Written by Gingerbread

Charity at Gingerbread

Gingerbread is a national charity that provides expert advice, practical support and campaigns for single mums and dads.

A single parent is typically defined as any parent with the majority care of their children. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are or the circumstances under which you became a single parent – Gingerbread can help.

We’re here to support every single parent – whatever you’re facing – and to champion your voice, needs and concerns so that your family can thrive.

We know that circumstances are not always black and white, and parents may well consider themselves single parents when they do not have majority care of their kids (often known as a ‘non-resident parent’) – we welcome you to use our online services if you see yourself as a single parent. You are likely to find, however, that our helpline and training courses are less suited to your needs. Our policy and campaigning work also tend to focus on single parents with majority care.

Support from Gingerbread

We know that single parenthood can be tough. But bringing up children as a single parent is also commonly the proudest achievement of many of the parents that we hear from at Gingerbread. We’re here to support every single parent – whatever you’re facing – and to champion your voice, needs and concerns so that your family can thrive.

Depending on your needs, the charity has a range of free, impartial services that can help.

Looking for information?

Finding accurate, trusted information when you need it can be difficult. Gingerbread has a website full of information tailored to single parents – covering everything from housing and benefits, to going on holiday, arranging child maintenance payments or getting support with childcare.

Need more in depth advice?

Most parents find that they get the answers they need from Gingerbread’s website. But sometimes there’s a complicated problem that can’t be resolved without expert advice. That’s where Gingerbread’s free, confidential helpline comes in. Our advisors are all trained to speak about any issues which may impact a single parent, so there’s no single topic we cover. However, some common examples of topics people call us about are child maintenance, contact, employment, education, welfare benefits and tax credits, housing, and debt.

Hoping to speak to other people in your situation?

There can be highs and lows to being a single parent, and sometimes only others going through the same thing can really understand. So, at Gingerbread, we offer ways for single parents to connect with each other. Run by single parent volunteers across England and Wales, Gingerbread friendship groups provide a space for single parents to support each other, or just have a cuppa and chat while the kids play. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to hear from others from the comfort of your sofa, the Gingerbread forum (only for single parents) is a great way to ask questions, chat and receive support.

Want to get back into work?

Some single parents can find it hard to find suitable work that fits around caring for their children. In London and the North West, in partnership with Marks & Spencer and others, we support single parents who are out of work through training and work placements.

Changing the system

Our work doesn’t end there though. Our services can help with some of the challenges you might face now, but we also want to make sure that single parents face fewer hurdles in future.

Our campaigns, research, and policy work share the concerns of single parent families with a wider audience and make sure that your experiences are listened to.

We research how single parent families are impacted by government policy and influence the government and the public to ensure that families, whatever their shape and size, are valued and treated fairly.

Working alongside single parents, Gingerbread has secured changes that make the Child Maintenance Service fairer, encouraged companies to create single parent-friendly holiday deals, encouraged mayors to offer more childcare support for single parents, and more.

We’re here for you

There are nearly 2 million single parents in the UK – and everyone can benefit from Gingerbread’s support and be part of shaping the work that we do.

Join Gingerbread as a member (it’s entirely free!) to receive regular information and updates that affect you and your family, and be part of a community that is making the world a better place for single parent families.

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