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We provide expert advice, practical support and campaign for single parents

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Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline

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

Our friendly advisers will talk through your options and will send you useful information. Your call is confidential (for more information see our confidentiality and data protection statement).


The average waiting time for the helpline is around 20 minutes

Before you call, it’s worth checking if your question can be answered by any of our online factsheets or advice tools on a range of subjects as it may be quicker. Demand for the helpline is high and so callers often have to wait to speak to an adviser.

  • Waiting time for the helpline can be much longer when we're busy
  • The busiest times of the day tend to be the morning, so sometimes calling in the afternoon can help.

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.

Phone us for free on 0808 802 0925.

Who is the helpline for?

Our helpline advisers are trained to advise the parent with the main or equal care of the child. We can also support those who may become a single parent and those ringing on behalf of a single parent.

Non-resident parents can look at our factsheets for more information and for signposting to other charities who can provide support.

Getting prepared for your call

  • Try to organise a quiet place where you can talk
  • Have a pen and paper to hand and  any documents you wish to discuss 
  • Your call may take up to 20 minutes so please set aside some time.

What can I get information about?

  • Child maintenance
  • Contact
  • Employment
  • Education
  • Welfare benefits and tax credits
  • Housing
  • Debt.

What will it cost?

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

What areas do we cover?

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 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 offer you a call back with an interpreter. Call the helpline and tell the adviser which language you need, give your phone number and we will aim to get arrange a call back with an interpreter on the line the same working day. All calls will be from a withheld number and 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

Rather get information online?  Then look through our A-Z Factsheets packed full of practical information.


  • You are the only people that have given me correct and proper advice. When I split with my partner, I couldn't find decent advice anywhere, until I spoke to you. The information I received helped me make important decisions and I'm very grateful that you exist.

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