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

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Our strategy 2015 - 2018

Our ambitious aim is to connect with 1 million single parents by Gingerbread’s centenary in 2018 so that more single parents know about and can access and contribute to what we offer.  Higher media profile, a new website, digital marketing and generating single parent led content for web and social media will all play a role.

Our offer to single parents is broad because we are the only national single parent charity, offering specialised support focussed on the needs, perspectives, and situation of single parent families including significant legislative and policy changes that affect them from Universal Credit to child maintenance changes.

Our offer includes a mix of expert services led by staff trained to provide complex information, advice and employability programmes and peer support services enabling single parents to talk to and support each other.

Single parents today

  • There are two million single parent families in Britain today – that’s one in four families with children.
  • Single parents do a brilliant job, but paying the bills and juggling work and family life on your own can be a real challenge.
  • Less than half of single parents receive money from their child’s other parent, and children in single parent families are twice as likely as children in couple families to live in poverty.
  • The majority of single parents are working, but two-thirds of them say finances are still a constant struggle at best.
  • And even though there’s no such thing as a typical single parent, nearly three-quarters have experienced stereotyping or prejudice.
  • We know that parenting is about quality, not quantity; we want to see a society where single parent families are valued and treated equally and fairly.

Gingerbread’s strategic objectives

  • To extend our reach and profile
  • To improve the reach, quality and impact of our service mix
  • To secure policy changes through campaigning
  • To promote positive attitudes towards single parents and challenge stigma
  • To grow income to fund our ambitions
  • To support our people to deliver the strategy

Summary of Strategy

This framework 3-year strategy for 2015-18 sets out in very broad terms our main objectives and priorities for the 3 year period up to Gingerbread’s centenary. 

The priorities set for reach, profile, service delivery, and campaigning have been developed in the light of market research into what single parents want and need from Gingerbread.  

This strategy has to bridge the difficult economic climate single parents and charities face, with high need anticipated for some years ahead, and the start of work to generate a positive vision for better times as our Centenary approaches.

Key priorities set include:

  • Strong continued growth in online reach (1 in 4 single parents Y1, nearly 1 in 3 by Centenary 2018), media, online information, membership and group numbers and plans to sustain the valued Helpline
  • Improved integration of services around key life stages for a single parents, development of a holistic “Just separated” service, improved everyday content and a “single parent journey” that supports improved engagement and a longer term relationship with Gingerbread, supported by a significantly enhanced digital offer.
  • Effective influencing of the next government focussing on single parent employment and finances including the introduction of universal credit and child maintenance charging.
  • Building positive attitudes to single parents promoting brand messages, everyday stories, and understanding of single parent families today as we approach our centenary.  Improved ability to target key audiences to ensure we reach a broad single parents audience (including the economically thriving) as well as single parents <25.
  • Ambitious plans to grow the ability of operations to generate and increase earned income contribution in Wales, London and the North West and at least one further region, building the profile of our key products, tailoring our offer for different sectors or corporate partners and younger single parents.
  • Diversifying and growing our income, in particular achieving a turnaround in income from individuals, particularly major donors, as we approach our Centenary.
  • Supporting our people ensuring they have the skills and tools to do the job and are supported and rewarded for their contribution.
  • Significant investment in IT, digital, quality and embedding improved systems and processes including impact measurement and finances.