We're very excited to introduce the five ideas selected for our Dad Design Challenge, aiming to help more dads become actively engaged in their child's early years. 

We very recently launched an open call for ideas for the #DadChallenge. Although only open for a short time, we were thrilled to receive such a high calibre of passionate and creative ideas. So now we are equally thrilled to announce the winning teams and their ideas: 

Anthony George

Music workshops
Father of four and music production graduate Anthony, will be developing music workshops to help dads and their children gain confidence, have fun and be creative whilst learning. The songs they create together can be recorded onto CDs for families. The central aim is to allow dads to feel part of something special outside of the nursery curriculum. 

Jesus Felipe and Emma Lacey

Daddy Card
Jesus and Emma are parents from North London who want to encourage Daddy time. Their idea is a free pass to complimentary time with your babies. It gives dads and their children access to a free council run session each fortnight. e.g. enjoying a swim together to encourage trust, fun and learning. 

Henriques Goncalves Cruz

Dad advice videos
Henriques is expecting his first child and found that as an expectant father, he really struggled to get advice and support. As a result he was made to feel isolated and unconfident. He wants to use his experience to help others by building a set of online video clips of dads offering tips and advice for other dads. The videos will see dads discussing how to support a partner during pregnancy, why they love being a dad, being a young dad, or how to change a nappy. Most of all Henriques wants these videos to reassure the viewer that they will be a good father. 

Geraldine Joyce

Scan photo cards
Geraldine is a senior Midwife at St Thomas’ Hospital in Southwark and she wants to give expectant dads scan pictures with timely information about how their babies are developing. She hopes to improve bonding between dad and baby from an early stage,  and to really make dads feel important from the beginning - also giving them the chance to share and show off their scan photo. 

Sophie Martin

Play with your food
Sophie is a designer and nanny from Brixton and her plan is to design cookery workshops for dads and their children to come along, make yummy things and most of all, have fun. The workshops would include cooking treats like pizza portraits of each other.
 By involving touch, smell, sight and taste the workshops will provide a shared sensory experience that enables children to explore and understand the world around them. All ingredients will be fresh and wholesome to really encourage healthy eating behaviour within the family.

Watch Sophie's video to find out more about the Pizza Portraits project

What happens now?

Each team will be granted £500 to get their ideas off the ground in the next five weeks. 
During this time, each team will be offered mentoring sessions on:

  • Design and prototyping
  • Behavioural Science
  • Funding and applications
  • Social finance

We have also given each team a comprehensive resource pack, including prototyping lessons and planning tips and tools. 

We hope to work with or support teams that did not make the top five. This may be by aiding them to facilitate a co-design workshop with dads or working with then to dig deeper into the issue they are trying to address to ensure they're setting themselves a strong and focused brief. 

How we selected these ideas

The selection team was comprised of design experts from across the Design Council, the NSPCC and local authorities. The panellists were:

Ella Britton: Programme Lead for The Knee High Design Challenge, Design Council
Sally Hogg: Development Manager for Children Under One at NSPCC
Chris Howroyd: Design Director of a new digital health service for Southwark and Lambeth
Mat Hunter: Chief Design Officer, Design Council.

The selection criteria was as follows:

Impact: Could the project make a difference to dads in Southwark and Lambeth?*
Relevance: Is the idea practical and achievable?
Desirability: Do others want or need this idea to happen?
Passionate: Do you demonstrate a clear desire to make a change?
Openness: Do you have a genuine willingness to test, challenge and develop the idea?

*This Challenge is funded by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity. As part of the remit, the ideas that we are looking for must be able to work in Southwark and Lambeth.  

The selection panel marked each idea against this criteria and then ranked their top 10 ideas. All ranking scores were accumulated to reveal the five teams going through to the funding stage. We also asked each member of the panel to give feedback and offer suggestions for how teams could go further with their ideas.  

Get in touch

If you’d like to connect with any of these teams to offer help, advice or an opportunity to work with dads, please send us an email.


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