The 'dads only' play group in Plymouth helping new fathers gain confidence

A 'dads only' playgroup has been set up in Plymouth, giving fathers the chance to spend quality time with their little ones.

The club in Crownhill runs one Saturday a month and offers theme-based activities for children and adults.

I had spoken to many mums who were sad their partners were unable to attend many of the baby groups they went to during the week and were apprehensive to go to the predominantly all-mum groups on their own.

Nicky Wooderson

She added: "The dads I spoke to didn’t have much or any time on their own with their babies due to work commitments and mum being present most of the time, so wanted something they could do with no pressure.

We know that dads tend not to be as social as mums and some lack the confidence on their own to manage the day to day routine of looking after a baby.

So I wanted to offer them that chance in a contained and friendly atmosphere where there was no pressure to do anything they didn’t want to, but spend their time getting to know their baby, interact and play with them without anyone looking over and questioning or judging their actions."

Mum-of-four Nicky runs the group. Credit: Nicky Wooderson

Nicky Wooderson, who runs the group, has four children herself aged 11, 12, 14 and 19, and has worked and volunteered for the National Childbirth Trust since 2012.

She is also taking over the Plymouth and Ivybridge branch of the Positive Birth Movement which relaunches next month.

The next session is on Saturday January 18 between 10.30am and 12pm at Crownhill Family Centre.

It’s going really well. We’ve gone from just four dads up to 11 with children aged from six weeks up to about 18 months.

Nicky Wooderson