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Distress addressed

The barbeque has passed but the help and support are still available.

Dads in Distress (DIDS)

Penrith City Star
16 December 2008

Distress addressed
By Gemma Seymour

For fathers separated from their children this Christmas, support is available.

The western Sydney co-ordinator for Dads In Distress, Phil York, understands what it's like to experience the first Christmas as a separated father.

"My first Christmas I didn't know where my kids were and I was beside myself, absolutely beside myself," he said.

Tonight there will be an end-of-year barbecue at the Family and Relationships Centre, corner Henry and Lawson streets, Penrith, at 7pm. Dads In Distress has invited not only the dads who have attended the group in the past and present members but also any other dads in the community who may be going through separation from their loved ones.

Mr York said what Dads In Distress could offer was understanding.

"For people who are on their own and don't have any family they can contact, it's a harrowing time," he said. "We know where they're coming from."

He also said they understood it took a lot of courage to ring.

"Don't leave it too late. Jump on the phone and talk to someone who understands," Mr York said.

"There's always hope and I think the thing to realise here is it may seem like the situation they're in will never end but it does.

"You've got to try to keep your focus on the children.

"There will be a time when you'll get back together.

"As hard as the Christmas period can be, and will be for some dads, there's light at the end of the tunnel and 2009 is a new year."

Details: Phil York, 0401 426 101 or the national line, 1300 853 437.

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