Can you help shape Gingerbread’s emotional and mental health support?
28th Nov 2023
Posted 16 March 2021
Single parent, Ferne McCann (who you may know from Celebrity Best Home Cook, The Only Way is Essex, I’m a Celebrity… - or from her very own TV show, Ferne McCann: First Time Mum) has launched Gingerbread’s Single Parents’ Day 2021 fundraising appeal.
Having been a single parent since her now three-year-old daughter, Sunday, was born, Ferne has spoken publicly of the worry she felt while pregnant about being “labelled” as a single parent.
Ferne’s spoken before about the misconceptions of single parenthood she had when pregnant with her daughter – like many soon-to-be parents, Ferne was reluctant to call herself a single parent. But, she says, the moment her daughter arrived, it took no time at all for her to become fiercely proud of being a single mum.
Ferne’s stated that her misconceptions of the term were around a lack of belief in herself – she didn’t think she’d be able to cope on her own and worried that Sunday wouldn’t have the ‘benefits’ of having both parents around all the time. That all changed when Sunday arrived: Ferne knows that her daughter has all the love she’ll ever need – and that is the most important thing in a child’s life.Donate to the Gingerbread Single Parents' Day 2021 appeal now
Since Single Parents’ Day 2020 – just two days before the UK went into its first lockdown – single parents across the country have been sole breadwinner, teacher, parent and playmate to their child/ren, twenty-four-seven, for an entire year. In the words of Victoria Benson, single mother to six and Gingerbread CEO, “it’s been relentless”.
In a video launching the Gingerbread appeal, Ferne highlights how Gingerbread is giving a voice to the 1.8 million single parents in the UK and sheds some light on what life has been like through the pandemic for many single parents. She goes on to say that single parents have had to deal with “non-existent support networks … losing their jobs or being furloughed and day-to-day practical difficulties [such as] not being allowed to bring their children with them to the shops…single parent families were over three times as likely to have relied on food banks during the crisis. Nearly one in ten falling out of employment and one in three have been furloughed.”
Ferne goes on to say, “I just want to put things into perspective. If a single parent has lost their job or if a single parent has been furloughed, there’s no relying on anyone else – that’s it! It’s them, being the sole provider”.
Steve Hawe, Head of Fundraising at Gingerbread said: “Single parents have been among the hardest hit by the pandemic. Since the start of the crisis many have struggled to cope with the financial, practical and emotional impacts of the pandemic and we’ve seen a huge increase in demand for our specialist advice, information and support services. It’s vital that single parents are able to access the help that they need and we are grateful to Ferne for her support and for highlighting the needs of single parents”.Find out what activities and events we've got lined up for Single Parents' Day 21!