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Artists get East End absent dads’ spending time with their kids

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:45 05 October 2010

Getting dads together with their kids...

Getting dads together with their kids...

ARTISTS ran two workshops at a primary school in London’s East End yesterday to bring dads closer to the kids they don’t see much. The fathers spent the learning with their children, with professional artists to help transform their lives

ARTISTS ran two half-day workshops at a primary school in London’s East End yesterday to bring dads closer to the kids they don’t see much.

The fathers spent the day at Holy Family Primary learning with their children how to block print onto bags-for-life using everyday materials such as plastic bottles, bubble wrap, string, cardboard, food wrappers, newspapers and magazines.

“I don’t usually do much with my dad,” said one nine-year-old girl, Shaye. “But I like doing stuff together.”

Her dad Michael is a lorry driver and works seven days in some weeks.

“I’m the Friday’ dad,” he admits. “This is something different we haven’t done for years. It’s therapeutic.”

Workshops were run by the City of London arts charity Create, using professional artists such as musicians, dancers, writers and actors to help transform the lives of the disadvantaged and vulnerable in society in deprived areas like the East End.

The charity has run 2,500 workshops since it was set up, with 17,500 people having taken part including inner city children, teenagers excluded from school, youth offenders, refugees, asylum seekers, the homeless, women in prison and youngsters in hospitals and hospices.

Holy Family Primary’s learning mentor Norma Powell said: “It was great to see dads and children having some special time together. To see the joy on the kids’ faces working with their dads was irreplaceable.”

The children had one-to-one time with their fathers and learnt an activity they could do at home, something special to look forward to each day.


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