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23rd December 2011   Gingerbread NI Annual Report 2011

Welcome to Gingerbread’s 33rd Annual Report. We have just come through another particularly challenging year for families generally and lone parents in particular. The recession continues to bite hard with more and more families experiencing hardship and poverty. Unemployment levels continued to rise and there is little evidence to suggest that any improvement will occur soon.

Please click on the Gingerbread NI Annual Report 2011 cover for access.
9th December 2011   25,000 in NI Get Winter Fuel Payments

More than 250,000 people in Northern Ireland are to get a one-off emergency winter fuel payment, the executive has said. Cancer sufferers, pensioners and unemployed people are among those who will benefit. Recipients will be determined by a 'qualifying week' in December and payments are to be issued in February.

The payments include:
  • £100 to those in receipt of Pension Credit
  • £100 for those receiving cancer treatment
  • £75 to those in receipt of Income Support
  • £75 to those in receipt of Employment Support Allowance income related
  • £75 to those in receipt of Job Seekers Allowance income based
11th November 2011   Family Appeal

The St Vincent de Paul / Salvation Army Family Appeal helps families out at Christmas time by providing gifts and toys for children, easing the financial burden felt at this time of year.

If you think that you might need help this Christmas please get in touch with Gingerbread’s Advice Service. You can call the Freephone Advice Helpline on 0808 808 8090, speak to an Advisor and leave your name, address and telephone number. You do not have to be on benefits to apply, but must be facing financial hardship.

We will send you a form to sign, then need it returned to us to process. This must reach us by Wednesday the 7th of December at the latest, so ring or drop into one of our offices as soon as possible.

18th October 2011   Gingerbread NI Annual General Meeting 2011

Gingerbread NI’s 2011 Annual General Meeting will be held on the Friday the 18th November, at 10.30am, in The Grosvenor Hall, Glengall Street, Belfast. 


The Annual General Meeting presents an opportunity for all members of the organisation to have a say in how Gingerbread develops, so we encourage as large an attendance as possible.

The AGM will be followed by Gingerbread’s Trainee Awards Ceremony, which celebrates the achievements of those who have taken part in training programmes throughout the year. We will end the Trainee Award Ceremony with lunch.
If you’re interested in attending please email or call 028 9023 1417
11th October 2011   Thinking About Borrowing Money?
  When thinking about borrowing money it’s important to consider where you can borrow from. Produced by the Consumer Council in association with Gingerbread NI, this booklet outlines the options, and analyses the pros and cons of each. In addition, there are some useful figures to help you compare different sources of credit and decide what suits your needs best.
Click on the cover to access the booklet, or alternatively, click here
29th September 2011   Childcare Costs Survey  

Families in Northern Ireland pay £16,000 a year on childcare. Does it pay to work?

Local Charity Employers For Childcare Charitable Group launched  their 2011 Childcare Costs Survey at Stormont. The findings paint a challenging picture for families within the region, with the high cost of childcare impacting on family budgets and forcing many parents into reducing their working hours or leaving the work place altogether. 

With childcare costs amounting to just over £16,000 for a household with two children, the average family here allocating 90% of their salary towards childcare. Nearly 2,500 parents participated in the survey, with just under half stating that the cost of childcare has influenced the number of hours they work.


At a time when the Government is trying to encourage more people back into the workplace, the annual childcare bill for many parents across the region raises an important and challenging question: Does it pay to work?

8th September 2011   Supermom
  Are you a lone parent? Are you interested in learning about filmmaking and working in a team to make a short film? This free 10 week course is open to lone parents who are not currently in paid employment, and starts on Monday 17th October.
For further information on the Supermom Film Course click here
If you're interested contact or call 028 9023 1417
7th September 2011   Lipstick & Money
  Possibilities NI (Gingerbread’s social enterprise) is delighted to announce that we can now offer you, in partnership with East Belfast Enterprises, the very successful Lipstick & Money programme. This exciting programme aims to help women to build their confidence, gain a qualification, and make some extra money.
The course starts on Thursday 6th October in Gingerbread’s premises at 169 University Street, Belfast. It is free of charge and help is available towards childcare and travel costs.
For further information on Lipstick & Money please click here

If you're interested please contact or or call 028 9023 1417

30th August 2011   2011 AGM Notification
  Gingerbread NI's Annual General Meeting will be held on:
Friday 18th November at 10.30am in:

