Government mulls 'Year of the Dad' campaign after success in Scotland

Government ministers are considering launching a year-long celebration of fatherhood, in response to the success of Scotland's 'Year of the Dad' campaign in 2016.

The Government is considering a ‘Year of the Dad’ following success in Scotland
The Government is considering a ‘Year of the Dad’ following success in Scotland

The campaign was backed by the Scottish government and was the idea of charity Fathers Network Scotland, to draw attention to the importance of fathers in parenting and child development.

Smarts Communicate PR was brought in to help launch the campaign, which was given £300,000 funding from the Scottish government.

The agency used a real-life case study to symbolise the importance of fathers. It told the story of Peter Airlie who became a dad at 15, and now, a decade on, has three children with his childhood sweetheart.

Almost 100 events took place, involving nearly 15,000 people. More than 500,000 individuals were reached through press coverage of the campaign in 2016.

Some 5,800 individuals and 1,300 organisations got involved, according to Fathers Network Scotland.

Conservative Steve Double is among several MPs calling for the campaign to be rolled out across Britain.

He argues that the government should consider "following the example of Scotland", and have a "UK-wide Year of the Dad, where we can celebrate, support and promote the important role of fathers in our country".

Responding to the demand, made during a debate in the House of Commons, equalities minister Caroline Dinenage said: "Steve Double, among others, asked whether we could have a UK-wide Year of the Dad, and I will certainly consider that."

She added: "It is vital that we support fathers and encourage businesses, employers and society more broadly to do the same."

Although purdah restrictions on public statements prevent government officials from commenting on the record, PRWeek understands a British 'Year of the Dad' remains a possibility.

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