Welcome to the Gingerbread Forum: we hope all single parents will feel safe and at home here. Here are a few points to help you get the best out of using the forum and to ensure that 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 others.
  • Not post anything that could intentionally upset someone or cause them harm.
  • Be aware that all contributions on the forum are made by single parents and are drawn from their own lived experiences.
  • Share your personal experiences – which can give others hope, as well as ideas and tips to try out.
  • 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 any concerns if you feel someone is at risk of significant harm.
  • Report any posts (public or private) that 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 people’s experiences.
  • Include personal details on the feed – including your email, address or telephone number. (These are allowed via private messaging.)
  • Post requests for media or research requests without permission from Gingerbread.
  • Post links without prior agreement from Gingerbread.
  • Promote commercial ventures including ads for accommodation, products or activities where there is a cost or a fee.
  • Spam or troll.

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 are not in line with the forum guidelines.
  • Try to ensure that private messages remain private. These will be viewed by moderators if there are concerns about an individual or if 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 sufficient details to locate you.
  • Try to respond to users if they haven’t received a response from other parents on the forum.
  • Respond to posts that 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 that 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 professional advice, please see the Gingerbread website for signposting options or call our helpline.