Free playgroups and more for Dads and kids

Call us on 0131 442 4662


The Dads Rock team are:

Barry Wright - Newcastle born. Electronics design engineer and Director of Barwritek Ltd. Has experience of working with Scottish business development agencies. Began playing music when thirteen, starting with guitar then moving onto almost anything he could get his hands on, acoustic, electric or synthesisers, has played in bands ever since. Helped develop and performed in 'The Mrs Mash Show' a childrens show for the Fringe in 2016. Has a three year old daughter. His wife is a guidance teacher in an Edinburgh school.

David Marshall - Edinburgh born, originally from Musselburgh. Has experience of running his own business. Has recently gained a childcare qualification. Has played a variety of musical instruments including violin, piano, before settling with guitar and drums. Has two young children, one of which is at primary school, and he loves to spend as much time with his family as is possible. He is no stranger to picking up the guitar in the house with his wife and kids and breaking out into song. His wife works in a local school. 

Thomas Lynch - Edinburgh born, Thomas has one son at primary school, and another on the way. A counsellor and HR manager, with a background of volunteering in the third sector.  Amongst other subjects, Thomas has studied childcare. Thomas tried to play the violin at school, and is now learning the guitar, and can just about play We will rock you. He loves having adventures with his son, as well as reading new and well loved stories together. He is married to a children's photographer.

Our board members as of the 27th June 2016 are:

Alison Rae
Gordon MacDonald
Janet Campbell - Vice Chair
Jonathan Tait
Jordan Cousland
Matthew Smith
Mike Mawby - Chair
Paul Dickson
Scott Duncan
Our History
On the 5th October 2011, Edinburgh dads David and Thomas were speaking about the lack of services for dads, by dads. They both wanted to be the best dads they could, and enjoyed playing and learning new things with their children. They also had a profound love of music, especially Rock!  Both had been to toddler groups, and wondered where all the dads were. They looked into whether there were groups for dads, and could not find any locally available groups.

Dads Rock was born! The name is a play on words; and has several meanings. The obvious music connection that they agreed would be in the play group, as well as a statement to say that this organistion would be the rock dads' need, the solid base to support them to be the best parent they can. It is also stating clearly that Dads Rock! And they are vital to their children's upbringing.

They decided it was time for action, and that they would give themselves four months to obtain funding and set up Scotland's first free musical playgroup for dads and kids.

They approached, Edinburgh Council who gave them free space in a local library. This gave the group an amazing start, as did the funding from The Big Lottery.  Knowing that there was a large Polish community in Edinburgh all publicity was translated into Polish as well as English.

On Saturday 11th February 2012, the first Dads Rock playgroup session was held at Gate55 community hub, in Sighthill. There were 15 dads who attended that first session, it was an amazing success, 80% were Polish. Over the coming months the group went from strength to strength.  Dads Rock was approached regarding a second playgroup in North Edinburgh, in the Granton area, and this group launched on October 28th 2012.

In March 2013 the Sighthill group moved to new larger premises.  In April 2013, Fife Gingerbread approached Dads Rock regarding starting Fife's first dads playgroup, this launched on 1st June 2013.  When the funding for this group ended, the dads took the work forward and still run a playgroup in Fife.  Dads Rock was started as a project of Fathers Network Scotland, and in March 2013 became a charity in its own right.

In 2014 we expanded to Glasgow.  When the funding for this group came to an end the Glasgow Dads took it forward and still run.

Dads Rock's Charitable purposes are:

  1. To support and help Dads to engage with their children and build strong lasting relationships.
  2. To advance the arts, specifically music, to encourage self-expression and improve self-esteem in both Dads and their children.
  3. To promote equality and diversity by encouraging the social inclusion of Dads in everyday life, with particular focus on issues regarding raising children.
  4. To promote the physical, mental and emotional health of Dads.
  5. To provide recreational activities for Dads who may be socially isolated or excluded.

We also want to: Have fun! Rock out! Be Awesome!

Our Vision: For a Scotland where dads are seen as being equally valuable and vital.

Our beliefs: We believe children need a diverse mix of parenting and that dads can and do play a vital role in the upbringing of their children.

Children have better outcomes when they have involvement from their dads, research backs this up.  We are the rock for dads, but know that irrespective of gender all parents/carers rock!

drums ATD

From left to right, Thomas, Aileen Campbell MSP - Minister for Children and Young People, David at the launch of our granton group

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