Barnet Lone Parent Centre (BLPC) supports any parent, relative or carer bringing up children on their own in the London Borough of Barnet. People may a lone parent because people have suffered bereavement, separation or divorce, are fleeing domestic violence, or seeking asylum. People may have a partner who is disabled, in prison or hospital long term, or suffering from addiction so need support whilst the partner deals with their issues.
BLPC were Barnet Gingerbread for over 30 years but decided to register as an independent charity to develop the services in accordance with local needs. BLPC listened to what lone parents said they needed and began working more inline with Barnet Council’s criteria, such as the sustainable community strategy for Barnet (2006-2016), the aims of Barnet Children and Young People Plan.
BLPC provides services to ease the isolation people feel when they are "on duty" 24/7 with children with no family to turn to for help. BLPC can help with the financial hardship suffered when income is low because of caring for young children, yet household bills are high. As lone parents BLPC knows that sometimes children go without things that other children might take for granted such as a birthday party, days out, new clothes and regular cooked meals. BLPC also knows that might often skip meals to save money.
By working closely with people, the service users, and listening to concerns, BLPC were able to identify the real needs of vulnerable lone parent families and have developed a number of working relationships with other organisations. This pattern of partnership working with groups and individuals has created a genuine community led project that addresses local issues at a grass roots level.
Lone parent families can access four key services:
*Welfare support and guidance
*Children and Young People activities
*Volunteering and training opportunities
Where is Barnet Lone Parent Centre (BLPC)