Becoming a single parent can be isolating, frustrating and, at times, terrifying. Too many people have no idea where to start when it comes to finding support in the capital. In this article, we’re sharing resources for support in London for single parents.
Becoming a single parent is tough wherever you live, but the high cost of living in London presents an even greater challenge. Family solicitors in London do receive enquiries from single parents who don’t know where to turn for support.
A lawyer is certainly somewhere to turn to for legal enquiries, but there are also other avenues for support. In this article, we’re sharing some great resources which offer support and assistance to single parents in London.
Financial support for single parents in London
London is the fourth most expensive city in the world, so making ends meet as a single parent here can be a constant struggle. In this section, we’re looking at the financial support that may be available to single parents living in London:
Parents Learning Allowance
Full students in London who have children – and are single parents – may be eligible for the government’s Parents Learning Allowance through which they can potentially receive £1,863 per academic year.
Under the child benefit scheme, parents are entitled to £21.80 for their eldest child and £14.45 per week for other children. This benefit applies to both single parents and those in a relationship.
Single parents may be eligible for up to 30 hours of free childcare per week for up to 52 weeks from the UK Government to help them to better juggle childcare, work and other responsibilities. This can also be a vital resource for single parents who are looking to return to work while taking care of young children.
Looking for and applying for jobs can take a lot of time and concentration. It can be really useful to have a qualified childminder take care of your kids in order to allow you to focus on the task in hand.
Emotional support for single parents in London
Despite living in a city of 8.982 million people, London life can be incredibly lonely for single parents who often don’t have the time or the cash to get out and meet people. In this section, we’ll take a look at some of the resources and networks available to single parents in London:
One of the best UK resources for single parents, Gingerbread, is a one stop shop for those going it alone. They offer practical, legal and emotional advice, as well as connections including real life meet ups to help single parents to receive support and friendship.
Ema, who runs a Gingerbread group in North London says, “Most of the people in my group did not choose to be a single parent. They are going through the brutal experience of their relationship breaking up while unexpectedly finding themselves bringing up their children on their own.
“To do that while the costs of all the basic essentials of life are spiraling out of control is terrifying. When you are solely responsible for bringing up your child then all the financial and emotional impacts of raising your family are yours. I would be lost without the solidarity of my Gingerbread group.”
Single Parents in London Group
As we’ve mentioned, many single parents have little time to get out there and forge new friendships. But, thanks to the Single Parents In London Group, they don’t have to. This valuable group organises walks, events, and meetups for single parents in London as well as connections online. This is definitely one to favourite for any London single parent who is looking to mingle this summer.
Social media groups for single parents in London
When time is tight, social media is a great way to stay connected and gain support from like-minded people. The good news is that there are plenty of groups out there which are quick and easy to join – some of these are:
- West London Single Parents Group – With 311 members, this public group is all about battling loneliness and isolation for single parents in West London with members offering advice and a sympathetic ear.
- London Mommune – A helpful houseshare private group for single mothers in London with 625 members.
- Single Parents Support & Advice Group – With a whopping 33,000+ members, this group, as the name suggests, is a resource for advice and support for single parents. Such support includes legal, practical and financial advice as well as friendship networks.
Knowing your rights and entitlements
The world of the single parent is a complicated one involving keeping a lot of balls in the air at any given time. This can give rise to a number of feelings including guilt, isolation and despair.
Additionally, many single parents go without the financial support that they’re entitled to simply because they feel confused and intimidated by organisations such as the Child Support Agency.
In addition to taking advantage of the resources mentioned in this article, it is recommended that single parents gain advice from a family law solicitor who will be able to help them to navigate the legal and financial aspects of their circumstances in order to determine what kind of financial support they are entitled to from the co-parent of their child(ren).