The Grosvenor Hall,

Glengall Street,


BT12 5AB

to adopt the audited accounts and annual report for the year end 31 March 2011; to elect the Board of Directors; to appoint auditors, and deal with any other business which the meeting is competent to transact.
    Marie Cavanagh
    Company Secretary
29th August 2011   Gingerbread Times Summer 2011
In this issue:
  • Tessa Forthergill visits Belfast
  • Training - Marks & Starts/ Supermom/ Restart
  • Advice Questions Answered
  • Childcare Costs
  • Parents' Week
  • Summer Safety
  • Gingerbread NI AGM
  • Problems with Debt?
  • Family Breaks
  • Fun things for the Family
  • Recipe
  • Puzzles
  • and more…
28th July 2011   Consumer Advice Handbook

  The Consumer Council recently launched an updated Consumer Advice Handbook (A-Z). This provides a comprehensive guide on everyday consumer issues; consumer law, and where to go for advice and redress. To access the Consumer Advice Handbook (A-Z), please click on the following link:
25th July 2011
  Supermom Update
  Gingerbread NI is launching Supermom, an exciting new project which will bring together a group of lone parents for basic film skills training in everything from writing a script to operating a camera. Some of the group may opt to appear front of camera using their acting skills, and there will be opportunities for helping with hair and make up on set as well. No experience is necessary just an enthusiastic approach and a willingness to take up a new challenge!
If you are a lone parent, or you work with lone parents who may be interested in getting involved with Supermom, please contact Whitney at 028 9023 1417 to learn more about what the project has to offer. You can also read our newsletter, above, to find out about the international project. And if you wish to follow us on Facebook to get updated on developments in the programme as they happen, please click here
17th June 2011   Welfare Cuts Research

  Advice NI is very concerned about the impact of welfare cuts on vulnerable, low income households. 
In the current recession, even more people have become reliant on the social security system.  Advice NI is keen to assess their everyday experiences of a system which has been subjected to very significant cuts.
In order to try and give low income households a voice, Advice NI has developed an online survey aimed at people reliant upon the social security system; including needing help with their mortgage or rent; help with childcare costs; help because they are sick or disabled; or generally finding it difficult to pay bills and make ends meet.
All of the information collected will be kept in the strictest confidence and used for research purposes only.  A report will be produced with the aim of raising awareness of the impact of the welfare cuts on people in Northern Ireland.
Go to to complete the survey
16th June 2011   Childcare Costs Survey
  Last year Employers for Childcare carried out the first ever Childcare Costs Survey for the region. Over 1000 parents responded. The results were collated into a report and presented to Government Ministers at Stormont, highlighting the need to invest more in childcare services for families in Northern Ireland. They're hoping for an even bigger response this year, to add weight to the message that the Government needs to invest more on childcare.
Those who complete the survey will be entered into a prize draw to win a £50 Tesco voucher. To access the survey please click the link below.
3rd June 2011   Marks and Start June 2011 Training Programme
  Are you a Lone Parent? Do you want to return to work? Would a package of work preparation training followed by two-weeks' work experience with Marks and Spencer help you to reach that goal? For training programmes running this year in the months of June & September please contact: or call 028 9023 1417
24th May 2011   Fathers' Fun Day
  Colin Neighbourhood Partnership is holding a Fathers Fun Day on Saturday 18th June at Cloona House in Poleglass. This free event is for all the family and will feature bouncy castles, face painting, music, BBQ and much more. The centrepiece of the festivities will be the announcement of the "Main Man Award" winner, an award which acknowldeges and celebrates the important part men play in the community.
For more information on Fathers Fun Day and to download Main Man Award nomination forms please click here
4th May 2011   Gingerbread Times Spring 2011
In this Issue:
  • Eileen’s Story
  • Childcare Voucher Users - 2011 Changes
  • Advice, Your Questions Answered
  • Return to Work
  • Marks and Start
  • Choices Plus
  • IT/Computer Training
  • OCR Certificate in Mentoring
  • Fun Things for the Family
  • Update on Possibilities NI Transnational Projects
  • Recipes
  • Puzzles
  • and more…
1st April 2011   Supermom Launch
  Lone parent support charity, Gingerbread, is launching Supermom, an exciting new project which will bring together a group of lone parents for basic film skills training in everything from writing a script to operating a camera. Some of the group may opt to appear front of camera using their acting skills and there will be opportunities for helping with hair and make up on set as well. No experience is necessary just an enthusiastic approach and a willingness to take up a new challenge!
Once the training is complete, the group will make a short film to tell their story. This is a European project so lone parents from Germany, Italy, France and Poland will also take part in the project in their own countries.
If you are a lone parent, or you work with lone parents who may be interested in getting involved with Supermom, join us at the launch to hear more about what the project has to offer.

