Chris Boardman

Olympian and Cycling World Record holder

Fathers’ Story Week is a wonderful campaign that will help encourage dads to get involved with their children’s schools, nurseries and reading, I am proud to be a supporter.

As a father of six kids, our story at bedtime is the highlight of our day (OK, my day) – a time to be together, a time to enjoy and share a good book and a time when I feel I am encouraging their love of reading. I make sure we do this without fail whenever I am home (which is most of the time these days) as this is something I would not miss for the world. I am currently half-way through reading the last Harry Potter book with my 2 youngest which they love and they are learning lots of new words. It makes me feel good that I am contributing to their learning.

When I was a child my parents read to me regularly and I have really fond memories of this, my favourite books as a child were ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and ‘The Faraway Tree’.  I want every child to have this experience which is why I am supporting Fathers Story Week.

Roger Black MBE

400 metres Olympic Silver Medallist and TV presenter

We took family holidays on the lakes when I was a child and my favourite book back then was Swallows and Amazons. Although my father didn’t read stories to me, I feel it’s important to read to my 6-year-old boys as often as I can. Max likes Beast Quest and George loves Roald Dahl.

Mark Radcliffe

Radio 2 DJ and Broadcaster

I am very happy to lend my support to Fathers’ Story Week. I am an avid reader, did a literature degree and have read many books at bed-time with my three daughters. My youngest, Rosie, and I have recently finished ‘Swallows and Amazons’ and have worked our way through the complete set of Alison Uttley’s ‘Little Grey Rabbit’ series – which belonged to my wife as a child. I think reading with your children is a wonderful, intimate shared experience and I put my love of books down to memories of my childhood bedtime stories of which ‘Wind in the Willows’ will be forever magical.

Peter Bently

Author of Cats Ahoy
Winner of Roald Dahl Funny Prize

The role of fathers is often underestimated, and society can make it hard for them to be closely involved with their children’s everyday lives. Many children, particularly young children, have little male adult input either at home or in school, and I believe it is essential to encourage fathers to be a significant positive presence in their children’s lives. Books and stories can help towards that goal – they offer excellent opportunities for intimacy between a father and his children.

Iram Siraj-Blatchford

Professor of Early Childhood Education
Institute of Education, London

A growing body of research and evidence indicates that when fathers are involved in their children’s learning they have a significant impact on their well-being and learning outcomes.  Fathers’ Story Week provides schools, registered childminders and nurseries with the tools to get dads engaged and make a difference. I fully support this initiative, dads have for far too long been on the sidelines of their children’s education, FSW is a catalyst for change; I am pleased to endorse and champion FSW.


We are proud to endorse and be part of Fathers Story Week. Dads play a key role in their children’s lives and nowhere is this more evident than around learning and education outcomes. We salute the thinking behind this initiative.
Chris Muwanguzi, Service Manager,  DadTalk & Dad.INFO

Michael Rosen

Author and Former Children’s Laureate

I am happy to endorse Fathers’ Story Week.

National Children’s Bureau

NCB is delighted to support Fathers Story Week. For a number of years we have supported fathers to engage in their children’s learning through our PEAL (Parents, Early Years and Learning) and REAL (Raising Early Achievement in Literacy) programmes.
Hilary Emery, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau

Royal National Institute of Blind People

We are delighted to endorse the excellent Fathers’ Story Week initiative. We fully support its ambition to increase the confidence of fathers to engage in storytelling and reading with their children, including those children who are blind or partially sighted. We wish Fathers’ Story Week every success!
Julie Jennings, Manager, Children, Young People and Families Evidence and Service Impact, Royal National Institute of Blind People

Action for Prisoners’ Families

We are delighted to endorse Fathers’ Story Week. With Storybook Mums and Dads a huge success, and homework clubs flourishing in a number of prisons, there is every reason why this programme can thrive in prisons. In our experience prison staff are only too pleased to have access to materials and activities which can help them do their jobs. Many of our members will be able to use the programme in their work.
Diana Ruthven, Director, Communications and Information, Action for Prisoners’ Families

