Talk to us

We’re here for you

The Gingerbread Advice Service provides support and expert advice on any aspect of single parenting, from dealing with a break-up or bereavement to going back to work or sorting out child maintenance, benefit or Universal Credit issues. Our expert advisers provide tailored advice and can talk you through your options.

Our advice service is free and confidential, and we’re proud to be AQS-accredited 

  • Helpline: 0808 802 0925
  • Webchat: Click the green chat button at the bottom right of your screen

Before you get in touch

Check if your question can be answered on our website. Our information section covers a range of topics and is regularly checked and updated by advice professionals.

Demand for the helpline is extremely high so please be prepared to wait to speak to an adviser. There’s less demand for the webchat service.

Do you need urgent support?

Are you feeling anxious, worried or overwhelmed? Text the word GINGER to 85258 at any time of day or night and talk to a trained volunteer who will work with you to take your next steps towards feeling better.

The service is free and confidential, and won’t show up on your phone bill.

When is the Gingerbread advice service open?

We’re open Monday to Thursday, except bank holidays.


Helpline: 10am to 12pm, 2pm to 7pm
Webchat: 12pm to 3pm


Helpline: 10am to 12pm, 2pm to 4pm
Webchat: 12pm to 4pm


Helpline: 10am to 1pm, 4pm to 7pm
Webchat: 12pm to 1pm


Helpline: 10am to 12pm, 2-4pm
Webchat: 12pm to 2pm

Who is the Gingerbread advice service for?

Our advice service is open to all single parent families who need advice and support about single parenting. We cover a wide range of topics including money, benefits, housing, employment, separation, bereavement, education and child maintenance.

Our advice service covers England and Wales only.

If you live in Scotland, please contact One Parent Families Scotland on 0808 801 0323.

If you live in Northern Ireland, please contact Parenting NI on 0808 801 0722.

If you live in Ireland, please contact One Family Ireland on 0818 662 212.

Can I get help with benefit calculations?

Our team can provide tailored advice on money matters, helping you make better informed decisions about your finances. The team cannot give benefit calculations via webchat. For a calculation, please call the helpline on 0808 802 0925 or use our online benefit calculator.

How can I prepare before I get in touch?
  • Find a quiet place so you aren’t distracted by background noise
  • Demand for our helpline is very high so be prepared to wait before you speak to an adviser
  • Each call/webchat session lasts for around 15 – 20 minutes, so make sure you have enough time to speak to an adviser once you’ve been put through
  • Have any documents you want to talk about with you
  • Have a pen and paper so you can make notes
Will anyone know I’ve contacted the advice service?

Our advice service is confidential. We won’t share your information with anyone outside of the organisation without your permission, unless we’re worried that someone might be at risk of harm.

Find out more about our confidentiality and quality commitments.

Is the advice service free?

Yes. All calls, including from mobiles, are free and our webchat is accessible anywhere you’re able to access the internet.

We can’t guarantee that calls made from outside the UK will be free.

What if English isn’t my first language?

If you don’t speak English as a first language, we can call you back with an interpreter. When you call the helpline, tell the adviser which language you need and give your phone number. We aim to call back with an interpreter the same day. All calls will be from a withheld (private) number. We will not leave a message without your permission.

What if I’m deaf or speech impaired?

Deaf and speech impaired callers can access the Gingerbread helpline via the NGT Text relay service. Text users can prefix their call with 18002.

Driving policy

It’s our policy not to take calls from people who are driving as this isn’t safe. This includes calls using a ‘hands-free’ device.

Callers are welcome to pull over to continue the call if they wish or call back another time when they’re not driving.

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