A POPULAR charity helping young fathers through the early stages of parenthood has been boosted by an anonymous £3,000 donation ahead of the busy festive season.
Capital-based social enterprise Dads Rock – which aims to help fathers engage with their children through music – launched an urgent appeal for funding last month after a number of grant applications were rejected, meaning the coffers would have run dry before Christmas.
A £50,000 intervention from the Scottish Government followed after the Evening News helped raise awareness of the possible closure, with an influx of parents and politicians throwing their weight behind the campaign.
And the charity now hopes to use its latest investment – generously donated by an anonymous local benefactor – to take the charity forward into the new year.
National development manager Thomas Lynch, 43, said: “It is absolutely fantastic to be in a position where an unexpected £3000 donation can make a real difference to the work we do.
“We are now up to more than £6500 in donations from members of the public since we began fundraising at the end of November and I would like to thank everyone who has donated to our cause so far.”
The social enterprise, which provides crucial support to more than 1,000 fathers each year, was set up five years ago to help young dads by hosting a number of playgroups, antenatal classes, counselling and mentoring.
Dougie Urquhart, 27, began attending the group in 2016 after feeling he hadn’t spent enough time with son Kian, four, and said he has reaped the benefits.
The cemetery worker said: “My family have all benefited from the time me and my wee guy spend together on a Saturday. My bond with Kian is as strong as any, and my wife gets a few hours’ peace from us.
“It is nice to speak to other dads regarding any issues, even if it was just to moan about not getting to watch the football because of Peppa Pig!”
He continued: “The guys at Dads Rock are genuinely some of the most friendly, welcoming and accommodating gentlemen I have ever had the privilege of meeting. From the first minute we walked through the door, we felt like we had been there for years.
“They have a great ability to bring strangers together, whose only connection is they have children, and start great friendships between kids and dads combined.”
Mr Lynch added: “It’s fantastic to have Dads like Dougie being part of Dads Rock.
“We’re here to support families all across the city, and we want Edinburgh to be the best place to be a dad.”