Daddys with Angels
Up and down the country, there are thousands of people doing good deeds every day, and we decided to celebrate the great work that charities undergo with a regular feature on Tuesdays, to tie-in with #CharityTuesday on social media. This week, we caught up with child loss support group Daddys with Angels to find out more...
Where are you based and what geographical areas do you support people in?
We are based in Northampton, England and we support those who have lost a child from all over the world.
How do you support people?
The majority of the support we provide is online. Daddys with Angels support workers are all Angel parents and have, are undertaking or will be undertaking a qualification in bereavement counselling. We provide emotional support to families following the loss of a child of ANY gestation or age and ANY cause or reason. We believe that loss affects the way you live your life and some aspects of your life will hinder the grieving process so we will offer advice and support on other matters or sign post to a more suitable service. We can, on a limited basis, provide some skype, telephone or text support.
How did the charity come to be founded?
Following the loss of his son, Travers-James, in November 2010 our current director (Paul Scully-Sloan) found that there was a lack of suitable 'safe space' for men to gain support following the loss of a child and had the idea to set up a closed Facebook group for Angel dads. Since then another group has been set up for other adult family members who have experienced the loss of a child - The Daddys with Angels families group.
How many people do you have working at the charity?
Everyone involved in the running of DWA are volunteers. There are 6 trustees, 4 support workers and a team of 7 graphic support workers (who also act as moderators for the two Facebook groups).
How can people support you?
People can support DWA by letting others know who we are and what we do. We struggle getting the publicity we would like. We would welcome donations of postage stamps to help keep our postal costs down.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
We have faced several challenges since we began. Our biggest challenge is the stereotype attached to grieving men, 'that they have to be strong' which is a nonsense. Men are affected by the loss of a child just as anyone else is, they do hurt when a child dies and it does affect the way they live their lives. This stereotype has also been a 'hurdle' in fundraising, where some funding bodies question the need or reason why men need support after losing a child. We, like many other child loss groups, have had problems with trolls or people pretending they have lost a child. Whilst no group is 100% safe some of our members have stated that they feel that our groups are the safest they have been in. We do have a system where we are able to dramatically reduce the effect trolls and 'fakes' have on our support network.
Do you have any charity events coming up and where can people find out about these events?
We do not have any events coming up but we do have an ongoing project knitting/crocheting cribs and other items for stillborn and miscarried babies. We have a group on Facebook and more volunteers are welcome to join us there. We would also welcome donations of wool to help keep our volunteers stocked with the wool they need.
Is there any advice you could give to other charities?
Our advice to other not for profit groups and charities is to take some time to network. Get to know what other groups are doing and signpost to them. Some groups are very good at what they do in certain areas, so it is better to signpost to them rather than struggle to do something that you are not skilled at.
Daddys with Angels won best UK support organisation in The Butterfly Awards in 2014 and 2016.
You can find out more about Daddys with Angels below:
Facebook - Community page
Facebook - Poetry Page
Facebook - Dads Group
Facebook - Families Group
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