Dad's Conference 2010, March 27th

Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called 'Being a Father' so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.
- Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

Dad's Conference is a free programme of events taking place at Myatt Garden school on March 27th, from 9.30am until 3pm.

It’s open to male carers including dads, granddads, uncles, stepdads, brothers and their families.

Organised jointly by Lewisham Children’s Centres and the Pre-school Learning Alliance, the aim is to raise the profile of men as positive role models in children’s lives.

Speakers will include the Mayor of Lewisham, local dads and Tim Neville, Fathers Development Officer for Lewisham Children’s Centres. There will be workshops around healthy eating, storytelling with your child, sports activities and bush craft activities.

Partners and children are welcome to attend from 12 noon onwards for a free lunch and fun activities including entertainers, a 40 foot climbing wall, bouncy castles and music.

9.30am Speakers
11.10am Workshops – includingBushcraft, sports skills, cooking and salsa 12.00pm Lunch
1.00pm Activities including bouncy castles, a climbingwall, sport activities, and entertainment, music and much more.

To book a place, contact the Pre-school Learning Alliance on 020 8695 5955.

Lewisham Council's support is aimed at to encouraging more fathers to use children's centres, where men are typically underrepresented.

There are a number of fathers and male carer groups in the borough – some attached to schools, others attached to nurseries and children’s centres. For further information, contact Tim Neville on 07947 475064 or email:


Anonymous said...

Will them blokes dressed as Superman or Batman be there.

Brockley Nick said...

No, this isn't about fair access to children, it's about encouraging more men to play a more active role in their children's development. Helping them with their grammar and so on.

Monkeyboy said...

Strikes me as a good idea (not that I have kids) I expect that single dads may feel a little awkward going to 'mothers and toddler' type things. no spiderman either?

Blue sky said...

Helping them with their grammar? Maybe they should have called it Dads' Conference then.

Anonymous said...

Now there's an idea I could get behind - daytime "coffee mornings" for dads!

Replace weak tea and weaker lemon drink and biscuits for pints of beer and bacon sarnies! :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm imagining everyone sitting around for ten minutes, shuffling awkwardly before someone says, "anyone fancy a pint?"

Anonymous said...

Why the change in quote, Nick?

Brockley Nick said...

Because I am always quoting The Road (lots of quotes available on the internet, compared with most books). I was looking for a quote from Bonfire of the Vanities that fitted the story above and found this one. Fitted nicely.

However, I think The Road is the most beautiful book I've ever read about parental (or at least paternal) love.

Monkeyboy said...

...and canibals, don't forget the canibals.

Tamsin said...

@the Anonymoi: the Dads' Group of Oak Hill fathers meet in the Telegraph pub. They also got a grant to put on a great variety show in the Telegraph Hill Festival.

Brockley Nick said...

@Monkeyboy - really, the canibals are incidental, the notorious baby-spit scene almost glossed-over. The real horror is the slow end of everything - entropy. But the focus is on man and boy - eachother's world entire.

In a dying world, why bother walking the road? Because every day they spend together is day worth living, because the father lives to see his son survive.

Just so long as they don't go to the Brockley Mess and clutter the place up with their trolley while the canibals are trying to read the Sunday papers.

Monkeyboy said...

wouldn't mind feasting on an Express reader, the turkey twizler of newspaper buyers.

Anonymous said...

My dad was wonderful. He took me to school and made my packed lunches and i used to race him and was shocked that he could beat me at running.

SE4 Dad said...

Had a brilliant day at Saturday's Dad's conference. It the 3rd one I've attended and it's always good to hear Dads' testimonials of how joining a Dads' group has benefited them and their children.

My kids had a great time too with all the fun activities laid on for them. It was really special to see my 4 year old speed up the climbing wall.

Will definitely be at next year's event. Well done all.

Oh and not one spiderman or superman suit in sight..

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