Gingerbread invites you to the launch of Supermom, on 12th April 2011 in the Crescent Arts Centre, Lower Crescent, Belfast.

RSVP by Friday 8th April to
11th March 2011   Parenting Support Session
  We are holding a Parenting Support Session on Tuesday 29th March in our Central Office at 169 University Street, Belfast. The four main areas we will focus on during this session are:
  • How to budget and make your money go further
  • How to deal with debt
  • How to plan ahead for major life changes such as parenthood
  • Who to turn to for help if things go wrong
If you're interested in attending please leave your name and contact details.  Places are limited and will be given on a first come first served basis.

Parenting Support Session


29th March 2011

11am – 1pm

Lunch will be provided



4th March 2011
Marks and Start March 2011 Training Programme
  Are you a Lone Parent? Do you want to return to work? Would a package of work preparation training followed by two-weeks' work experience with Marks and Spencer help you to reach that goal? For training programmes running this year in the months of March, June & September, please conact or call 028 9023 1417

10th February    Maternity Grant Cuts
The government has decided to press ahead with its plans to limit payment of the Sure Start Maternity Grant to families where a new baby is the only child under sixteen in the household.
The Law Centre and Gingerbread NI argued that cutting the grant would cause real hardship for families and flies in the face of the government's commitment to end child poverty.
To find out more log on to:
27th January   Family Mediation NI
  Family Mediation offers an alternative to conflict when families experience difficulties during separation or divorce and helps reduce the trauma of separation. Family life today can be stressful, demanding and complex. Maintaining good relationships between parents and children during and after separation is crucial to our well being and happiness.
For further information and contact details just click on the cover
12th January 2011   Gingerbread NI Annual Report 2010
  Welcome to Gingerbread’s 32nd Annual Report. This year has been particularly challenging for families generally and lone parents in particular. The recession continues to bite hard with more and more families experiencing hardship and poverty....
To read on click here
5th January 2011   Gingerbread Times Winter 2010
  In this Issue:
  • AGM and Awards
  • Ceremony
  • Questions and Answers
  • Training
  • Women in Business
  • Financial Information
  • Santa Letter Appeal
  • Child Maintenance
  • Forum
5th December 2010 Christmas Budget Planner
We have posted a Christmas Budget Planner which has been produced by the Consumer Council for Northern Ireland.  This may be of use in helping you focus on your budget coming up to this very expensive time of the year.  You can dowload the document, print it, and then add in your own expenditure. Just click on the cover.
16th November 2010 MoneySense for Lone Parents

This practical guide to managing your money is packed with guidance on making the most of your income, how to deal with household bills and where to get help if your finances become difficult to manage. In other words, it is essential reading for any lone parent.

4th November 2010 Choices Plus SROI Study

The purpose of this Study is to help Gingerbread NI to demonstrate to funders and other stakeholders the social, educational and economic value being generated by Choices Plus.

12th September Marks and Start

Gingerbread is proud to announce that the most recent Marks & Start programme has just been completed by 24 lone parent participants.

We are very happy to report that all 24 participants have been successful in the programme, and Marks & Spencer have indicated that they will be offering them the opportunity to work in their stores throughout Northern Ireland.

So well done to all those who took part in the programme and good luck in their future work with Marks & Spencer!

25th August 2010 Institute of Fiscal Studies

The Institute of Fiscal Studies have contradicted George Osbournes budget in todays Guardian. The budget has been branded as 'regressive' and likely to impact more detrimentally on poor families.

  For more information click here
10th May 2010 Department for Social Development

The Department for Social Development launched the most recent Welfare Reform Bill for consultation on 12 April 2010.  The Welfare Reform Bill 2010 has a significant implication for one parent families.

The Bill introduces a ‘work for your benefit’ philosophy and focuses on the use of sanctions to achieve this.  It also proposes increasing the pressure on lone parents to seek employment.  The Bill will require lone parents whose youngest child is less than seven years of age to actively seek work as a condition of benefit entitlement.
The Bill also proposed changes to how and when Community Care Grants and Budgeting and Crisis Loans are awarded with the compulsory introduction of identifying suppliers for the provision of goods and services rather than claimants being awarded the money to buy items themselves.
  Gingerbread disagrees with many of the sections laid out in the Bill and below is a copy of our response to the Department for Social Development outlining our objections.

