Support network for solo parents across Preston and Lancashire expands

Posted on - 17th April, 2024 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Education, Fylde News, Kid's stuff, People, Preston News, Proud Preston, Sport, What's On in Preston
Ste Walker, founder of Solo Parents United Northwest.
Ste Walker, founder of Solo Parents United Northwest.

A support network for solo parents across the North West are planning to hold more events in Preston.

Solo Parents United Northwest Group has over 1,800 members and aims to bring solo parents together across the UK by holding events and advice sessions.

Set up by Ste Walker, a single dad himself from Darwen, the group offer advice and support for those who may be struggling to cope or who may be fleeing situations, such as domestic violence, with their children.

Read more: Preston’s first inclusive rugby club wins league

Admins Samantha and Paul doing crafts. Pic: Ste Walker
Admins Samantha and Paul doing crafts. Pic: Ste Walker

Ste told Blog Preston: “We are an often overlooked group of people who are singlehandedly raising the next generation. It can be a lonely, rewarding, scary, yet a joyful experience. 

“But, we want to bring this community together, to share, inspire and support each other.”

There are now 11 admins in the group and ‘Solo Parent Champions’ who volunteer their skills and advice in specific areas all around the UK. The group also has ‘Share it Saturdays,’ a day for parents to get any of their worries off their mind, with people part of the group being able to support and share their own experiences.

They hold events across the county with plans for family days in Avenham Park this summer, evenings for parents in Preston and even a Blackpool holiday in August.

Ste added: “We find that a lot of parents experience different traumas and are going through depression or anxiety.

“But, children are the key. If parents are empowered then the children will be too. We want to help with confidence and sharing advice.”

Read more: Businesses to join forces for charity tournament at Ashton and Lea Golf Club

Solo parents family walk at Beacon Fell. Pic: Ste Walker

The group have now set up first-ever Solo Parents United Northwest football club which is launching this month, funded by Lancashire County Council, after the success of single-parent events across Preston, Chorley and Fylde. 

The club will run from Manor Beach Primary School in Thornton-Cleveleys every Wednesday evening, starting 24 April and is open to people from Lancashire.

It is aimed at under 7’s and 8’s, exclusively part of solo parent families or nuclear families, with the idea of those not having to commit to a full season.

Read more: Preston lads clad in just their boxers walk 44km for testicular cancer charity

Admin Phil at a solo parents family birthday party. Pic: Ste Walker

Ste said: “It’s different to a normal football club. We’re not in a league and we will be playing friendly matches.

“In normal clubs you have to attend every week but in this one children can come whenever they want.

“There’s no commitment, so if a child is staying at their dad’s one weekend and can’t attend they don’t need to worry if they miss a game.”

The club has received £1,000 from Lancashire County Council which will go towards funding equipment and the venue, and weekly prices are set at £2 a week to keep the games inclusive and affordable for all.

For more information you can join their Facebook page. All profiles are vetted to ensure safeguarding of those who may be vulnerable in the group. Those wanting to join the Solo Parents United Northwest Group are advised to look for their unique black and gold logo.

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