Dan Flanagan is the Founder @ Dad La Soul – an award-winning social enterprise that exists to orchestrate a revolution in the way that the stories and struggles of the 6 million dads in the UK are seen, heard, and supported.
Dans’ career spans 20 + years working across a range of start-up and multinational media agencies, creating campaigns for brands including Barclaycard, LG (UK), The White Stuff, Cancer Research UK, and Disney.
Having spent the last seven years in the not-for-profit sector, he is now a respected thought leader in the men’s mental health and fatherhood field and was awarded Judges Choice at The Social Entrepreneur of the Year Index.
Dad La Soul has invested more than ten thousand hours in partnering with tech innovators, co-working spaces, local authorities, university research teams, youth music charities and social housing providers to help tackle these issues from the inside out.
Dan works for the cause and not the applause and won an award from Rishi Sunak.
He grew up realising that men don’t look after their kids or weren’t given the chance to. There were no men and toddler groups, no men toilets with baby changing facilities and no children products saying ‘recommended by men’.
That’s what Dan wanted to change.
84 men under the age of 45 are lost to suicide each week, and one of the main reasons is that men don’t talk. This is one of the reasons why Dan set up Dad La Soul, but not as a self-help group but as a group to get men together to talk.
Like the Men Shed (season 1) where men get together to fix things, and that’s when they start talking. That’s who we are.
Dan used to take his kids to toddler groups or school, and he got a lot of funny looks. Dan said there were a lot of assumptions made, none of which that he was just a single dad – overhearing comments such as “he must have be a widower, as men work during the day.”
“There must be something wrong if a man goes to a toddler group, probably chasing after the yummy mummies.”
David said that he had similar experiences being a stay-at-home dad – not always being openly welcomed to all the mum dominated environment.
Dan now runs dad and kids’ groups, of which, he says, 65% of men probably got pushed into the group by their partners, who see the benefits and gets some time off themselves.
Dan says the sessions involve It’s anything from robotic workshops to play dates, sometimes they play football or have a few (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) beers. It’s all about having a good time. Yet they also have the open conversations about substance abuse and grievance. The group ranges from people on benefits to 6 figure incomes.
Everyone is welcome!
The events take place monthly, currently in Worthing and Brighton. The frequency is going up and Dan is launching new locations in the next few months too. Payment is voluntary and no questions are asked whether you can or cannot pay. It’s all about the community.
If you want to get involved either as a volunteer or just visit, go to the website or contact Dan (firstname.lastname@example.org); website: https://www.dadlasoul.com