large group of around 30 men and women stand on grass
The dads, dads-to-be, and guests before a session in Pontypool Active Living Centre

Around a dozen men took part in the final session of a FREE ten-week course last night to ‘help them be the best dads they can be’.

It was the fifth time Torfaen Council has run its For Dads, By Dads course and Cwmbran Life was invited along to see what its all about.

The group meets every Thursday from 7pm at Pontypool Active Living Centre. They enjoy talks from experts in topics including baby first aid, midwife information and health and wellbeing.

But it’s the things that these talks bring out in the men where I could see the real magic happening. On top of being told vital parenting information, they get to build friendships with others who are going through the same things as them right now.

It’s led to them meeting up for social events outside the sessions and a friendly WhatsApp group for informal chat and advice.

We want to help men be the best dads they can be.

Jacob Guy, Torfaen Council

Just chatting to some of the participants it was easy to see how much they’ve got from the practical and emotional parts of the course. Hearing men talk openly about issues like money worries and how they’re supporting partners experiencing post-natal depression is a good thing.

And while sharing what they’re going through, it’s likely they’ll hear others are having the same feelings and find out what they’ve done to help.

The final talk was from Matthew Creel and Spencer O’Connell from Tidy Butt, a Gwent-based mental health charity.

They shared personal stories of their mental health experiences. The pair showed some signs your mind may not be in a good place, how important it is to recognise this, and simple, practical steps you can have ready to help yourself.

two men stand and give talk at front of room
Matthew Creel (right) and Spencer (left) talk at the For Dads, By Dads event

Torfaen MS Lynne Neagle, cabinet secretary for education, was a guest at the final session, along with people and organisations who have led talks through the course.

Jacob Guy, from Torfaen Council, previously told Cwmbran Life: “It’s amazing that these men are not just investing in their babies and families but also in themselves for a better future.”

Read about two dads, Elliot and Andrew, in this interview with Cwmbran Life and find out what they got out of the course.

When is the next For Dads, By Dads course?

The next course starts in September 2024. Dads who missed sessions on a previous course or just want to return and learn more are welcome to take part.

Fill in this booking form or for more information call Jacob on 07980 682256 or email

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