We're delighted to announce that the Year of the Dad campaign has been named as the winner of the PRCA's 2017 Dare Award for the charity/not-for-profit sector.
The prestigious PR and Communications industry prize was announced at a ceremony at Edinburgh's Waldorf Astoria Hotel late last week, awarded jointly to Fathers Network Scotland, and our friends at Smarts Communicate PR and Punk Creative, for a positive and inclusive campaign.
Judges praised the extensive number of events across the UK that did a fantastic job in achieving their objective to promote gender equality in the domestic sphere, and create a win-win for both men and women alike.
Sam Pringle, director of Fathers Network Scotland, receiving the award with Fergus Reid of Smarts, said: "This is a recognition of hugely positive uptake of the Year of the Dad campaign by all our friends and stakeholders across Scotland. We were bowled over by the enthusiasm of thousands of families and organisations who shared our vision for more gender-equal homes and workplaces."
Funded by the Scottish Government as part of its gender equality strategy and driven by Fathers Network Scotland and a coalition of partner organisation, the Year of the Dad was conceived as a celebration of the difference a great dad can make.
Our definition of modern fatherhood was similarly wide, embracing single/married, non-resident/stay-at-home, gay/straight, biological or “father figures” such as grandfathers, uncles, foster & adoptive fathers or stepfathers.
Key to the campaign was the voice of children, prioritised from our January launch at Edinburgh Zoo, when hundreds of attendees from 42 organisations & a wide demographic watched local schoolchildren & Fischy Music premiere their self-penned “Song for Dad”.
That's when we knew Scotland was on board, as a receptive media spread the word, and hundreds of organisations and thousands of individuals picked up the message and joined the celebration at almost 100 events across the country.
There was a sell-out research conference, new dads’ workshop pilot and awards for family-friendly employers, and a plethora of community projects ranging from commissioned poems and a sell-out Fringe performance to a sculpture project for dads and their children.
In partnership with talented videographer Sandy Butler, Smarts Communicate and Punk Creative, we told stories of fathers from all walks of life using film, social and mainstream media - whether it was Pete Airlie, a 15-year-old dad who shattered “deadbeat” stereotypes on BBC Radio 1, or celebrities such as musician Ricky Ross talking candidly about their experiences of fatherhood.
The most powerful story was also our biggest emotional challenge, when our CEO, David Drysdale, died from cancer half way through the campaign he had conceived.
His death at 50 attracted huge public sympathy and media attention – not least because his family life modelled the involved fatherhood he so passionately advocated. He would have been delighted at this award and the extra boost it gives to a great idea.
Debated in both Holyrood and Westminster, the campaign has garnered cross-party, cross-gender praise as an innovative and cost-effective way of promoting cultural change, with MPs pushing to take it UK-wide.
So thank you everyone for the positivity you brought to the Year of the Dad: from small beginnings we all brought Scotland together behind the daddy of all campaigns!