Number of volunteer hours
contributed by our volunteers in


In June 2020 Lads Need Dads were awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service , the M.B.E for Charities and  Community Groups, in recognition for the outstanding work carried out by our volunteers.

Flexible Mentoring Opportunities

Lads Need Dads recognises that we all lead busy lives. That is why we pride ourselves on being able to provide flexible volunteering opportunities that work around people’s daily commitments.

We are able to provide volunteering opportunities during the day and school holidays with our Equip Programme, and during the evenings and weekends with our Engage Programme and Inspire Programme.

You do not have to have worked with young people before to volunteer with us, or be a ‘dad’, but an understanding and passion about our cause is essential. We look for male volunteers from a variety of backgrounds and skill-sets. For example; for our Engage Programme we seek men who have practical life-skills they can teach the boys, these may include:

  • Car maintenance
  • Bike repairs
  • Painting and decorating
  • Woodwork
  • DIY

Listen to what volunteers have to say about being a mentor.

For our Equip Programme we find that men who have excellent active listening skills and the ability to draw alongside people, are suited to this role and the bush-craft and outdoor activities often attract the more outdoor type / ex-services for example!

Not only can we guarantee a huge amount of personal satisfaction but volunteering also makes you more employable according to The Institute for Volunteering Research.

The intensive training Lads Need Dads provides, equips our volunteers with numerous opportunities, should they wish to seek a career within Health and Social Care field, Youth Work, Psychology / Criminology.


Lads Need Dads are looking to grow its team of male volunteers who have skills in Bushcraft survival.

Skills include:

  • Shelter Building
  • Knots & Rope Work
  • Safe Use & Maintenance Of Cutting Tools
  • Tracking & Nature Awareness
  • Woodcrafts
  • Natural Navigation Techniques
  • Fire Lighting Techniques
  • Plants & Tree Recognition & Uses
  • Foraging Skills
  • Wilderness Cooking Skills
  • Map & Compass Skills

If you have any of these skills and would like to put them into practice by volunteering for our project, we would love to hear from you!

Contact: or 07553 618033 for more information.



If fishing is your hobby or passion and you would like to share this with our young men and you live locally (Tendring / Colchester) then please get in touch.

All interested parties will be need to go through our safer recruitment procedures, application, interview, references, training and enhanced DBS.

We look forward to hearing from you!

What training do mentors receive?

All mentors undergo enhanced DBS checks, reference checks and specialist training.

Training covered includes:

  • The role of a mentor
  • The Price of Patriarchy
  • Active listening skills
  • Adolescence and the teenage brain
  • Understanding Attachment theory
  • The role of the Father
  • The impact of the absent father
  • Understanding complex behaviour
  • De-escalation techniques
  • Confidentiality
  • Safeguarding
  • Boundaries
  • Code of conduct

All mentors receive on-going, regular supervision and travel expenses.


  • Boys fall considerably behind girls in reading abilities throughout their school life.
  • Boys have been falling behind girls in G.C.S.E’s for three decades.
  • Boys are 1/3 less likely to go to University than girls.
  • Boys who see their father read for 30 mins a day read more than boys who never see their father read.
  • Boys from homes where a father is absent are at a greater risk of under achieving at school.

Lads Need Dads want to address this concerning issue and are seeking men from the local community to be trained as reading mentors to boys with absent fathers.

Reading skills are fundamental to everything we do. Fathers serve as important reading models, especially for boys.

If boys have no father figure modelling reading at home this leaves them at a real disadvantage. 

Please contact us for further details if you are interested in training to be a reading mentor.