Single Parents Wellbeing evaluation

Location: Wales

Single Parents Wellbeing (SPW) is a Community Interest Company established by its Directors, Amy Holland and Rachel Cule, in 2017. They are both single parents who were employed as project officers for Creating Connections, a peer-led self management project for single parents funded by Big Lottery Cymru (now National Lottery Community Fund) and delivered by the Mental Health Foundation in partnership with Gingerbread.

SPW has built on the work of Creating Connections, maintaining a peer-led approach that involves single parents in the planning and delivery of a range of activities that aim to promote the health and wellbeing of single parents and their families. The organisation is open to any single parent living or working in Wales and it is free to join through the website or closed Facebook group. Activities are promoted by members via social media and word of mouth or advertised by partner organisations such as Women’s Aid.

Mother, toddler and baby

In 2017 SPW received an initial small grant (£5,000) from the Big Lottery to pilot a ‘Brighter Futures’ course specifically for single parents. The pilot was independently evaluated by the Mental Health Foundation and findings were used to inform a larger grant application of £50,000 to facilitate a series of Wellbeing Workshops and develop an interactive website. The grant application was successful and a series of five Wellbeing Workshops began in South Wales in September 2018, and ran until July 2019.

It was agreed that the Mental Health Foundation (MHF) in Wales would be responsible for overseeing an evaluation of the Wellbeing Workshops for SPW. MHF holds a vision of good mental health for all and we pride ourselves on quality, independent, peer-reviewed research. Prevention is at the heart of the work we do, and our mission is to help people thrive through understanding, protecting and sustaining their mental health.

This report considers whether the Wellbeing Workshops have made a difference to participants’ wellbeing and presents the findings from the data collection. It offers a discussion of these in relation to the aims of Single Parents Wellbeing. Finally, the report looks at the strengths of the Wellbeing Workshops and, through the learning that has occurred, provides future recommendations and a conclusion.

Single Parents Wellbeing Workshops

The Mental Health Foundation has been working with single parents since 2014 and we work closely with our current partner Single Parents Wellbeing.

Creating Connections Impact Report

The Creating Connections programme ran between 2014 to 2016 as a programme of self-management and peer support to single parents in Wales.

A-Z Topic: Parenting and mental health

Being a parent with a mental illness can be hard. But with the right support, you can be a good parent while managing your mental health.

Blog: 'Involving single parents in project delivery and design'

Creating Connections has supported over 200 single parents through self-management courses and peer support groups in Cardiff and Newport so that they don’t have to manage alone.

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