Charity spotlight: Gingerbread
As the leading charity working with single parents families, at Gingerbread we get a lot of questions about holidays at this time of year.
Whether you’re a single parent hoping to take your children away for a treat or just looking for ways to keep them entertained when money is tight, the school holidays can be a daunting prospect.
You might be worried that you won’t cope or that you can’t afford activities and trips. But remember that as a single parent you overcome challenges every single day and, with 1 in 4 families in the UK headed by a single parent, you will certainly not be the only one in this situation. Gingerbread is also here to help you.
Gingerbread helped me when I needed the support and proper advice that helped give me the confidence to build mine and James’ life again." - Emily, single parent to James
For many single parent families, the largest barrier to going on holiday is the cost. However, it is possible for you to have an enjoyable holiday on a budget.
Bear in mind that a holiday does not have to be a big affair involving international travel. Smaller scale UK-based holidays, such as camping trips or staying in youth hostels, can make for a fun cheap alternative.
Remember that ultimately where you go on holiday is not what is important. What you and your children will remember will be having a great time together.
You can find a list of organisations that can help you with holiday costs in Gingerbread’s holiday information, as well as tips from other parents who have made it work; information on communicating with your child’s other parent about holidays; and details of how a trip away may affect your benefits.
The Gingerbread helpline is there for you if you need help to work out if your benefits may restrict your holiday.
For others, going away might be out of reach this year. However, there are other ways you and your kids can enjoy the summer.
Many people find that connecting with other single parent families in their local area is a great way to make friends and organise joint, affordable activities that keep the kids entertained.
Gingerbread’s friendship groups, running in 90 locations across England and Wales, are set up to help you do just that.
In fact, this year to celebrate Gingerbread’s 100th anniversary, many of our groups will be hosting parties for single parents and their children. Keep an eye on the Gingerbread website for more information.
A friendly, supportive, wonderful group of people! My son has come on leaps and bounds with his confidence and social skills since attending the group” - Gingerbread group member
Help from Gingerbread
Whatever you decide to do for your holiday, you don’t have to go it alone. Gingerbread can help over the summer - and we are here for single parents all year round too. We provide information on a range of issues that affect single parents, offering ways for you to connect to others in a similar situation and campaigning to improve the lives of single parent families.