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

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About the courses

How much do the courses cost?

Our training courses are all free to single parents. Some of our courses require you to live in the area the course is running – please contact us to discuss your circumstances in more detail.

How long does the training last?

Every course is different. Some are as short as 2.5 hours, while others require you to be available for a two week work placement. Contact us and we’ll talk through what kind of course will suit you best.

Do the courses run all over the country?

Not all our courses run in every area, and we have a focus on London, the North West and North and South Wales. However, the Marks & Start course runs very widely and we are always looking to increase the kind of training we are able to offer to single parents. Contact us for more details.

How many people are in a group?

Group size can vary – there are usually somewhere between eight and 16 single  parents in a group. We make sure it’s a supportive environment where everyone feels comfortable contributing to the course.

English is my second language; can I still come on a course?

All of the sessions are presented in English and so it is necessary for participants to have a “conversational English” language level.

Can I attend if I have literacy or numeracy development needs?

Some of our sessions are paper-based with a lot of group work stemming from factsheets and paper exercises. If you have specific literacy needs please contact us to discuss how we can adapt the session to your specific needs.

What other support do you provide?

If you are eligible for free training, Gingerbread can often provide free one-to-one support including:

  • Help for you to access volunteering, training or work experience
  • Assist you applying for jobs
  • Advice on building a CV
  • Group advice sessions and support groups
  • Opportunities to meet other single parents in your area
  • Signposting to other agencies for specialist advice.



Do I have to pay for childcare if I come on a course?

It can vary depending on who is funding the programme. It is best to contact us for more details.

I have never used childcare - can Gingerbread recommend someone to me?

The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline (0808 802 0925) can point you in the right direction of organisations that may be able to help.



Will Gingerbread help with the cost of travel?

Yes, we can usually pay for travel expenses

Is lunch provided?

It varies on the length of the course but you can expect to receive refreshments. Please contact us for more details.


Your benefits

Do I have to be claiming a particular benefit to participate?

Depending on who is funding the programme there may be eligibility criteria in terms of benefit. However anyone can attend our community-based programmes. We’ll talk through the specifics with you once we’ve received your contact form.

Will attendance affect my Jobseeker’s allowance claim?

Participation in our courses shouldn't affect your claim but coming on a course doesn’t replace any mandatory activity, such as attending a signing on appointment or taking part in Work Programme activity, agreed between you and the Jobcentre.

Will I get a job after coming on a course with Gingerbread?

There is no guarantee of a job following any of our courses, but a lot of participants go on to find work after completing a course with us.