Two Cofton Hackett dads are set to launch a Stay & Play group at the new Cofton Village Hall this month (31st October).
Run by stay-at-home dads Sam Chatterley and Dan Rainsford, Cradle to Crayon will welcome dads, mums and other carers with their 0-5 year olds, providing a time to play and socialise and ‘create magical moments’.
Sam said: “The New Cofton Village Hall recently opened and lots of Mums and Dads were asking about a stay and play.
“As nobody seemed keen to commit to running one due to the set-up cost, I made an enquiry about doing it. Later in the day, another Dad – Dan – showed interest. He was pointed in my direction and we both agreed to team-up.”
Both Sam and Dan recognised the need for a space for stay-at-home parents to spend some time with other adults and children, to help with any feelings of social isolation.
Dan said: “It can feel isolating at times on days you don’t get out. There aren’t many stay-at-home dads, so you can feel a bit excluded in some groups.”
Having worked at Cadbury/Mondelez for 23 years as a Warehousing and Logistics Project Manager, Sam (left) took redundancy to spend more time with Maisie, who is now 2 years old. His wife Izzy leads a European Project Management team at Mondelez. The couple met when Kraft bought Cadbury and she moved from Banbury to Birmingham.
With Izzy’s job supporting their lifestyle, to fit around parenting Maisie, Sam runs a small garment printing business from home in his spare time.
Dad to 15 month old Lucy, Dan (right) was previously a credit controller for a company in the automotive industry. His wife Hayley being an Associate Director in Quality Management for a leading biopharmaceutical company, Dan plans to retrain as a teacher once Lucy starts full time nursery.
Despite some feelings of isolation from the adult world, both Sam and Dan clearly feel privileged to be able to spend so much time with their girls.
Sam said: “The best things are watching Maisie grow, teaching her new things and getting out to play centres, zoos etc. It can sometimes feel a little lonely without the adult conversation, but there’s really nothing bad about it. I love it… it’s an honour.”
Dan says he’s getting all ‘the best bits’ of being with Lucy and has a close bond with her. He said: “I see it as a gift, I wont get this time with her again. Coaching and seeing Lucy’s development on a daily basis.”
Cradle to Crayon will run every Thursday (including school holidays – sorry, older siblings cannot be accommodated) between 10am-12pm
Drinks, toast and biscuits are included, with cakes and other snacks can be purchased.
Entry: Babies under 1 year: £2 | 1 year and over: £3.50 first child | £2 additional sibling/s
Venue: New Cofton Village Hall, Groveley Lane (corner of East Works Drive), Cofton Hackett B45 8AS