Taryn Tuckwell poses for a snapshot with his father

FAMILY: Helping single parents from falling through the cracks

Single parents have somewhere to turn for assistance

Not all households include two parents.

For those that don’t, the 1Up Single Parent Resource Centre might be the support system those hoping for a little bit of extra help are looking for.

“There are single parents who think that they can make it, but need help. The single-parent family is a family and they can not only survive, but excel,” said 1Up administrative co-ordinator Trevor Tuckwell. “That’s why we are here. We’re here to help. Any parent can find themselves in that situation, no matter what tax bracket they’re in.”

The services offered by the non-profit organization offers include everything from counselling sessions and courses on life skills and parenting, to free books, food, toys, clothing and household goods.

“It goes beyond the free things (though). That’s the first step, a little bread or clothes for kids. Free stuff is saving you money, and in this day and age, every dollar saved is huge so it lessens the stress,” Tuckwell said. “(But) once we alleviate stress we are able to give more … Because it isn’t just one thing.”

Tuckwell has not only seen it from a volunteer and a staff perspective, he’s the single parent of a 13-year-old son and has experienced the benefits of 1Up firsthand.

“I was a single parent for three or four years when I found the centre, and for me, it began with taking courses and volunteering here. I was looking for help and emotional support,” he said. “Whether you are a mom or dad, there is a lot of loneliness and isolation; you feel like you are the only one. By coming to the centre …You feel you are not so alone.”

The people who have benefitted from the centre cover a wide range, from immigrants or grandparents to mothers, fathers and others, Tuckwell said. The centre is funded in part by the province, United Way and individual fundraising events.

“We are part of a web that is catching a lot of people falling through the cracks, (for whom) the supports are disappearing,” he said. “It’s up to us non-profits to catch them. The centre provides hope for people – I’ve seen it myself and seen it in myself. Once you give people hope they can go anywhere from there.”

For more information visit singleparentvictoria.ca.

alim@goldstreamgazette.com

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