The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline provides support and expert advice on anything from dealing with a break-up or bereavement to going back to work or sorting out child maintenance, benefit or tax credit issues. Our expert advisers can provide tailored advice and talk through your options. Your call is free and confidential.

The helpline number is 0808 802 0925.

Before you call

Check if your question can be answered by any of our online information. This information – available on a range of subjects and regularly checked and updated by advice professionals – might give you the answer you need more quickly.

Demand for the helpline is extremely high and so you may have to wait a long time to speak to an adviser. Please be patient and we will get to you as soon as we can.

When can I call the helpline?

  • Mondays: 10am to 6pm
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays/Fridays: 10am to 4pm
  • Wednesdays: 10am-1pm and 5pm-7pm
  • The helpline is closed on all public holidays.

Please note: Due to training, the following changes to our opening hours will take place on the 23rd and 24th November.

  • Tuesday 23rd November: Open 10am – 6pm
  • Wednesday 24th November: Open 10am – 1pm only

Support for separated families mark

Who is the helpline for?

The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline provides support and expert advice on anything from dealing with a break-up or bereavement – to going back to work or sorting out child maintenance, benefit or tax credit issues.

Our expert advisors can provide tailored advice including benefits and/ or better off calculations, how income or capital is treated and the impact of benefits – helping single parents make informed decisions in response to a range of issues which may impact their finances. The team can also advise on employment issues, childcare, child maintenance options and contact arrangements. We can give basic advice on housing and debt, signposting on for more specialist support, and advise single parents who are in education, or are considering taking up studies, on the main benefits for single parents who are students.

We also advise on all aspects of Universal Credit, legacy benefits, child benefit, tax credits and the migration to UC.

How can I prepare for my call?

Calls usually take around 20 minutes, so make sure you have the time to take a call this long. We’ve found that there can be a lot of issues covered in a call, so it is a good idea to have a pen and paper to hand, as well as any documents you wish to discuss. Finally, it’s best to be in a quiet place so you can speak to the adviser without worrying about background noise.

Will anyone know I've called?

Our helpline is confidential, which means we will not share your information with anyone outside of the organisation without your permission. We have a page that describes our confidentiality and quality commitments in more detail.

What topics can I call about?

Our advisers are all trained to speak about any issues which may impact a single parent, so there’s no single topic we cover. However, some common examples of topics people call us about are child maintenance, contact, employment, education, welfare benefits and tax credits, housing, and debt.

Will I be charged for calling?

Your call is completely free, including from mobile phones. We cannot guarantee that calls made from outside the UK will be free.

Is the helpline for everyone in the UK?

Our advice service covers England and Wales.  If you live in Scotland, please contact One Parent Families Scotland on 0808 8010323. If you live in Northern Ireland, and would like information about benefits or tax, please contact ‘advice NI’ via their website www.adviceni.net or their helpline 0808 802 0020. For general parenting enquiries in Northern Ireland, please contact Parenting NI on 0808 8010 722.

What if English isn’t my first language?

If you do not speak English as a first language, we can call you back with an interpreter. Phone the helpline and tell the adviser which language you need and provide your phone number. We will aim to arrange a call with an interpreter on the line the same working day. All calls will be from a withheld (private) number. We will not leave a message without your permission.

What if I am deaf or speech impaired?

Deaf and speech impaired callers can access the Gingerbread helpline via the NGT Text relay service. Text users can prefix their call with 18002.

Driving policy

Please note it is our policy not to take calls from people who are driving as it’s not safe, this includes calls using a ‘hands-free’ device.

Callers are welcome to pull over to continue the call if they wish or call back another time when they are not driving.