Dads ready to rock at ceilidh fundraiser

Thomas Lynch and David Marshall, founders of Dad Rocks. Picture: Toby Williams
Thomas Lynch and David Marshall, founders of Dad Rocks. Picture: Toby Williams
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EMBARRASSING dad dancing is openly invited at a ceilidh being held this weekend to raise funds for Edinburgh-based charity Dads Rock.

Set up by Thomas Lynch and David Marshall in 2012, Dads Rock aims to help fathers engage with their children to build lasting relationships though music lessons in the dad-and-child only playgroups.

The service helps more than 2000 dads every year through workshops, counselling, playgroups and antenatal classes.

National development manager Thomas said: “The playgroups are fun, positive places for dads, granddads and their children to play, learn and meet up with other families.”

What will be the first annual ceilidh will open its doors at 11am when dancers can reel, fling and jig to their heart’s content until 1pm when exhausted toddlers and fading fathers can take themselves off home.

Thomas said: “The dance is early to capture the younger kids before lunchtime. Hopefully they’ll be exhausted and have a sleep afterwards.”

Face painting and refreshments are also offered on the day.

Organised with the help of Caroline Brockbank from CeilidhKids, the dance will be held at the Greyfriars Charteris Centre, which is generously providing the space for free. All proceeds will be used to fund another year of playgroups and workshops.

Thomas is hoping for more than 200 people to turn up and mums and grannies are more than welcome to join in the fun too.

He said: “We wanted the ceilidh to be all about the dancing on the day so we kept it simple.”

The ceilidh joins the free Father’s Day event run by Dads Rock that is now in its fifth year. Held at the Royal Botanic Gardens, the ‘family takeover’ that featured dancing, arts and crafts and yoga was enjoyed by more than 6000 people last year.

Funds are raised through annual memberships that will set back new members £2. Members are placed on a priority list for new events and first dibs on tickets for workshops like the upcoming Baby Sleeping Workshop.

The group started in Wester Hailes and has branched out to Craigmillar, Granton and Edinburgh city centre.

At the end of 2017 the service was saved by a last-minute injection of £50,000 from the Scottish Government but the charity still has to raise a whopping £60,000 every year to keep itself afloat.

The charity was under threat of closure at the end of 2017 when funding ran out and two of its four members of staff were threatened with redundancy. It launched a fundraising page urging supporters to to donate, raise cash and write to local councillors and MSPs.

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