Rosie Single Parents
I was inspired by the creative ways Gingerbread was supporting young single parents Contact Customer Support at support markallengroup. Strong voice for single parents: Neil Puffett meets Rosie Ferguson, chief executive of charity Gingerbread. Rosie Ferguson stood down as chief executive of youth work umbrella organisation London Youth inafter 11 years at the network. My husband Sukh and I often go away for work. Read about my recent trip to Mumbai here. It was something he had wanted to do for a long time and after a gruelling application process, he was selected to work for the Olympic Broadcast Service. It was a really exciting time for him and the kids and I were over the moon because it was an opportunity of a lifetime. He would be right in the heart of the biggest event on the planet that summer. What was an exciting time for Sukh, was a scary one for me. I would be here, at home, with the kids for five weeks. I would have to juggle their social calendars, clubs and family events over the summer, which normally Sukh and I would share. Marriage and parenthood is a partnership. We each have our individual roles to play but we have shared duties too.
Rosie was bright, academic and inquisitive; I had noticed that she was a bit different from her peers, but had put that down to her being an old soul who liked adult company. My children have been my best teachers, especially Rosie, who can often offer insight into what her younger siblings are feeling but cannot say. At three, Lenny was diagnosed with classic autism and I had to tell my eldest daughter, Rosie, then seven, that she had not one but two disabled siblings. We attracted curious stares everywhere we went: Lenny wanted only to perch on adult shoulders or run off at dazzling speed, Daisy needed a specialist pushchair, and Rosie dressed bizarrely and would often appear to be in her own imaginary world.
Being a single mother by choice is the hardest job I have ever had, and will be the most challenging one for the rest of my life, even if I end up marrying someone. As I write this, I am deep in the trenches of early motherhood as a single mother.
Next year, Gingerbread will celebrate its centenary, marking a century of support for single parents. In June, the high court ruled that the benefit cap specifically discriminated against single parents with children under the age of two, a group which understandably struggles the most to get into work. This would be concerning if it was true — after all, one in four families with the children in the UK are headed by single parents. Single parents are disproportionately likely to be affected by the benefit cap, which arbitrarily limits the amount of government support non-working families can receive — even when living costs continue to rise. In the context of all this, where single-parent families are bearing the brunt of austerity, rhetoric like that of the Marriage Foundation will only promote stigma, rather than solutions.
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Dalia has a sound policy and research background, and a strong grasp of the issues facing single parents today. Immediately before starting with us, Rosie spent a year travelling across north America, at improv school in Chicago and then as Interim Director at Youth Business International. Rosie Ferguson Chief Executive. Rosie started out in the youth sector, supporting young people to develop leadership roles in their communities and went on to be Chief Executive of London Youth from towhere she grew the organisation significantly in terms of both income and impact. Rosie joined as our Chief Executive in February She is passionate about working with and for single parents to ensure Gingerbread is doing the best job it can to support and champion the two million diverse single parent families across England and Wales. Whatever success means for a single parent — a healthy family, a flexible job, stable finances or a chance to study — we work with them to make it happen. Stereotyping single parenthood as a problem is inaccurate and immoral. Children who are living or have lived in single parent families score as highly — or higher — against each measure of wellbeing as those who have always lived in two parent families. Rosie Ferguson, Chief Executive at Gingerbread, said: The report found transitions out of single parent family status are also common. A report by Sumi Rabindrakumar, in her role as policy officer at the leading national charity working with single parent families, Gingerbread, and University of Sheffield researchers, found that public policy and research needs a more nuanced understanding of single parent family life — reflecting how households change over time. About Gingerbread Gingerbread is the leading charity working with single parent families. This has to be done carefully and balanced with ensuring that single parents who need us most can always access our services for free. Children in single-parent families are twice as likely to be growing up in poverty as those in couple families. We also need to strengthen our use of data to focus less on monitoring and more on understanding the interaction parents have with us and how we can design better services. The conditions under which single-parent families live have evolved over the past years, but their need for support has become no less real. And many single parents tell us they still feel isolated and stigmatised by mainstream media. Rosie Ferguson is the chief executive of Gingerbread Sign up now for our free, monthly Voluntary Sector Newsletter, and share your thoughts with us via Gdnvoluntary Looking for a role in the not-for-profit sector, or need to recruit staff? Ten years ago, for example, the charity decided to expand its delivery of government employment contracts to support single parents into work. There were higher poverty and death rates among children born outside of marriage, and fewer legal rights to maintenance payments or inheritance than for those with married parents. Today almost one in four families with children is headed by a single parent, whose average age is Single parents feel we are for them, and politicians across the political spectrum recognise us as experts.