Advice network gives single parents lifeline support on welfare reform
A project in Glasgow is helping single parents cope with welfare reform.
The Lone Parents Advice and Support Network, run by OPFS and supported by the Glasgow Housing Association, provides single parents with advice on welfare benefits, help with fuel poverty and support in managing their money.
Free wi-fi and access to computers mean single parents can brush up on their IT skills and use the internet to complete online benefit claims and look for jobs and training.
The project, which previously ran in Knightswood, is currently running in Maryhill and Drumchapel, and will be extended to Pollok and Castlemilk soon.
Patricia Ferguson MSP was on hand to meet some of the parents who attend the Maryhill project and hear how they have benefitted.
GHA tenant Magi McCormick, 43, from Kelvindale Place, said:
“The project is great. The staff give us really good information and I’ve learned so much. I’ve already told other parents about the project and about the help that’s out there.”
Patricia Ferguson MSP said:
“Bringing up your family alone can mean you become isolated and don’t always have someone to talk to about the everyday issues that all households face.
“Having someone who can give you advice and support that you can trust becomes even more important and often prevents families from getting into debt or rent arrears.
“This project provides exactly that kind of support and I am delighted that it is available to single parent families in my constituency.”
Sheena Campbell, Manager of One Parent Families Scotland, Glasgow, added:
“Our programme offers single parents an opportunity to increase their knowledge of their rights and of the welfare system, improve financial capability and gain confidence to make informed choices. We know this contributes to improved health and wellbeing for both parents and their children.”
GHA Chair Gordon Sloan said:
“We always want to provide our tenants with opportunities to improve their own lives and their children’s lives. I know our tenants in Knightswood found the Lone Parents Advice and Support Network a great help and I’m sure the project in Maryhill will be just as successful.”
Some of the parents who attend the group will also be trained to become peer mentors, or ‘local champions’, who will be trained to support other single parents affected by welfare reform, while increasing their own confidence, skills and experience.