We are the 1 in 4

Posted 5 October 2017

Single parent, Emma Wallen, was told she was not a ‘real family’ when she tried to access a family deal at a local cinema. Emma spoke out about this unacceptable behaviour, and we joined her, by launching a new campaign – We are the 1 in 4 – calling on companies to recognise that families come in all shapes and sizes including the 1 in 4 headed by a single parent.

Emma Wallen and her childrenEmma tells us about her experience, and why the campaign is so important to her.

“Hundreds of people have become involved in the debate around my recent experience at a Cineworld cinema, which made me realise the unfairness and, in my opinion, misguided view of the definition of a ‘family’. I was disappointed, after having spoken to a Cineworld Sales Rep. who made it clear that their definition of a family was two children and two parents so I did not qualify for a family meal deal as I was not a ‘family’. My friend was also refused a family deal and was told the same thing, that she and her three children were not classed as a ‘family’ either because another parent wasn’t present.

I want to highlight this issue to help all families who have been marginalised because they do not conform to what is considered to be a ‘family unit’ comprising of two parents and two children. It’s clear that in 2016 this viewpoint is outdated and discriminatory, and the definition must be changed if we’re to create a fairer and just society.

The feedback I’ve had from parents, carers, guardians etc. has highlighted the need for many single parents, just like me, to speak up and challenge this outdated view that so many companies and organisations still follow. So many of us are penalised because we do not fit the ideal of a ‘family’.

This is where Gingerbread’s campaign begun. Gingerbread cares for the inclusion of all families, and ‘We are the 1 in 4’ sheds light on the how families across the nation are excluded by companies’ policies. But, we can all help to change this.

Let’s keep posting and sharing our experiences on social media. Please post photos of exclusive ‘Family Deal offers’ or photos where you’ve experienced a ‘Family Deal’ that has helped you and your family.

We are the 1 in 4 and we are still a family”.