Gingerbread is currently trialling a new webchat feature to provide single parents, and those who support them, with more ways to get in contact with our helpline advisers. 

Webchat will be available for four hours a week from July to mid August as part of the trial. Hours will vary dependent on adviser availability. Our helpline is still available at its usual times.

This is a pilot so we will be learning as we go along. We hope to be able to provide general advice and guidance on benefits, child maintenance, family law and other areas covered on our Information pages. Please note that we cannot provide benefit calculations via webchat.

How to use webchat

To take part in webchat you must be viewing one of our Information pages. If an adviser is free to take part in a webchat, then a webchat tab will appear in the bottom right corner of your browser. It looks like this:

Before we start the chat, we will ask you some quick questions about your age, gender, and single parent status. We’ll also ask you to give us a short explanation of what you would like help with.

Once you have answered these questions, your chat will begin. Please allow advisers time to respond to your questions.

If you would like to keep a copy of your webchat conversation, you can do this using the buttons menu above the chatbox.

  • Print a copy by pressing the print button on the left.
  • Save a copy. This is also done by pressing the print button. When asked to select a printer, select the ‘Save as PDF’ option.
  • Email yourself a copy by pressing the email button in the middle. Then fill in your email address. A copy of your conversation will be emailed to you once the chat is over.
  • The sound button on the right toggles sound for notifications.

After the webchat is over, we would appreciate it if you could fill in our feedback survey. This will help us to improve the service.

Disclaimer

Any advice provided on this webchat is for general guidance only and based solely on the information provided by you. Whilst we endeavour to ensure that the advice is correct, no warranty – express or implied – is given as to its accuracy and we do not accept any liability for error or omission.

The information you provide when you use webchat is kept confidential, unless we are worried someone might be at risk of harm. Your details will be stored securely and only used for evaluation and monitoring and for the purposes of delivering the service.

Please note that we use live chat software from Click4Assistance, a third party UK based Software Company. Gingerbread and Click4Assistance collect information including chat contents, cookies and device details from users that access webchat to enable us to deliver and monitor this service effectively. It’s important you understand how Gingerbread handles the information you provide to us. Find out about the data we collect and how we use it in our privacy policy. For further information regarding how the data is processed and stored by Click4Assistance, view their privacy and cookies policy.

Please be aware that our system will automatically close the webchat with one of our advisers if you do not respond to a message within four minutes.

Webchat pilot schedule

Our sessions are scheduled for the following times. Please check out our information pages to access the webchat window.

  • Monday 29 July: 1-3pm
  • Thursday 1 August: 2-4pm
  • Tuesday 6 August: 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 8 August: 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday 13 August: 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 15 August: 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday 20 August: 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 22 August: 10am-12pm
  • Tuesday 27 August: 10am-12pm
  • Thursday 29 August: 10am-12pm