Published on June 9th, 2014 | by Parenting Solo0
Support group for single parents has hopes for charity status
Nicola Booth, 27, became a single parent to her then one-year-old daughter in July 2012. She tells parenting solo how she was inspired to set up a support group to reach out to other lone parents, and how it has subsequently evolved into a worldwide forum.
I started Single Parent Support as a Facebook page in October 2012 as a resource to help other lone parents connect with each other. I am amazed by the response to the group – it now has more than 6000 members from all over the world who chat online, support each other and attend meet-ups.
The success of it led to me starting a sub-group for UK members – mainly inspired by me being at home every evening with no one to talk to! I thought there had to be other parents in the same situation who needed support, advice, or who just wanted to chat.
I’ve now have launched a website to complement the Facebook page, and to further share information and tips that I have found useful as a single parent. I have really thrown myself into this endeavour – printing and distributing leaflets and business cards, and funding it all myself!
An important part of the group is the help I have been able to provide to those who need it the most. I have paid for group members to be able to access the Freedom Programme for victims of domestic abuse, and I am in talks with various organisations to offer members one-to-one counselling. I’m also negotiating discounts at restaurants and other venues to help manage the high costs of being a single parent.
I have lots of exciting developments lined up in the coming months and am working with some great organisations, but ultimately, I would love to be able to turn the group into a charity and set up a dedicated helpline, as I know how much having someone to talk to has helped me. I am now a lot more confident and have made a few good friends for life who really understand me!
There’s a negative stigma attached to single parents and I want other people in my situation to know they are not alone, and that they are doing a fantastic job. If I have helped one person to feel better, and got the advice they needed, then I have done my job!
What a great resource! As well as via the links above, can also follow Nicola’s group on Twitter @singleparentsup