Our Edinburgh service
Although our office is closed, OPFS is still working to support single parents across the city. We know that coping with the current crisis is having an impact on families, but we are here to provide support and a listening ear.
Our staff team have been working hard to ensure we can continue to support families with the services that they need during the Coronavirus outbreak, both in terms of practical services and being able to access those services.
- One-to-one support to parents by telephone, text, email, Facebook, Facetime and WhatsApp
- Advice on Universal Credit claims, Benefit Applications, Money Advice and Housing
- Information and advice on money, food, medication, heating and lighting
- Help with crisis applications for fuel, food and essential item items
- Hints and tips on managing your worries
- Ideas for activities you can do at home to keep you and your family occupied
- Up-to-date advice and referrals for access to local services & resources
Facebook page is updated regularly with local and national information.
You can reach us by calling 0131 556 3899 and leaving a message which will still reach us. You can send a message via Facebook or email us.
Edinburgh Services Manager
View our range of support services for single parents below.
Help to work or study
Overcoming barriers and getting digitally connected
We know there are lots of things that can make working or studying as a single parent difficult. Our support can help you decide what direction you want your future to take and feel confident in making those next steps. Information and help with things like childcare, benefits, and job seeking can make those barriers less scary and keep you in control of your future. We can also help you learn digital skills and get the equipment you need to get connected at home.
We regularly run our successful Preparing for the Future course (PFF) in different Edinburgh locations. For one day per week (over six weeks), PFF brings together single parents with similar challenges to learn from the facilitator and each other about how to create the best chances to get the job or course you want. You will leave with an Action Plan for the next few months, which we will follow up with you.
All courses are run in term time, during the school day. For those that need it, we provide childcare, share a nice lunch and often help with transportation costs.
We also offer one-one support to help you find the future direction that’s right for you and your family and give you information and tools to sort out things like childcare and benefit issues. We can also help you through our Laptop Library and getting better connected to the internet from home.
Parenting and family support
Groups and activities
We know how easy it is to get isolated. Simply connecting with other single parents and making new friends can make a big difference to how you feel about yourself, how you parent and how you go forward to reach your goals.
Activities for you and your children
Lack of time and money can make it difficult to get out and have fun with your kids but it’s really important. In Edinburgh we have regular events for children and their parents, particularly over the school holidays.
Dads’ Clubs are free and weekly activity groups run each Saturday for single (and contact) dads and their children. It gives fathers a chance to learn about all the cheap and free ways to have fun with kids in and around Edinburgh, while also connecting families and creating new friends. Each week we do something different, while also ensuring that dads and kids feel supported in what can sometimes be difficult circumstances.
One-to-one support for dads
We know that groups don’t always suit everyone, and sometimes help is needed in a different way. Project staff can meet with you during the week and talk through parenting issues, help with practical things and support you in speaking to agencies and workers about your role as a father.
Health and wellbeing
Mental Health and Wellbeing Groups
We currently run two groups in Edinburgh for mums who want to meet other women and look at how best to look after their wellbeing. Each week has a theme, but the mums participating guide the conversation. The sessions are fun and informative, and also offer a free creche for younger children needing looked after.
The groups on currently are at:
- Southside Community Centre, (Newington) 10:O0 – 12:00 every Tuesday (during term times)
- Gate 55 Community Hub (Westerhailes) 12:00 – 2:00 every Thursday (during term times)
If you are interested in finding out more, call Sofia on 07818 301 570 or 0131 556 3899.
Groups don’t suit everyone, and sometimes our parents need more individualised help with practical and emotional issues getting in the way of good mental health and wellbeing. Our support workers can help you set goals, and visit each week or so to help you reach them. Often one-to-one support can be an important step in becoming more engaged in your community and better able to do things like getting a new/better job or enrolling in further education.
If you would like to find out more, call Sofia on 07818 301 570 or 0131 556 3899.
Our Edinburgh project offers free counselling for single parents who feel this kind of one-to-one therapy would help them. Counselling can provide a safe and nurturing space to understand yourself better and work through issues and make changes that promote their wellbeing. The sessions are weekly and while time limited, usually run for up to 12-16 sessions.
If you would like to find out more, contact counselling email address here or call 0131 556 3899.
We know that for many single parents trying to make ends meet in difficult circumstances, things can happen that you don’t expect. Particularly when these involve expenses you didn’t plan on, it can make things feel out of control. We can support you to step back and figure out what is going to help. If it’s about money or food, we occasionally have the funding to help directly. But if not, we can support you to apply to other organisations offering grants efficiently.