National advice service for lone parents faces axe

A national advice service for lone parents with a disabled child is under threat because of changes to funding rules.

National charity One Parent Families has issued an appeal for funds to save its Caring for a Child with Additional Needs project after the government’s decision to limit the Parenting Fund grant to local schemes only.

The project was launched in 2004 with a £131,000 grant to set up a helpline, a call-back service, free information booklets and an e-forum. The funding switch has already forced the charity to close the call-back service and without new sources the whole project could fold.

Twenty-nine per cent of lone parents care for a child with a disability or a long-standing health problem. Natasha Benenson, head of direct services, said: “There is a desperate need for specialist help for the thousands of single parents who are raising a disabled child.

“The information and support we provide can make a huge difference to people’s lives. We were very reluctant to wind down the call-back service and are determined to raise the money we need to put it back in place.”


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