To celebrate Father’s Day on 17 June, single parent charity Gingerbread is calling on people across the country to pay tribute to single dads they know, by sending them an e-card and letting them know what a great job they do raising their families alone.
Around 8% of the UK’s 2 million single parents are men. While they face the same challenges as single mums, as a significant minority single fathers can sometimes feel particularly isolated and in need of mutual support. Single fathers are nearly four times more likely to have a common mental disorder than other men.
Single dads Andy, aged 47, and Nabil, aged 48, met online before realising they both lived near-by in Kidderminster. Their daughters, Sevara and Clarissa, were both two and a half at the time, but now go to the same school.
Andy, who has been caring for his daughter since she was six months old, says,
“It was quite difficult when Sevara was a baby because the majority of other parents at the play groups were women. They weren’t unfriendly, but I did feel a bit out of place. I think when they’re in stressful situations men will often press on and ‘get the job’ done, but are more reluctant to talk about the emotional side of things.”
“Our daughters get along really well and are firm friends, so we can go on outings and do things together which is great fun. We both adore our girls, but it’s great to have another adult around to talk to sometimes, especially when they understand exactly what it’s like because they’re in the same boat.”
Gingerbread CEO, Fiona Weir, said:
“When people talk about single parents, there is sometimes an assumption that they are talking about single mums and fathers who raise their children alone can feel overlooked. We think Father’s Day is a great opportunity to give a special shout out for the 186,000 single dads in the UK who do a fantastic job every day of the year and let them know they’re not alone.”
To send an e-card to your favourite single dad go to www.gingerbread.org.uk/dads. Any single fathers in need of advice or support can contact the free Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline on 0808 802 0925.
 C. Cooper, P.E. Bebbington, H. Meltzer, D. Bhugra. T. Brugha, R. Jenkins, M. Farrell and M. King (2000) Depression and common mental disorders in single parents: results of the 2000 National Psychiatric Morbidity Survey UCL, London UK