Our vision, mission and strategy

We are Gingerbread.

We are fighting to create a world where all single parents and their children don’t just survive. They thrive.

We challenge. We support. We connect.

We are brave, ambitious, trustworthy and inclusive.

Why is our mission to support single parent families? 

Life for the 1.8 million single parents in the UK has never been harder.

Despite most being in work, single parents are twice as likely to be in poverty than a parent in a couple. They face prejudice and judgement. And the loneliness and isolation they experience compounds things, putting their mental health and wellbeing at serious risk.

That’s why we’re here to fight for single parents and their children.


Disadvantage, inequality and injustice 

  • The unique needs of single parent families are often ignored by government, public, private and third sectors 
  • Single parent families are twice as likely to live in poverty as couple parent families 
  • Most single parents work but they are often trapped on low incomes that don’t cover basic living costs 
  • Single parents have less flexibility than couple parents and rely on childcare so they can work and progress. Expensive childcare is a barrier to work and means many single parents are forced into debt 

Loneliness, isolation and stress 

  • Single parents are more likely to experience issues with their mental health and wellbeing 
  • Financial, emotional and social pressures on single parents make it harder for them to cope with everyday life and life shocks 
  • There are many routes into single parenthood (bereavement, relationship breakdown and domestic violence) and these increase the risk of loneliness and isolation 


We challenge
We campaign against the inequalities and injustices that single parents face every single day. And we challenge the stigma and negative perceptions around being a single parent.

We support
We provide expert advice and information to support all single parents so that they have the tools to support their children and themselves.

We connect
We provide a support network so that, with Gingerbread, no single parent is ever alone. And we work closely with those who share our values and our objectives.


We are brave – We want to change the world for single parents, to do this we need to be brave with our words and our actions.

We are ambitious – We’re a small charity with big ambitions and we frequently punch above our weight.

We are trustworthy – We are experts in our field, we are well known and we have a proven track record spanning over 100 years.

We are inclusive – We are open, accessible and here to fight for all single parents and their children.

To find out more about our vision, mission and objectives, please take a look at our strategy for 2022 – 2030. 

FAQs about who Gingerbread supports and why

Who counts as a single parent? 

We define a single parent 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 also understand that many parents who don’t have majority care will share the same challenges and responsibilities as those who do – so if you see yourself as a single parent, you are welcome to use our services. You may find, however, that some of our advice is less suited to your situation.   

Do you support single parents everywhere, or just in the UK? 

Our vision is to live in a society where single parents are valued and treated equally and fairly. As such, we hope our campaigning work on the stigma that affects single parent families has a wider impact across the UK.However, our network of support groups only covers England and Wales, and our advice and information are tailored to the needs of single parents in those locations. 

Do you support single mums and single dads? 

Yes. All of our support services, including advice on our helpline and webchat, and our friendship groups are open to single mums and dads who have majority care of their children. 

If you see yourself as a single parent but do not have majority care of your kids – we welcome you to use our online services. You will find, however, that our helpline and webchat services are less suited to your needs. 

Does Gingerbread support children? Or just their parents? 

We are a family charity and so our work is intended to benefit single parent families as a whole. However, our information and services are geared towards parents rather then children. 

Do you offer support to non-resident parents or just resident parents? 

Our charitable aims are to support those single parents with the majority care of their children. As such, our policy and campaigning work tends to focus on issues that affect the resident parent. We are supportive of and empathetic to issues that non-resident parents face and hope that our advice and information is useful to these parents too. For any non-resident parents who are looking for more support, we are always happy to signpost to other organisations that are effectively and brilliantly championing the needs of non-resident parents. 

Do you support shared care? 

Yes. We believe that in the vast majority of cases, children in separated families benefit from good quality relationships with both parents after separation. Gingerbread provides information and advice to support parents to work collaboratively with their child’s other parent to make arrangements together in the best interests of their child. Our information and advice starts from the point of view that, where two parents want to be involved in the child’s life and it is safe for this to happen, it is normally in the best interests of the child. 

Gingerbread was a founding member of the ‘Kids in the Middle’ coalition in 2008, along with Relate, the Fatherhood Institute and Families Need Fathers, which is committed to improve the support given to separating and post-separated parents and children to reduce conflict and improve children’s loves.  

In December 2013, we were awarded the Help and Support for Separated Families Mark, recognising that our services promote collaboration between parents and help them focus on the interests of their children. 

New Report