left to right, Ryland James (Charity Steward), James Ross (Secretary), Fr Chris Lewis-Jenkins (Plant Dewi), Dirk den-Hartog (Comms Officer)
Fathers living in difficult circumstances helped in family relationships thanks to grant from West Wales freemasons
A project that will help 70 local fathers from families living in challenging circumstances in Pembroke Dock to improve their parenting skills and strengthen their relationships with their families is being supported by a grant from West Wales freemasons.
The grant of £54,544 to the Dewi Project will fund a bi-weekly drop-in facility, where men can meet, share experiences and increase their support networks. Further support will improve fathers’ parenting skills and knowledge.
The fathers-only sessions are necessary as experience has shown that fathers do not feel comfortable in other mainly female-dominated settings and did not contribute to or gain benefit from the programmes.
There is a special emphasis on developing coping skills, managing conflict skills and communication and assertiveness training. Further sessions other topics, such as budget management, which will directly address problems of poverty, will be introduced.
In time there will be sessions to allow fathers to spend time with their children. Activities will include story time, messy play, music time and model making. Older children will engage in fishing and camping trips. All of these are aimed at increasing the confidence of the fathers, growing their self-esteem and ultimately strengthening family relationships.
The grant from West Wales freemasons comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Father Christopher Lewis-Jenkins of the Plant Dewi Project, said:
“We’re very grateful to West Wales freemasons for their generous grant, which will allow us to provide vital help and support to fathers living in poverty who want to strengthen relationships with their families.”
James Ross from West Wales freemasons, said:
“I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Plant Dewi with their hugely important work supporting fathers rebuild their connections to their families. Until Plant Dewi started this programme there was very little help aimed specifically at fathers, which is why the freemasons have seen this as a major priority.”