To read the document, please click here


If you have any comment please contact

A full copy of the bill is available on the Assembly’s web-site here
16th February 2010 Restart
A few years back, Gingerbread's Possibilities Project, delivered through the EU Equal programme, successfully developed an innovative coaching and support package for lone parents returning to work. The feedback from lone parents was very positive and many who took part went on to find work, set up a business or go on to further education or training. Elements of the package were mainstreamed into a former Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) pilot programme called 'Pathways to Work- Work Preparation Programme for Lone Parents'.

This has now led on to the development of 'Restart' which offers group training, one to one coaching and work experience opportunities with local employers to lone parents returning to work. Restart is delivered by Gingerbread's social enterprise, Possibilities NI, and is now available through the Department's Steps to Work programme. Restart is also proving of interest to agencies in other European countries and we hope to have the opportunity to develop this work with partners in Europe in the near future.

9th November 2009  Succeeding in Challenging Times

The training achievements of lone parents from throughout Northern Ireland were recognised during a special Awards event which followed Gingerbread’s Annual General Meeting on Friday 6 November 2009. The Annual General Meeting allowed lone parent members to consider the significant work carried out by the organisation on their behalf over the past year. Members also welcomed the incoming Board who will work with staff on the development of the organisation in the coming year.


Hosting the special Awards event at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Belfast, local journalist and broadcaster, Letitia Fitzpatrick, commented:


‘Being a parent is the toughest job there is - being a single parent is doubly tough. It's fantastic to see so many lone parents achieving so much, with Gingerbread's help.’


Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Employment and Learning delivered a keynote address at the award ceremony and congratulated all ofthe lone parents who has worked toward and achieved qualifications.


‘The experience you have gained at Gingerbread will be of great help to you in your quest for future employment. Your efforts and your commitment to your chosen course of training have been thoroughly worthwhile and these awards deserve both our recognition and celebration’, said Sir Reg.


The Minister also commended the work of Gingerbread saying:


‘Gingerbread has a long and well-respected track record in helping lone parents into work, dealing with the obstacles and inequalities they face and developing innovative ways of overcoming these.  The importance of attaining skills and qualifications inthe current economic downturn cannot be under- estimated. There are considerable long term benefit from skills development for the individual, the economy and society as a whole.’


Over the past year, the organisation has assisted over 140 lone parents to achieve recognised qualifications in subjects ranging from Access to University, IT, Training for Trainers, Mentoring in the Workplace and NVQ’s in a range of occupational areas.


Gingerbread’s Director, Marie Cavanagh commented:


‘We are very proud of the fact over 90% of the lone parents that we have worked with have completed their courses, despite all ofthedemands which parenting alone makes on them. Almost one in five have found work while over two thirds went on to further training or education. We deliver six different training programmes including European funded, mainstream and pilot programmes supported by the Department for Employment and Learning. Gingerbread provided support to lone parents including; vocational skills training, childcare, careers guidance, welfare rights advice and work placement opportunities with local employers.’


The Awards ceremony, which had ‘Succeeding in Challenging Times’ as its theme, was also an opportunity to celebrate one of Gingerbread’s newest developments the success of Possibilities NI - a wholly owed subsidiary of the charity and a social enterprise. Possibilities NI provides high quality training, mentoring, and consultancy services to individuals and companies locally and internationally. The revenue generated by Possibilities NI contributes to supporting Gingerbread’s work with one parent families.


Anne Sweeney, Assistant Director of Gingerbread and Managing Director of Possibilities NI said:


‘I am delighted on behalf of the Board of Possibilities NI to be able to gift aid the profits of our first six months trading to Gingerbread. We are pleased with these results and hope to build on these in the future.’


