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DadPad app launch declared a success

2023-08-08T17:06:24+01:00Tuesday 8 August 2023|

New dads and fathers-to-be in Walsall and healthcare professionals declared a new app “a great idea” following its launch led by the Walsall Healthy Child Programme’s Health in Pregnancy (HiP) service.

The DadPad app was developed and adapted with local Walsall information by Inspire Cornwall CIC (Community Interest Company), working with the NHS to support dads in their journey through fatherhood from pregnancy to being an experienced dad.

It was created following feedback from dads who said they would benefit from having useful information on a range of topics such as coping with a crying baby and home safety specifically targeted at themselves.

In Walsall, the HiP service launched the free app at the Walsall Connected centre outside the Antenatal Clinic at Walsall Manor Hospital, with visitors receiving free snacks at the stall.

One of the first to download it was dad-to-be Daniel Rowe, 30. The project co-ordinator from New Invention was there for a scan with partner Carla Cooper, who is expecting their first child on 2 October.

“I’m excited but also nervous and it’s scary so I feel I need all the help I can get,” said Daniel. “I’m an only child as well so I’m not used to being around babies.

“We went to a baby show recently and one chap told me the DadPad app was the only stall there for men. When you look online there’s not much information for dads, so this will really help.

“I want to help Carla as much as possible but dads need some assistance to offer that help.”

Connor Taylor, 19, downloaded the app after visiting the stall just hours after becoming a dad when partner Ashley New, 18, gave birth to son Carter at Walsall Manor Hospital.

“I think it’s a great idea because new dads don’t always know what to do, so any help we can get to support the mum is good,” said Connor, a steel fabricator from Willenhall.

Mark Poole, 32, from Bloxwich, is a dad of three children aged eight, 12 and 15. He and daughter Ruby were having blood tests but his nephew Jackson Poole, 17, is due to become a dad with partner Lucy next month.

“I think having something like this is better than when we had kids because back then it was all focused on the mum,” said Mark, a chef. “It’s all things you need to know, so if you’re aware of what to do and look out for, you can help the mum.”

Diane McIntosh, Clinical Lead for HiP, said: “The launch has been fantastic. We’re engaging successfully with the parents, particularly dads to be. There’s been a really good response already and we know for sure that this is going to be a success in Walsall.”

Ed Barnett is Parenting Officer for Fathers for Walsall Council, a new role started in conjunction with the launch of the Family Hubs in the borough.

He said: “The app has been two years in the making and it provides all the information you need as a dad of any age. As a new dad, you can be like a rabbit caught in the headlights, but we’re trying to say that there’s something there specifically for them to support their partners and get support for them too.”

Caroline Mansell, Care Group Manager , Children’s Community Division, said: “We’ve been working collaboratively with Public Health Walsall commissioners and the local authority to plan this initiative to support the families and new dads of Walsall.

“This will be adopted by all staff across the Trust to support Walsall parents and parents to be with knowledge about where to go for support and the resources, no matter what their role is – we want Midwives, staff in Paediatrics and Antenatal and Sonographers to promote this for the next four years as this is a roll-out to staff who come into contact with parents to be and the public.”

Esther Higdon, Senior Programme Development Manager for Children and Young People for Public Health at Walsall Council, said: “This provides local hard copy and electronic support for dads in Walsall and there’s interest from staff and the public in the app which is fantastic.

“It also links into the work of our Family Hubs which have just been put in place in Walsall. These will offer plenty of support for parents to be and new parents across the borough.”

Walsall was one of 75 areas nationally that was successful in gaining Department of Education support to develop four Family Hubs and Spokes across Walsall.

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