Bonding program bringing families together

14 September 2016

46 fathers and sons from vulnerable and disadvantaged families had a very special opportunity to attend a family bonding camp hosted by Bankstown PCYC thanks to an $8,000 donation from Canterbury League Club.

“We had identified through our Bankstown Families Connect program (social engagement for isolated/disadvantaged families) that we have predominately mothers attending with their children. Like Father, Like Son was developed to give fathers a chance to spend time with their sons, and provide positive male role models for young children. It also gave the fathers an opportunity to discuss common issues that may be arising,” said Alistair Foggo, Bankstown PCYC Club Manager.

The father and son camp took place on the James Craig Tall Ship in Sydney Harbour and provided the opportunity for participants to stay overnight, have a sail around the harbour, as well as doing bonding/team building activities on board.

“Activities included learning how to tie different nautical knots with rope, working together to hang the hammocks to sleep in overnight, and even a little bit of fishing. These were a great opportunity for fathers to pass on new skills to their sons.”

According to Alistair, feedback from participants on the Like Father, Like Son program has been very position:

“Fathers and sons loved the opportunity to spend time together in a different environment to normal. Removal of any cost barriers [because of Canterbury’s donation] ensured it was open to all sections of the community, and that many got to experience new activities for the first time – particularly sailing on a tall ship around Sydney Harbour.”

“In many families living in our local area, fathers often have less quality time to spend with them because they may be working long hours or multiple jobs – this means children often miss out on having that positive male influence while they are growing up. A program like this is the perfect opportunity for families to reconnect in a relaxed and comfortable environment,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.