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Single Parent Helpline reached 1,100 single parents in Wales in one year

OVER 1,100 single parents in Wales have been helped out by the Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline in the last year alone.

ScottishPower Energy People Trust provided the Helpline with crucial £100K funding just as the recession was beginning to bite.  Over half of the people calling in 2009 required some form of support with financial matters.

The number of single parents helped across England and Wales in the past year is in excess of 25,000 people.

Gingerbread uses funds from the Trust to pay for two full time employees and one part time staff member who maintain the advice helpline and develop online resources to help single parent families who are facing financial difficulties.  The type of advice provided through the line includes income maximisation, benefit information, and ways to overcome fuel poverty.

To complement the Helpline provision, Gingerbread has also been developing its Single Parent Information Online service.  In addition to this, the charity produces a bespoke “Recession Bulletin”, published on a quarterly basis, which is sent out to anyone who calls the Helpline and requests further information by post.

Ann Loughrey, ScottishPower’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and the ScottishPower Energy People Trust’s Company Secretary, said:

“Fuel poverty affects millions of homes across the country and is caused by a combination of poor energy efficiency in homes and low income. 

“Single parent families are much more at risk of fuel poverty as they live on lower incomes than other families, which is why Gingerbread’s helpline is such a vital service.  We’re delighted that over 1,100 families in Wales have been helped with our funding and are pleased they can access a support service with the Helpline to help ease the strain of financial matters.”

Paul Treloar, Head of Helpline at Gingerbread, said: “We are extremely grateful to The ScottishPower Energy People Trust for their support, which has enabled us to help so many single parents. 

“This year has seen a high level of calls to the helpline with thousands of single parents contacting Gingerbread to discuss fuel poverty and debt related issues. The support of The ScottishPower Energy People Trust allows us to improve this essential advice line and service.”

Gingerbread’s Single Parent Helpline offers expert information and advice for single parents - 0808 802 0925. Open 9am to 5pm Mon-Fri with an extended opening to 8pm on Wed.

For more information on the ScottishPower Energy People Trust, log on to www.energypeopletrust.com

Thursday, June 03, 2010