Gingerbread NI would like to highlight that the aim of Possibilities NI as a social enterprise is to raise money for the work of Gingerbread, therefore we would urge all of our members to promote the new company and its services wherever possible. Our trading company Possibilities NI provides:

  • Training for individuals returning to work through DEL’s Steps to Work initiativeTraining for staff within organisations and companies (for example, coaching and mentoring training, equality training etc).
  • Consultancy and research services locally and throughout Europe.
18th June 2009 Child Poverty Alliance
Gingerbread, Barnardo’s and Action for Children (all members of the Child Poverty Alliance), presented information to MLA’s in the Long Gallery in Stormont on Tuesday 16 June 2009 outlining how Family Support can contribute to the relief of Child Poverty.
  Marie Cavanagh, Director of Gingerbread, presented a DVD in which lone parents explained in their own words, their lone parent circumstances, their need for support to overcome the barriers they face as lone parents and the issues that impacted on them as sole carers and their attempts to work outside the home.
  Although the lone parents in the DVD had come to lone parenthood in different ways there were four common themes expressed by all.
  • Primary childcare role/responsibility
  • Impact on/change in career
  • Low income/part-time work/self-employment
  • Isolation/confidence/support
  In the course of the seminar Gingerbread highlighted four things that we would like to develop with Government and would go some way to achieving the eradication of Child Poverty by 2020.
  Four things we would like to see:
  • Childcare – realistic approach which includes childcare from Early Years through to Teens if we are to make Work an option for parents generally and lone parents in particular.
  • Training and Employment – continue to support lone parents in pursuing higher level qualifications which lead to sustainable jobs.
  • Income levels – part-time work and benefits levels don’t work – poor parents and very poor lone parents are budgeting as best they can.  Income levels do not reflect the realities of live and must be reviewed.
  • Wrap-around services delivered through partnership – this is essential when we are developing and designing Family Support and is an area were the voluntary and community sector have performed well.
30th April 2009 Multi-Lingual Leaflet Launch

Gingerbread recently launched a series of information leafl ets in seven languages aimed at lone parents from minority ethnic communities. The leafl ets, produced with support from the Southern Area Children and Young People’s Committee, are available in Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Tetum, Russian, Slovakian and Romanian.

These leaflets will increase awareness of what services are available and accessible to lone parents from all backgrounds.

Director of Gingerbread, Marie Cavanagh explains, “We have become aware of growing numbers of lone parents from other countries who are settling in the area and we want to ensure that they have access to support. Life as a lone parent can be difficult enough without having to deal with a language barrier and lone parents, like all parents, want the best for their families. Gingerbread aims to help them by giving them access to the services

that are out there”

23rd January 2009 Huge Increase in NI Unemployment
Following the recent announcement that NI has suffered its biggest annual rise in unemployment in 37 years BBC Newsline's Laura Burns spoke to Annette O'Hagan,a lone parent member of Gingerbread NI about what it is like to look for work as a lone parent who has been out of the job market for several years.
24th November 2008  30 Years of Helping Lone Parents In NI!
Gingerbread NI celebrated 30 years of operation in Northern Ireland by hosting a special event for their lone parent members in recognition of the work of the charity over the last 30 years.
At the event in the Holiday Inn, Ormeau Avenue, Belfast Gingerbread held its 30th Annual General Meeting and over 50 lone parents from all over Northern Ireland received awards and were applauded for their achievements in training throughout the year.
30th October 2008 Gingerbread NI Launches Advice Pack
Gingerbread which has a Northern Board office at Greenvale Street in Ballymena has launched an ‘Advice Pack’ for lone parents in the Northern Health and Social Services Board area. The aim of the Advice Pack is to help guide lone parents through many of the difficult issues that they face so they overcome many of the barriers that they face.
10th September 2008 It's Time to make Maintenance Pay
Gingerbread NI today welcomed the launch of the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Division’s media campaign as part of the latest government attempts at improving the performance of the child support system but cautioned that many lone parents would need to be convinced that the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Division (CMED) would offer any improvement on the Child Support Agency that it has replaced.  
28th June 2008 New Online Members' Forum Launched

Are you a member of Gingerbread NI? Click here or on the Member's Login Icon, you can now access a new member’s area exclusively for lone parent members of Gingerbread NI.

