How we’re helping during COVID-19: in single parents’ words
Read about what some of the parents we work with across Scotland have told us about how our local services have made a difference to them during the pandemic.
Since Scotland went into lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve been gathering views from single parents on how this has impacted on their lives and what can be done to help. As part of this, parents have shared feedback on how our local services have been helping them during this time.
This has been, and continues to be, a really challenging time for many parents, but we wanted to share a few comments which demonstrate the difference that practical, financial and emotional support can make.
A single mum in Glasgow told us: “Finding and getting involved with OPFS has helped my life be better. Helping people like me, in ways you will never know.
“I managed to do the kids’ room up as I got help with funding for a new bed. I was able to get the bunk beds with that money. It’s saved so much space so they both have enough room in their shared room. Also the bunk beds have made bed time stress free for once as they both love it so much and feel safer for some reason and they have been sleeping great since.
“The recent weekly shopping being dropped has been such a massive help during lockdown. We have had more food than we usually would have and lots of lovely treats too. The kids and I have absolutely loved the themes – last week was afternoon tea, today is a picnic. There were wee gifts for the kids and myself and its really been lovely and lifted our spirits up a lot.”
- single dad, Edinburgh
A single mum in Dundee said: “Our family are very close, and we have struggled not being able to see each other. My oldest who has autism lives with my mum and we have struggled not seeing each other as it used to be every second day.
“I have really had to try to keep myself on an even keel. I have lost my routine too and my sleep pattern has been impacted. I have no routine and everyone’s sleep has been affected and this makes me feel worried. The routine was good for my mental health too and now there is nothing to plan, just staying home everyone gets bored and activities seem over very quick.
“I received some food parcel deliveries early on arranged by One Parent Families Scotland and now Barnardo’s bring me shopping every week, [which] was organised through social work. I got some great activities through One Parent Families Scotland which was great for kids.”
A single dad in Edinburgh told us: “Honest, from Day Dot, I don’t know where I would be now without your help. Until I got in touch, I was in a bad place. I had tried to do things on my own and got nowhere. But with you on board, doors started to swing open! You gave me confidence too though, and helped me know I could do it.”
- single mum, Falkirk
See our series of COVID-19 impact reports which outline some of the key issues experienced by single parent families we’ve heard from during the pandemic, featuring quotes and case studies from parents.
And read our COVID-19 response report on how we are responding the crisis and our key calls for policymakers to support single parent families.
A single mum in Falkirk explained: “One Parent Families Scotland has been an invaluable support to me during lockdown. The regular calls with Linda have allowed me to get things off my chest, and to process what we are all going through. They have allowed me to have a safe ear to voice frustrations, worries, hopes and fears. The activity boxes for the kids were fantastic and really helped to entertain the kids and the little treat bag for the parents was a bright spot in all the doom and gloom.
“The gentleman who dropped them off was really friendly and took time for a little socially distanced chat at the doorstep. I also benefited from the energy grant which took away a little of the worry about how to afford all the extra energy use with both kids being at home full time. Linda also applied to the LA for us for a digital grant which has been approved and will make home schooling so much easier!
“While all of these material things have been fantastic, the main benefit to me has honestly been feeling like someone was actually thinking about me. I spend so much time worrying about other people that having someone ask ‘but how are you?’ and mean it, and that I could tell the whole story to without worrying about how it would affect them (although I still do a bit!), has been such a relief.
“Sometimes all we do is chat about small stuff and it feels like a break, like I’ve taken time for self-care. I always come off the call feeling a little lighter. I can’t thank OPFS for all they have done during this time and I couldn’t ask for more – unless they fancy watching my kids for a few days!”
- single mum, Glasgow
A single mum in Glasgow told us: “The pandemic made me more isolated. My mum is sofa surfing at my auntie’s because she can’t afford to stay anywhere and she’s still studying at college. She used to come up to mine and sit with me so I wasn’t by myself, and I was quite active because I was at college, but now with the pandemic, being in the house myself, I’m all alone, I’ve got nobody. I depend on my mum and my family coming over to help me, because I don’t cope very well being by myself.
“Even getting out to do a food shop is really hard because it’s just me and my daughter so it’s a pure nightmare that I’ve not got anybody to help me, and I’m by myself basically living off of nothing. It’s not good on my mental health either; I’ve been more depressed and really moody all the time.
“We’ve had a group chat with all the mums that used to go to the One Parent Families Scotland group – we had to sign a consent form just to say we’re all happy to be in a group – and that’s good because we all just kind of check in with each other and see what each other is doing because we can’t see each other.
“And Marie [at OPFS] phones up to see if I need anything. I’ve also got my family nurse, which is good, and she got me my washing machine through the Drapers’ Fund because Marie tried to get it through the Welfare Fund but they were closed because of the lockdown. It was good having that support.”
Donate to help single parent families
We are working to help single parents and their children to cope during the pandemic, and we still need your help to support our donations appeal to cover essentials for families in crisis.Donate now