Dads of special needs children find support in social football at Hatfield

SPACE for Dads play football at Breaks Manor in Hatfield each Tuesday evening, followed by social po

SPACE for Dads play football at Breaks Manor in Hatfield each Tuesday evening, followed by social post-match pint. Picture: supplied. - Credit: Archant

A social football team in Hatfield is providing a support network for the dads of young people with special needs.

SPACE for Dads play at Breaks Manor each Tuesday evening followed by social post-match pint, giving them a chance to chat about issues, share information and bond with others in a similar situation.

It came about after inclusive social football team for children Therapeutic Thunder FC and Hertfordshire charity SPACE, which works with young people with special educational needs and disabilities, identified a need to offer support for their dads and male caregivers.

SPACE co-founder Karen Spencer said: “Sometimes men find traditional support networks difficult to engage with, however their need for support, information and access to assistance is vital.”

Therapeutic Thunder runs football training for children with emotional, behavioural and physical additional needs.

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Paul Wainhouse from Therapeutic Thunder said: “Speaking to many of the dads of these children, we realised there was not much support out there for them.

“Dads who might feel isolated or find it difficult to ask for help or support, or in some cases where to find it, can come and play football, have a chat and get the information they need. That is sometimes enough to help them feel supported.”

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Those who don’t play football are also welcome to socialise.

Email Paul Wainhouse at to get involved.

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