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An update on the Dad Design Challenge

An update on the Dad Design Challenge

29 October 2014 Written by By Mollie Courtenay Junior Designer

Last month we announced the five teams selected to develop their ideas for our Dad Design Challenge - here's an update on their progress over the past five weeks.

The main aim of the Dad Design Challenge is to help more dads become actively engaged in their children's early years.  Over the past five weeks, the five selected teams have been rapidly developing their ideas.  Beyond this we hope the experience will help the teams grow networks of support around their ideas, and the teams will gain and benefit from new opportunities, knowledge and experiences. We hope they emerge with more confidence to take their much needed projects forward to the next stage of development.

Each of the teams have tested their ideas with dads, practitioners and their friends and are now seeking support to take their projects to the next stage. 

What the five teams have achieved:

Anthony George

Music workshops

“Because many dads aren’t utilising services provided for them and their children, my goal is to get dads in spaces like Children Centre’s or soft play areas to enjoy a fun filled hour of musical madness.  

I recently ran an instrument test session with dads and have since secured a one o’clock club and Children’s Centre to run the sessions with. I have contacted the South London Press and Lambeth Talks community magazine about advertisement space in their paper both are happy to help publicize which is great.”

Jesus Felipe and Emma Lacey


“As parents, we recognise and have experienced the difficulties fathers face when trying to relate to or bond with their babies before birth and in the first few months after. Therefore, we’re keen to investigate ways to make this time easier. During the five weeks we have interviewed dads about the time they spend with their babies; what they like doing and how easy or difficult they found this time.

We contacted leisure centres in Lambeth, Southwark and Haringey and spoke to providers of young peoples services across London, some of which are interested in working with us in the future.  The DADDY CARD aims to encourage and incentivise meaningful ‘daddy time’ by offering free swimming sessions to dads and their babies. Therefore encouraging dads to build a habit of hanging out with their babies and getting to know each other.”

Henriques Goncalves Cruz

Dad advice videos

“As I struggled to get advice and support when I was an expectant dad, I am building a website where dads can share videos of themselves giving advice and tips. I’ll begin by filming myself and dads I know, and hope the website content will grow as people hear about it.

The videos will see dads discussing how to support a partner during pregnancy, being a young dad, or how to change a nappy. Most of all I want the videos to reassure the viewer that they will be a good father.”

Geraldine Joyce

Scan photo cards

“I hope to improve bonding between dad and baby from an early stage, and enable dads to feel important from the beginning.  I have designed labels that are stuck on the back of scan photos that I give especially to dads.

They have information about how their baby is developing at 12 weeks and links to quality apps and websites that offer further information.  I have begun to gain feedback from dads at scan appointments and will use their thoughts to inform the development of the content.”

Sophie Martin

Pizza portraits

"I believe these workshops have the potential to bridge the gap between potential distant fathers and their children by helping them to bond and connect through food.  The workshop exposes families to fresh, healthy ingredients, tastes and textures and invites them to work together to create a portrait of each other.  

Whilst running a workshop at Myatt’s Field I discovered that opening for drop-in sessions in a community space created an open and accessible atmosphere for families to come at a time that suited them.

I hope that fathers and children feel confident to create more fun and adventurous meals whilst enjoying time together."

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

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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