Family of the Week: Dobson

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Life is wrapped up for Leeds family Stephen and Alison Dobson and their children Stephanie and Matthew. This is because they launched Charity-Wrap to raise money for Marie Curie.

What are your top tips for getting children to do what you ask?

Carrot and stick works for us. Prefer the carrot, obviously, because we all like to be rewarded for doing a great job.

What family task takes you the longest?

Bathing the dog. We have a black labrador called Leo and when we go for a long walk, he loves rolling in cow muck and mud. Trying to clean him up afterwards is a nightmare and the bathroom ends up dirtier than the Leeds Rhino’s changing rooms.

What’s the weirdest thing your children have done/brought home/done to your house?

Worse memory is when Matthew brought home some “buns” he had made and we all had to eat them and say how great they were, even though it was like eating breeze blocks.

Have your children ever really, really surprised you? How and why?

Yes, Stephanie sold some things on the internet and went in to Leeds with the money she had raised and rather than spending it on herself, she bought a winter jumper, hat and some hot food and gave it to a homeless person. Made me extremely proud.

What’s the funniest thing your children have ever said/done?

Got to be the question every parent is asked by their young child: “Where do Babies come from?”

Mini moan - what really gets your goat?

Roadworks. Recently there were long term roadworks on the main roundabouts at Thornbury barracks, Rodley and Horsforth all at the same time.

What’s your favourite family day out?

We all love to go to Filey for a long walk on the beach with the dog to enjoy each others company.

One family member’s proudest achievement?

My mother passed away recently after a long battle with cancer and the team at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford were awesome. I’ve spent the last couple of years wondering how best we can repay their warmth and kindness and have launched Charity-Wrap which helps businesses donate to charities simply through their printing. It’s such a simple way to raise ongoing much needed funds for charities and I truly hope that Charity-Wrap will help us to raise £1m for UK charities like Marie Curie. It would make me very proud.

What’s the hardest thing about being a parent?

So many possible answers to this, from the complete lack of sleep in the early days, to the tantrums as they learn how to play us parents, to dropping them off at the gates on their first day at school, to teaching them how to drive. Very stressful.

What is Leeds’ most family-friendly restaurant and why?

We love Grappelo’s in Horsforth. The staff there are fantastic with the kids and the food is amazing. Bella Bella.

What’s the number one thing you would change about Leeds?

Apart from the owner of our beloved football team, not much really. Leeds is just brilliant. Superb shopping, fantastic restaurants, wide range of things to do, lots of parks and places to visit and we’re only minutes from the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Living in Leeds offers the best of everything.

What’s your top penny-pinching tip?

My Grandma always used to say “If you Buy Cheap, You Buy Twice” and I now understand what she meant.

What one item can you not live without?

Seabrook Crisps.

What can your children not live without?

Their Mobile phones.

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