New support group in Halifax for bereaved fathers

Halifax couple Ben Moorhouse and Gaynor Thompson lost their daughter Kallipateira, who was stillborn less than two weeks before her due date.  Picture Tony Johnson.
Halifax couple Ben Moorhouse and Gaynor Thompson lost their daughter Kallipateira, who was stillborn less than two weeks before her due date. Picture Tony Johnson.

A new support group has been set-up in Halifax specifically for bereaved fathers.

Dad to Dad has been formed by Ben Moorhouse, whose daughter Kallipateira was stillborn at 38 weeks of pregnancy in October, leaving Ben and his partner Gaynor Thompson devastated.The sessions will be held once a month for five months.

Ben said: “When this happens to parents, people are offered group counselling through various charities, but everybody seems to concentrate on the mums because they carried the child for however long.

”I think something needs to be done. There are many dads who I’ve met who are suffering in silence.

”For them to be able to meet and talk to other dads who have gone through the same thing, hopefully it can help them and they can make new friendships.

”I think it can only be a good thing. There’s lots of things in the media at the moment about men’s mental health, so this could be another positive thing to help people.”Ben is keen to encourage an informal feel to the meetings.

”I think the way these things work can put people off from attending, when people are sat in a circle and have to introduce themselves,” he said.

”I believe in being normal and open. There won’t be any professionals there, but if people want then we can put them in touch with them.

”It will just be a group of dads who can talk about anything. I’m fully prepared to open up about what I’ve been through, and I’m sure others will do as well.

”Hopefully we can all help each other.

”Through personal experience I know how difficult things can be around Christmas and New Year.

”If we can help one person it will have been worth it.”

Ben and Gaynor are also fundraising for a new maternity bereavement suite at Calderdale Royal Hospital.

When asked what message he would send out to any bereaved father, Ben said: “Listen to your own heart. Do not let anyone tell you how you should think or feel - go with your own heart and if you would like support with other dads we are here.

“Don’t suffer in silence. It’s so good to talk to other people and get things off your chest.”

The first meeting is held on Wednesday, November 6, at 7.30pm, at The Old Post Office pub on Winding Road.
For more information, call 07572 186376 or email Kallipateira2018@hotmail.com.