Losing a child at birth (or at any time) is one of the most painful and devastating experiences that someone can go through. Sadly, so many men, once excited at the prospect of being a dad (many for the first time), never get to experience a “normal” childbirth. Some also never get to experience a “normal” fatherhood at all.
These men are part of a group that swells by over 3,000 new members each year through stillbirth, neonatal or infant loss. A grieving father feels the loss of a child just as keenly as the mother. Although men don’t express themselves like women do, it does not mean that we grieve any less.
You never know how strong you are, until being strong is the only choice you have Bob Marley
Pillars of Strength has a number of programmes to help dads. We are bringing bereaved dads together in situations where they can experience some sense of normality - hanging out with their mates and doing things that men do. In doing so, we are building communities where men help men.
Our programmes currently include:
We are building new programmes:
The Time Out programme is exactly what it sounds like - it gives dads their own time to reconnect with their network of mates without actually having to ask for help - instead as an example, they just ask if they want to go to the footy...
It can also allow dads to meet a peer support network of dads and their mates who have been through a similar situation. This shows him is a very real way that he is not alone.
A dad who has this time out can reflect, reenergise and refocus - he can get back to being the Pillar of Strength his family needs him to be.
He is also reconnected with his support network – the people around him who have always been there but may not have been able to engage him.
Our current focus is centred on the neonatal and newborn spectrum of fatherhood…
There are currently no services exclusively available for fathers to support them during this difficult period.
There is no cost to fathers to access Pillars of Strength services.
Working with a number of generous ticket donors, our Time Out programme lets dads attend sporting activities or events with mates, family members or another dad who has experienced a similar situation.
As a bereaved dad you are able to access up to four tickets to any of the games and other activities we have on offer.
You must have someone attend the activity with you - whether it’s a mate or a family member. Primarily these events include seats to NRL and AFL games plus an assortment of other sporting events including cricket, soccer, golf, rugby union and others depending on seasonality.
We also run events throughout the year, giving dads the opportunity to meet other dads who have experienced the loss of a child. These events are designed for dads to get active, mingle and have some fun in a social environment. This includes playing a game of cricket on the hallowed SCG turf, attending and AFL or NRL game, a round of golf, barefoot bowls, or even touch footy or a game of soccer on Allianz or ANZ Stadium.
You must have someone attend the activity with you that is male whether it’s a mate or a family member. There are always new Time Out opportunities for dads to take advantage of so it’s worth checking in on a regular basis.
PO Box 1092
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
ABN: 19 152 298 934
Pillars of Strength is a registered charity with full Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) status and all donations over $2 are tax deductible
Copyright © Pillars of Strength 2019