Director, and People Development & Events Manager
Director, Project Manager, Development Manager and Facilitator
Director, Head of Policy and Evaluation
Single Parents Wellbeing is run by single parents for single parents. SPW is a compassionate, empowering and positive approach to being a single parents with a focus on wellbeing.
We bust the stigma of single parents by promoting the diverse range and stories of single parents. We think single parents are superheroes.
We offer many opportunities for single parents to become a part of our community, so that no single parent feels alone or isolated. You can volunteer with us and we run our activities on weekdays, weekends, bank holidays and other holidays around the year, to cover the times when single parents feel the most lonely.
Some of the things we do:
Wellbeing Workshops: Big Lottery Funded, and in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation 6 week Wellbeing Workshops which, each week, aim to tackle a different part of single parenthood that we all struggle with. This was developed with single parents and offers a thought provoking, deeper level look at mental health and wellbeing. It includes a week led by Human Givens Counsellor and a lesson in Shaitsu massage.
Rambles: Walking for wellbeing all around Wales, where we meet have a chat whilst we walking around our lovely country, the kids get exercise and so do we all whilst in a friendly welcoming group. All whilst keeping track on how many steps we are totalling up. Single Parents can sign up to become a Walking Legend in their area.
Online presence, Social media presence, interactive media, podcasts, blogs and webinars. An innovative way to interact with other single parents wherever you are. To share in your highs and lows, get advise and arrange to meet up with others.
Volunteers, there are lots of opportunities for single parents to become volunteers, and SPW is completely lead by single parents. From offering support to others, becoming an ambassador or writing a blog you can get involved.
A range of additional activities, all suggested by the single parents, including camping trips, theatre trips, mindful play, first aid training, service your car workshop, art sessions, graffiti workshops etc.
In 2013, Rachel tried to find a single parents group to join: “I have lots of friends but none that were single parents and I was feeling lonely.” She couldn’t find a group so posted an advert on Netmums through which she met other single parents who began meeting up at weekends. She later met Amy Holland who was also a single parents, and they both shared the same passion and vision to tackle isolation and loneliness for single parents. They ensured continued support for mental health and wellbeing. Single parents are three times more likely to experience episodes of depression and serious mental health problems such as schizophrenia compared to parents in couples.
Amy and Rachel’s own experiences as single parents were a key influence on SPW’s direction. Rachel wanted to meet people with similar experiences, while Amy explains that after suffering postnatal depression then becoming a single parent when her baby was six months old “made my eyes so wide open to what single parents needed. I wouldn’t go out on a weekend because I felt people would identify me as a single parent. But I knew the only person who could help me was myself, and that being outside was good for my mental health.” This combination of experience led to SPW’s first activity in October 2016—weekend rambles with children and parents across Cardiff and the Vale. “The focus is on wellbeing and happiness, plus it’s free and allows us to make the most of the beautiful Welsh countryside. People are constantly helping each other. It looks like a big group of friends, it’s like a second family.”
The rambles soon became popular, reaching a goal of 110k steps in a year, and Amy and Rachel made it clear to participants that they welcomed feedback from participants to shape SPW’s offer. Single parents have a say in everything SPW does, including its governance. SPW has three board members in addition to Amy and Rachel, all of whom have been single parents.