Many men, for many different reasons, have grown up without enough healthy support and guidance from their fathers and/or society. Unsupported men often find being an effective father extremely difficult, and so the pattern continues.
It is possible to learn to give and receive the support that we didn’t have growing up and build on the support we did have. We create a safe, supportive and confidential environment, where we can discuss what it means to be a father. We learn ways of becoming grounded, bringing attention and awareness to what is going on for us, expressing and supporting each other, developing ourselves from wherever our starting point is.
Children do not attend, it is for the fathers only. We start with 1:1 sessions. This is important as the idea of joining a group of strangers can be intimidating and put people off. Then we move into our group sessions and meet once a week for 9 weeks, finishing with a couple of days out in a local private woodland, learning some practical skills of bushcraft with nature connection. We teach you how to light fires, we cook and eat together and we celebrate our journey.
During the sessions we learn how to receive and give support with other fathers. We explore our core emotions, and how they play out, or how we avoid them and the impact this has. Through our own internal inquiry we find meaning in it all and explore why our children behave in different ways. We look at why and how we react and respond, who we truly want to be, continually deepening the connection we have to ourselves and our children, all in a way that is non-judgmental and without giving advice.
We repeat this Programme and invite back men who have completed it in the past. This gives them the opportunity to develop themselves further and offer support to the newer men through peer support. We have progression routes to other organisations which can enrich further the journey each man takes, and gives them a chance to train to be mentors.
“Before I started this Programme I was in a dark, dark place which I thought was the norm, I never thought anyone could feel pain wise what I felt and didn’t believe anyone could help me. Now I understand feelings and it’s fantastic! It helps me and whoever I’m around. I never thought these strangers would help me in any way, shape, or form. Even that first 2-hour session made such a difference. I’m so so grateful. The approach that I have physically and emotionally is totally different. I’m finally understanding who I am and how to be me and be a better father to my children. It’s one of the big things that hit my heart. I can see in my children how they’re much happier and I’m very thankful.” 31-Year-Old Father.
“Before I started this Programme, I always felt that I never really fitted in and always feeling judged for sharing my feelings. I always had the problem of communicating effectively with people in my life, either in School, College or in my home life. I never felt like my emotions were valid and now I have a place to share my feelings and be heard and in this space is where I know I’m safe to share. And now only 2 months in I now feel like I have better communication skills and can explain how I’m feeling knowing that it’s normal, thank you”. 21-year-old Father.
Who We Are
The Remembering Our Roots CIC ‘Fatherhood Support Programme’ is led by two experienced facilitators who are both fathers themselves. Between them they have 18+ years’ experience of teaching bushcraft, survival and wilderness living skills courses and qualifications, facilitating and running men’s groups and ‘Rites of Passage’ programmes. They have experience in working with all ages and sectors of society, are passionate about learning how to be good enough fathers and developing safer, stronger communities and networks.