by the whole community.”

Jack see’s Yorkey Dads growing even further.

He said: “We’ve got plans to expand the Yorkey Dads and Kids Cookery School into more areas of the city over the next few months. We’ve also been approached from dads in other areas of the region who are looking for advice on setting up their own ‘dads’ group in their area which is really encouraging.

“We’re always open to new and interesting ideas on how to grow Yorkey Dads. We’ve even got Pretty Plaits hosting a hair plaiting session for dads and daughters scheduled for next month which is already receiving lots of interest.”

For details or to get involved visit: www.yorkeydads.co.uk