Welcome to the Gingerbread Forum. We hope all single parents will feel safe and at home. Here are a few points to help you get the best out of using the forum and to ensure everyone is welcome.

This is the agreement you make when you join:

Forum users will:

  • Be kind to each other. Many people using the forum are going through a difficult time and a few kind words can go a long way. Welcome new posters and be especially nice to them
  • Be sensitive to the feelings and opinions of others – everyone’s experience is unique and while you might not always agree, you can disagree in a respectful manner.
  • Consider what you’re going to say and how it may impact on others
  • Not post anything that would intentionally upset someone or cause them harm
  • Be aware that all contributions on the forum are made by single parents drawn from their own lived experiences
  • Share your personal experiences, which can give others hope, as well as ideas and tips to try
  • Consider responding to posts from users who need support and haven’t yet received a reply
  • Use private messages appropriately.  If you are going to make arrangements to meet please read our online safety information
  • Report to any concerns where you feel someone is at risk of significant harm
  • Report any posts (public or private) which contain comments that make you uncomfortable or appear suspicious.
  • If you need professional advice and guidance please see the website for signposting options

Forum users won’t:

  • Give instructive advice – forum users can get professional advice from our freephone helpline. Use behaviour and language that’s disruptive and deliberately offensive to other users
  • Post anything which is racist, homophobic, sexist, transphobic, personally abusive or dismissive about peoples experiences
  • Include personal details on the feed including your email, address and telephone number (these are allowed via private messaging)
  • Post requests for media or research requests without permission from Gingerbread
  • Insert links without prior agreement form Gingerbread
  • Promote commercial ventures which include advertisements for accommodation, products or activities where there is a cost or a fee
  • Use spamming or trolling

Moderators will:

  • Try to be fair. Sometimes we remove posts from the forum if people don’t follow guidelines. This doesn’t happen often but we’ll always explain why we’ve removed something
  • Do our best to resolve any technical problems as quickly as possible
  • Remove any content that appears to break the guidelines or leaves users on the forum feeling unsafe. We may also give you feedback to help you post safely
  • Have the discretion to temporarily or permanently suspend accounts if behaviour and/or comments do not fit within the guidelines
  • Try to ensure that private messages remain private. These will be viewed by moderators if there are concerns about an individual or a report has been made
  • Look out for anyone who is at risk of significant harm
  • Take any safeguarding concern seriously and operate within our Safeguarding Policy framework. We may contact emergency services if you tell us that you’re unsafe, and you give us enough details to locate you
  • Will try to respond to users if they haven’t received a response from other parents on the forum
  • Respond to posts which don’t explicitly break the guidelines but might be extreme in nature e.g. talking about extreme domestic violence or suicidal thoughts in a way that causes distress to others. We will flag our concerns and offer support through private messages. In some cases we may remove posts or block accounts

Moderators won’t:

  • Muscle in your conversation. The forum is for single parents to chat to each other. We might post a response if a relevant signpost can be made and this hasn’t been shared by other users.
  • Give advice – this can be found on our website or by calling our helpline during its opening hours
  • Respond to any friend requests
  • Pass on your details or use your information for anything else unless we have your permission. The only time we may breach this is if believe there is a safeguarding concern, where you or others may be at risk. We reserve the right to contact relevant authorities and in most circumstances you will be informed this is happening

The forum is a place for single parents to support other single parents as peers.

This is different to professional advice – which needs to be accurate and up to date. If you need advice please see the Gingerbread website for signposting options, or call the helpline.