In this area you can pick up essential hints and tips, exchange ideas with other lone parents and read the latest edition of Gingerbread Times. There is also a message board and we have a wide variety of subjects ranging from childcare and education to coping as a working lone parent for you to comment on. If you have forgotten your password please contact us and we will email you your new password.
19th June 2008 Ending Poverty Of One Parent Families
A major conference on lone parents and employment in Belfast today brought together government, employers and voluntary organisations with lone parents to find out what helps or hinders those who decide to move into work.
Research entitled ‘Lone Parents Speaking Out: the views of lone parents in Northern Ireland on employment’ was launched at the event.  This piece of research was conducted as part of the work of the Possibilities Partnership which includes lone parent support organisation, Gingerbread NI; the University of Ulster; the Department for Employment and Learning and Gems NI, an employment matching service.
13th March 2008 Fix the CSA - Help Tackle Child Poverty
Today Gingerbread welcomed the report of the Public Accounts Committee on the performance of the Child Support Agency and called for urgent action to ensure that more maintenance reaches those who need it.
25th February 2008 Advice Pack Launched in North West
  The pack offers advice a wide range of issues that affect lone parents.
Click here or email us if you would like a copy sent out
12th February 2008 NI - Double the Rate of UK Child Poverty
A report from Save the Children has outlined that children most affected by persistent poverty were children living in families dependent mainly on benefits, children living with a lone parent and children living in families with a disabled or elderly adult or a disabled child.
9th January 2008 Child Poverty Enquiry
The Northern Ireland Assembly is currently conducting a Child Poverty Enquiry and has invited a number of organisations to give verbal evidence to the Committee.  Gingerbread made a submission in conjunction with Children in Northern Ireland and MENCAP highlighting the impact of lone parenthood on Child Poverty.   
22nd November 2007 Partnership Brings New Possibilities

Gingerbread has published a report examining the realities facing lone parents returning to employment. ‘Equality of opportunity for lone parents – creating positive change through partnership’ was launched at Stormont on 22nd November during an event hosted by Sir Reg Empey, Minister for Employment and Learning.


The report was produced by the ‘Possibilities’ Partnership, which includes Gingerbread NI, the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), the University of Ulster (UU) and employment matching service, Gems NI, The organisations worked together over the past few years to research the barriers to employment that lone parents face.


Click here for Press Release


Clck here for a copy of the Report and Executive Summary

19th October 2007 Training Awards 2007

Gingerbread NI celebrated the achievement of all the lone parents who took part in its training programmes over the past year at the Annual Training Awards, which was held 19th October 2007 in the Wellington Park Hotel Belfast.


Broadcaster and Journalist Anne Hales hosted the event and the awards were presented by Patricia Mc Auley from the Department for Employment and Learning who warmly congratulated everyone on their achievements.


Gingerbread would like to wish all those lone parents who participated in training courses all the best in 2008 and looking forward to hearing from other lone parents who may be interested in participating in further training.

17th November 2006  
  Gingerbread NI celebrated the achievement of all the lone parents who took part in its training programmes over the past year at the Annual Training Awards which was held 17 November in the Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast. 
The event was hosted by BBC Journalist and Broadcaster Linda McAuley and the awards were presented by Aideen McGinley, Permanent Secretary for the Department for Employment and Learning.

Gingerbread NI held this year’s highly successful Annual General Meeting on 17 November 2006 at the Wellington Park Hotel, Belfast.  The AGM was opened and chaired by Clare Broome, Gingerbread’s Chairperson who welcomed all the members.  Clare identified many of Gingerbread’s successful achievements and congratulated staff on the achievement of the Matrix Quality Mark which acknowledges the high standard of service offered by Gingerbread’s training provision.  Clare also commented on Gingerbread’s successful local and international achievements through our Possibilities project supported by EQUAL. 


Director of Gingerbread, Marie Cavanagh, presented the 2006 annual report.  Marie pointed out that as we are now only 15 months from our 30th Birthday we had developed a new corporate logo to take us into our 4th decade. 

She highlighted the achievements of the training section where 265 lone parents had undertaken training achieving 285 qualifications between them and congratulated all the trainees present on their forthcoming awards. 

The achievements of the advice service were acknowledged in the face of limited funding.  Gingerbread dealt with 13,500 enquiries ensuring that lone parents were better off by almost £1million and through the service Gingerbread has continued to represent one parent families on matters such as tax credits, child support and other legislative and policy issues.  Childcare services provided over 3,000 play/care sessions throughout the year and staff in our three centres had worked closely with parents on matters of child development.   Marie pointed out that our membership had grown substantially throughout the year with a cohort now of almost 1,000 lone parent members and over 150 associate members.


Treasurer, Karen Sweeney, thanked funders, corporate sponsors and the donating public for their support whilst Assistant Director, Rachel McAree, introduced and explained the audited accounts to the members.

During the election of the Board, Marie pointed out that nine nominations had been received prior to the AGM and these nominees were duly elected. A further 6 were received from the floor.

The Annual General Meeting was brought to a close with full commendation going to staff volunteers and members with all looking to a busy and exciting year ahead.