FAMILY

Support group Dads & Co launches for fathers in Sutherland Shire

Boys and bubs: A support group for fathers in Sutherland Shire is becoming a whopping success. It was launched by Jesse Benson (third from right), who says all dads are welcome. Picture: John Veage
Boys and bubs: A support group for fathers in Sutherland Shire is becoming a whopping success. It was launched by Jesse Benson (third from right), who says all dads are welcome. Picture: John Veage

Pram pushing dads are taking over Cronulla.

What started as a casual call-out for a social catch-up has become a popular gathering of blokes and their bubs.

Woolooware's Jesse Benson, 27, launched Dads & Co in August after he saw a need for a support group for dads in Sutherland Shire.

A new father himself to a five-month-old son, he says having only spent a short time in the wild world of parenthood, he realised dads were missing out.

So he created a group on Facebook that gives dads a safe sphere for asking questions and getting valuable advice from strangers.

Dads meet up on the weekend at the beach over a coffee and a walk.

"It encourages connections, and most importantly, conversation," Mr Benson said. "It creates an avenue of support.

"The interest so far has been incredible and we're in the planning stage of many great partnerships including some great fundraising opportunities for many well-known organisations."

The group is open to dads of all kinds - coupled, single, separated, and soon-to-be-fathers.

"We encourage any form of the word 'dad', " Mr Benson said. "Grandads are welcome, dads with multiple kids, those who share custody of their children."

The support group is relaxed and chilled - no topic is 'set'.

"We don't sit there in a circle and talk just about baby stuff," Mr Benson said. "At the moment we have talked a bit about teething because lots of the babies are going through it, but we'll usually discuss how the family and work is going, weekend plans. The mums also enjoy having time to themselves to get a massage or get out of the house a little.

"We're not counsellors, we just reach out and ask the guys what their biggest challenge is. About 90 per cent say lack of sleep and time management, or how to prioritise taks and create a work-life balance.

"We anonymously post questions to our page and people in our group give their advice.

"Come down and join, we'd love to hear from new members."

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