Words by Smiley Team
William McGranaghan raised his son as a single dad with no family network – and no support in London. “I didn’t know what to do next,” he tells Smiley News. “There was a complete lack of anything to help dads – and to this day, it’s kind of similar.”
He set up Dads House: a charity supporting dads and their children through emotional support, combatting loneliness, and assisting them with family matters.
A key part of the charity is the support it gives dads through family law. Dads House holds a weekly Family Law clinic offering practical and free legal advice. A fully functional law practice, it’s led by Simon Bruce – ”one of the best family lawyers in the country”.
“It’s so unique, it’s a dream come true,” says William, about the clinic, “to have a place where our family law clinic is led by Simon Bruce. And what he’s brought with his contacts, his professionalism, his empathy, and with his love of helping mums and dads who just don’t know what to do next when they’re facing the Family Court – it’s brilliant.”
Dads House runs breakfast clubs, family clinics, football games – “and we’re starting a new guitar lessons for dads and kids, a buddy service, and cooking classes,” says William.
“We’ve got food banks where we’ve helped over 50,000 mums and dads over the last two years,” he says. “We’ve been open seven days a week all the way through the pandemic, and it’s something that’s really important – a lot of dads find themselves in a position where they can’t support their kids.”
In the 15 years the charity has been running, Dads House has supported more than 16,000 dads – and that’s a minimum. They get emails, calls and messages from dads and usually support 15 to 30 new dads every day, seven days a week.
“I think the future of Dads House is setting up something, ideally where a local authority could take up a brand – and then open their own Dads Houses throughout the country,” says William.
“Each city has their own unique activities that dads need – and everything else is a bonus after that.”
The charity is always looking for donations – both in terms of items for their foodbank and financial donations so they can continue operating.
“We’re based in West Brompton in London, and anyone can come in with bags of food or just come in for a cup of tea and say hello – and a jaffa cake, we’re partial to jaffa cakes.”
VISIT AND DONATE: You can visit Dads House in West Brompton – the main food bank and office is 22 Lillie Road, London SW6 1TS.
DONATE: You can donate directly through their JustGiving page – find out more.