A Brief History
Salford Dadz – Little Hulton started as an action research project managed by a Salford based Social Enterprise called Unlimited Potential in 2013. Originally commissioned and funded by the NHS as a 12 month project it was extended by the local Clinical Commissioning Group (Salford CCG) for a second year. Additional funding was received from the Lankelly Chase Foundation, a charitable organisation who focus on projects affecting people with multiple disadvantages, to fund extra evaluation work.
The idea of the initial research project was to answer the question:
‘If we improve the well-being of fathers by sharing the behaviors of other successful fathers, will this improve their children’s well-being?’
The approach used during this project was an asset based approach called ‘positive deviance’, this approach seeks to use the communities wisdom to derive coping strategies or methods to combat common issues, the premise being that for any given problem being experienced there will be an answer within the community itself. People (in this case fathers or father figures) having these skills are called positive outliers and the methods used by them can be shared.
During the life of the project it was identified that one of the root causes of the problems experienced by local fathers is that of social isolation and activities to address this were devised. These activities and the environments in which they take place were designed to be safe and welcoming and in a lot of instances involved doing things that are common for men to engage in.
The fathers involved found that they were able, given the environments created, to speak freely about life’s challenges, problems and issues. They also found that others in the group had experienced many of the same issues in the past or were experiencing them in the present. The fathers also found that approaches to solving or coping with these challenges could be shared and the participants gained strength and a greater sense of well being. Our aim is to keep providing opportunities for other men in a fatherly role in the area to meet and gain support from other fathers.
At the end of the project the group formally constituted under the name Salford Dadz - Little Hulton and began to run themselves, the work that Unlimited Potential did carried on with funding from LanKelly Chase and is now trying the methods used in Little Hulton in Winton, in Salford, as well as Langley, Rochdale. The aim is to see if the methods used work elsewhere. This work is being carried out under the banner of "Dadly Does It" and we are proud to support the work that is being done, acting as advisers to both the project teams and the fathers in the new area's.