First dad and granddad have joined Romford parent and toddler group targeting men

A father and a grandfather from Romford have become the first two to join a parent and toddler group aimed at male parents.

Grandfather Dave Herring, 52, of Dorset Avenue, and father Damian West, 35, of Mawney Road, are the first to try to shed the tradition of women being the only ones to take children to such groups by joining Puddleducks Parent and Toddler Group, in Seymer Road, Romford.

The new group was set up last month by mother Nicky Jeeves and Bronwen Bell who struggled to find a playgroup to take their own children.

They decided to try to target fathers and grandfathers to be a bit different and get away from the stereotype of ‘mother and toddler’ groups.

Dave, who looks after his granddaughter Freya Thurogood, one, two to three days a week, heard about the group through a friend.

He said: “I’ve been twice now and I definitely think I want to take her again.

“It’s good because it gives the mums a bit of a break. And a lot of women go back to work. There’s no reason why their other half shouldn’t take their kids along.”

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Damian is also a fan and has taken his 11-month-old daughter Lola three times so far.

Damian, who also has a seven-year-old son and seven-year-old step-daughter, said: “Usually most baby groups are all aimed for mothers to go along. I saw about this one in the paper and thought I’d go along.”

“They make you feel really welcome. I’ve been to some before when my son was younger and they look at you as if to say ‘what are you doing here?’”

The former BT employee who now does driving work for agencies, said: “If I don’t have work on I’ll be taking her down there every week.”

For more details call Nicky on 07977501187.