My Family Care

Female talent will never truly shine through until men are embraced equally as dads as well as business leaders.  The only people banging the drum for fathers are the Fatherhood Institute.  They do it brilliantly and I’m very proud to be associated with the campaign
Ben Black, Managing Director, My Family Care

National Day Nurseries Association

Fathers’ Story Week is an ideal opportunity for nurseries to get fathers and children spending time together and positively involve the male figures in a child’s life in their early education. We hope this national week will encourage fathers who have not yet spent time at their child’s nursery to do so, helping the nursery team to build confidence in planning more dad-friendly activities in future. Nurseries are keen to involve fathers in nursery life and NDNA will be sharing information with its members about this programme and encouraging them to take part.”
Purnima Tanuku OBE, Chief Executive, National Day Nurseries Association

Julia Donaldson

Author of The Gruffalo and Children’s Laureate

I’m delighted to support Fathers Story Week, and I hope a record number of dads and schools will get involved this year. In my experience fathers are great storytellers – and great actors. When I do my book shows I often need a little help from the audience, and ask “Who’s got a dad who’s good at telling stories and doing the different voices?” The fathers who are volunteered by their children are always brilliant at transforming themselves into farmers, cattle thieves, dogs, elephants, or whatever else is required.

Nursery World

Nursery World is delighted to support Fathers’ Story Week 2012, and our readers in nurseries, schools and children’s centres all know how vital it is to encourage dads to read and tell stories to their children.
Liz Roberts, Editor, Nursery World

Charlie Condou

Actor and ‘The Three Of Us’ Guardian Columnist

Fathers’ Story Week is a great idea. Reading my daughter her bedtime story is one of the highlights of my day. It’s an absolute treat, for both of us, and never a chore, and I believe it to be a special time set aside for just the two of us to enjoy.

Children England

Children England is delighted to be supporting Fathers’ Story Week. We value this campaign and recognise the importance of involving fathers in all aspects of their children’s development. We will be encouraging our members to take part and support the move to make services more father-inclusive.

Pre‑school Learning Alliance

Fathers’ Story Week is a great idea. Reading my daughter her bedtime story is one of the highlights of my day. It’s an absolute treat, for both of us, and never a chore, and I believe it to be a special time set aside for just the two of us to enjoy.
Michael Freeston, Director of Quality Improvement

Giles Andreae

Creator of Purple ‘Ronnie’, ‘Rumble in the Jungle’,
‘Commotion in the Ocean’ and winner of the
Red House ‘Best Picture Book Award’

I am really pleased to be a supporter of Fathers Story Week as I know the value and importance of fathers reading with their children, and I want to be able to contribute to a campaign that will encourage more schools, nurseries and pre-schools to get involved.
I know from my own experience as a child how great it is to have your dad read you a bedtime story; my dad was REALLY good at the voices, which made him seem far more approachable as a father – especially as he was coming home from what seemed such a grown-up and distant environment: that of work. Our favourites were anything by Richard Scarry and Yertle the Turtle by Dr Seuss.

Working Families

Working Families is delighted to support Fathers’ Story Week. We know fathers want to spend more time with their children and that families benefit when they do. I hope that employers will be supportive in allowing fathers the flexibility they need to spend a fun day with their child at school
Sarah Jackson, Chief Executive


PTA-UK is delighted to support such a worthwhile event. We will be doing all we can to encourage as many schools and Parent-Teacher Associations to take part in Fathers’ Story Week. We want to see as many Dads and father figures as possible reading to their children, enjoying time together and the unique gift of sharing a great story. Jane Galbraith, PTA-UK Membership Development Manger

Nick Makoha

Author of Lost Collection of the Invisible Man
Playwright & performer of My Father & Other Superheroes

The word father carries such a stigma. In a lot of the workshops, I have delivered to both children and adults the word father occurs like a four-letter word. But if you cut through this emotional field and open the person up their human truth you are left with a residue of possibility. It transforms the relationship they have with themselves. These results express themselves through language. For this reason, I made sure my daughter had her own library from the moment she could speak. A full Ikea bookshelf of books. I wanted her to have a vocabulary that would always let her have the freedom to express how she feels. The book we used to love to read to each other was The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. To me, it was like a manifesto to always give her the best parts of me. I want her four-letter word for me to be love. For this reason, I wholeheartedly support Fathers Story Week.

