Earlier this week, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met beneficiaries of Future Men UK’s Fathers Programmes, which help fathers develop their confidence as parents at every stage of their child’s development. Prince William and Catherine heard about the support and assistance charity provide to the Fathers in the UK and their work during the pandemic.
Founded in 1988 as Working With Men, Future Men is a multi-award-winning specialist charity supporting 500 fathers and their partners each year in learning the ropes of parenthood. It helps boys and men from childhood to the age of 25 to become dynamic future men, whilst addressing the stereotypes around masculinity and engaging in the wider conversation of what it means to be a man. The London based charity provides a range of courses that help with different aspects of fatherhood, from enhancing father-child relationships to teaching practical and emotional approaches to enable men to take care of themselves, their partner and baby. During lockdown they have kept in touch via virtual one to one drop-in sessions, sharing tips on how to deal with pressure, speak openly about their feelings, and continue to provide the best care for their children during challenging times.
Talking to Fathers who have attended fatherhood courses run by Future Men, The Duchess of Cambridge asked, “What do you find the most challenging or perhaps the most frustrating thing about fatherhood”? The Duchess of Cambridge has been championing the early years of child life in her public role for many years and mental health is a cause close to the hearts of both The Duke and Duchess. The call aligns with both the initiatives.
They were joined by Graeme Mackenzie and son Liam, Peter Sen and son Elliot and Sarit Chaturvedi during the call. Peter and Graeme, both the new fathers, talked about juggling their responsibilities as new parents while in lockdown. From the Evening Standard’s report,
Sarit Chaturvedi said: “Parenting is probably the only sort of job if you can call it (a job) – it is a very, very difficult job – that we’re not given any hands-on approach on. “You know, any other job you enter, you are shown the ropes. At the time it’s completely new to you, it’s very scary actually being a parent for the first time.”
When one of the fathers said he knew lots of men who did not know about the Future Men fatherhood courses but were interested, Kate said it was a “shame” similar services were not more widely available. The duchess added: “Dads play such an important role it shouldn’t be a bad thing to reach out for help and advice.”
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Prince William, who visited the charity in February this year, asked the programme organizers, Darren Smith and Owen Thomas, “How does Future Men find some of these other guys out there who have not got the realisation, or the wherewithal if you like, to go looking for services like Future Men and be able to build on a happy future as a father? Because I worry an awful lot, a lot of dads out there who just don’t know what to do, and they don’t know where to go. And they may not have such good – either grounding, foundations or support around them to be able to know what to do.” From DailyMail’s report,
Peter Sen, who also introduced his first child, son Elliott, to the group, said: ‘I think being at home in lockdown has been a blessing and a curse. ‘A blessing that I get to see every part of his development and that’s a real joy, and however poorly or badly he sleeps, he always wakes up with a big smile on his face.’
When the fathers brought out their sons William and Kate could not hide their parental instincts and smile. Mr Mackenzie said: ‘His hobbies are drooling and he’s also quite a vocal little chap, aren’t you?’
Kate waved and said ‘Hi Liam,’ then asked ‘Is this his first Zoom call?’ and the duke and duchess laughed when told it was. Mr Sen said he had missed interacting with other families and the duchess sympathised and replied: ‘It must be so hard having a newborn over lockdown.’
For the video call, The Duchess of Cambridge wore Michael Kors Medallion silk-blend jacquard blouse. Thaks to Middleton Maven for the id.
The ivory blouse is cut from silk-blend jacquard and woven with decorative pendants. It’s gathered along the yoke to emphasize the relaxed fit and has subtly puffed sleeves.
The Queen and Prince Philip celebrated their 73rd anniversary this week. Marking the occasion, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis gifted their Great Grandparents with a handmade anniversary card. Buckingham Palace shared a new picture of The Queen and The Duke that was clicked in the Oak Room of Windsor Castle.
A closer look at the artwork of Cambridge kids, who seems equally artistic as their mother.
It’s also being reported that in the coming days we will be hearing about the findings of landmark ‘Five Big Questions on the Under Fives’ survey that was launched by The Duchess of Cambridge in January this year.