Timaru father creates support network for fellow dads

Jason Brokenshire looks at a recent photo of him with his three children.  He hopes to set up a support group for fellow ...
DOUG FIELD/STUFF

Jason Brokenshire looks at a recent photo of him with his three children. He hopes to set up a support group for fellow single parents in South Canterbury.

Jason Brokenshire​ has made it his mission to create support for fellow single fathers.

The Timaru father-of-three wants to set up a regional chapter of The New Zealand Fathers' Rights Movement group, to offer support and eventually help to push for equal visitation rights for both dads and mums.

Brokenshire said his own experiences with gaining child custody had taken a toll on him emotionally and mentally, and were the reason behind an eventual breakdown and time off work.

"I know there will be other dads in the region going through similar things and it's good to know when other people are going through things there's a place to be able to reach out."

Brokenshire joined the movement group's Facebook page several months ago and now wanted to create awareness of it, to reach out to fellow single fathers.

"We want to try to build up our own support network for fathers and even other mothers in the same situation - just the roles are reversed.

"I know there will be other mothers out there fighting to have fair visitation of their children."

While the aim of the national group will be to lobby for change, Brokenshire said, at the moment, the Timaru group would be about supporting one another.

"Then we'll be able to get stronger and then we'll work on pushing for some change around visitation rights."

Once the group was formed, Brokenshire hoped to organise a get-together of members over a drink.

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He also saw the group as a good opportunity for members to share their knowledge of support groups and organisations in the region.

"It's about giving dads and mums a chance," he said.

"The biggest thing with males is they don't like to be vulnerable and they often don't like to talk which is often what they need to do - just talk to someone."

Brokenshire asked South Canterbury fathers going through similar situations to join The New Zealand Fathers' Rights Movement Facebook page and he would be in contact.

 - The Timaru Herald

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