Joe Swift

TV presenter ‘Gardner’s World’

My favourite book was called ‘the boy with 100 cars’ by Inger Sandberg which my dad used to read to me as I looked at the pictures and hunted out the boy hiding in amongst his cars. I read the very same copy to my son Stanley who loved it too and, is now at 15, I’m pleased to say is still a very keen reader devouring books far quicker than I do. Making time to read to your kids is a simple thing to do, but it is also such a special time that only comes round once- don’t miss it!

Jeremy Kyle

TV presenter

I am very happy to support Fathers Story Week 2012.  I think as a father, reading to your children is a fantastic way of showing them love and giving them quality time, while helping them learn. It is so important for children to have both parents play a part in their education. Also, dads are great storytellers!!  I have fond memories of my father reading me Arthur Ransome books. Swallows and Amazons were my favourites, full of boyish adventure, but also packed with little lessons about life, teamwork and friendship.  I really hope by supporting Fathers Story Week that many more fathers will get involved and read to children.

Leroy Rosenoir

Professional Football Coach and Pundit

I would love to become a supporter of the institute as my father was (in my opinion) an amazing storyteller and I still get so much pleasure in passing them on to my children and young people in some of the work I do. My favourite story is actually a true one.

When my dad was growing up in Sierra Leone, West Africa, he would play a game on the beach (Lumley)with his friends of trying to catch the tail of baby sharks! They would play this for hours until eventually one of them would succeed and could be seen racing through the water at 30 miles per hour! I would say “But didn’t they want to eat you?” he’d reply “of course not sharks are mostly scared of humans, they only attack when they think you’re dinner!”

To be honest, every time he told this tale I never really believed him. Many years later I was in Sierra Leone, with my two boys sat on the beach and in the distance noticed some young boys diving off a cliff edge. We decided to take a closer look and guess what? they were trying to catch the tails of baby sharks! 3 hours we sat there willing them on and eventually they did it. Not only did it confirm to me that my dad was a great storyteller but more importantly he wasn’t a liar!  My dad passed away 3 years ago now and all his stories will forever give me so much joy and pleasure.  AND WHO CARES WHETHER THEY’RE TRUE OR NOT!

James Murray


It is a great pleasure to support Fathers Story Week – a great idea; the first book I remember my father reading to me was Walkabout by James Vance Marshall. A story about two children who are dumped in the searing Australian desert and are guided back home by a phantom aborigine. I highly recommend it.

Book Trust

At Booktrust we know the immense value of dads reading with their children which is why we are whole-heartedly supporting this important campaign by the Fatherhood Institute, which happily coincides with our celebration of 20 years of Bookstart. There are much research and evidence that indicates that a father’s involvement in their child’s learning can impact positively on their wellbeing, learning outcomes and associations with books. Fathers’ Story Week and National Bookstart Week provide the opportunity to encourage more shared storytime between fathers and their children. We hope that dads across the UK will be joining in to discover and rediscover favourite stories together with their children.
Viv Bird, CEO, Book Trust

London Early Years Foundation

London Early Years Foundation (LEYF) is once again proud to support Father’s Story Week, as part of our long term ambition to build a better future for London’s children. Whilst we consider great parenting by either mum or dad equally critical to a child’s development, it seems dads in particular too often still appear an afterthought when it comes to the care of children under 5. Any initiative or organisation that strives to redress the balance in this area simply must be applauded – and supported!
Neil Hart, London Early Years Foundation