Home   Lakenheath   Article

Subscribe Now

EPIC Dad based in West Suffolk with activities in Mildenhall, Lakenheath and Newmarket receives £2,500 funding boost





A project supporting dads in West Suffolk has been boosted after receiving £2,500 of funding.

Richard Keeble, 44, started EPIC Dad in April 2017 as a project to support dads, male carers and their families in Lakenheath and the surrounding areas.

The letters of EPIC stand for Encourager, Provider, Instructor, Carer.

An EPIC Dad fun club at Lakenheath Primary School in January. Pictures: EPIC Dad
An EPIC Dad fun club at Lakenheath Primary School in January. Pictures: EPIC Dad

The non-profit organisation focuses on restoring the role of fathers with three main aims of supporting and empowering as well as transforming families.

Richard, who is a father-of-three and lives in Lakenheath, has been encouraged by the reaction to EPIC Dad since he founded it almost seven years ago.

“I really didn't know what the response would be to be honest but I was committed to getting involved in the community and helping dads and their families in any way I could,” he said.

EPIC Dad aims to support dads, male carers and their families in West Suffolk
EPIC Dad aims to support dads, male carers and their families in West Suffolk

“It’s very encouraging to see the response from local dads, their families and the wider community.

“It seems we are meeting a need and filling a gap with our specific focus on helping dads and providing activities especially for them.

“It is such a privilege to be able to do this work and I am thankful to all who have funded, supported, and partnered with us over the years.”

Richard Keeble founded EPIC Dad in April 2017
Richard Keeble founded EPIC Dad in April 2017

Since its launch, EPIC Dad has supported over 1,000 dads through varied father support services and regularly works with about 50 different dads who might be accessing support through a group, course or one-to-one.

EPIC Dad achieves its aims through a variety of activities including dads and children's clubs, family events, support groups, parenting courses, wellbeing walks, games afternoons and more.

There is also a LEGO club once a month in Newmarket and badminton sessions twice a month in Brandon.

West Suffolk Council’s community chest funding saw 32 community groups, charities and voluntary organisations across the region receive funding, with £2,500 going towards EPIC Dad.

Since its launch, EPIC Dad has supported over 1,000 dads through varied father support services
Since its launch, EPIC Dad has supported over 1,000 dads through varied father support services

Richard said: “We are very grateful to West Suffolk Council for kindly funding EPIC Dad and know these funds will make such a difference in our ongoing family wellbeing support work.

“The grant will help towards the development of our parent wellbeing drop-in at St Mary's Academy in Mildenhall.

“This is for dads, mums, and carers from the community who can attend a monthly Friday morning drop-in to enjoy refreshments, have a chat, and receive advice and support on numerous topics affecting parents and families today.

“The sessions will also include parenting and wellbeing workshops and a wellbeing store with free items available to support family life such as food essentials, household items, toiletries, and baby supplies.”

“It seems we are meeting a need and filling a gap with our specific focus on helping dads and providing activities especially for them."
“It seems we are meeting a need and filling a gap with our specific focus on helping dads and providing activities especially for them."

Richard added: “Our work wouldn't be possible without our EPIC Dad van which enables us to transport equipment to various locations in West Suffolk where we are running groups and to deliver wellbeing bags to support families in our local communities.”

“I am now excited to see how our work will continue to grow and expand.”

Moving forwards, Richard is keen to see the organisation grow outside of Suffolk through partnerships with other organisations.

There are now EPIC Dad activities happening in Norwich and also Aberystwyth in Wales.