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'We're single parents not bad parents'

PUBLISHED: 15:24 03 March 2010 | UPDATED: 11:31 23 August 2010

'LOSE THE LABELS': Genny Jones.

'LOSE THE LABELS': Genny Jones.

THE fight to break the stigma of single parents as benefits scroungers or poor role models has been launched. Genny Jones, who founded Gravesend branch of national charity Gingerbread, is leading the way in trying to alter the public perception of single

THE fight to break the stigma of single parents as benefits scroungers or poor role models has been launched.

Genny Jones, who founded Gravesend branch of national charity Gingerbread, is leading the way in trying to alter the public perception of single-parent families.

Gingerbread is a charity designed to look out for single parents and offer advice and support

Ms Jones, of St Marks Avenue, has two boys aged eight and ten, born within wedlock, but she divorced her husband six years ago. She said of single parents' negative image: "This is something that has been going on for years.

"When people think of single mothers some think about someone who is on benefits, who is exploiting the system and who is perhaps a bit

irresponsible - like it is their fault.

"If you stigmatise the parent you stigmatise the child, that they will be badly behaved. They start thinking that because they are from a single-parent family they should be bad.

"I have definitely experienced it. When your child is behaving badly it is like people look at you and think: 'It is because they are a single parent - it is their fault.'"

The 48-year-old is at the forefront of the Let's Lose the Labels campaign, which has gained support from the leaders of the three major political parties.

One thing Ms Jones believes is vitally important is recognising the problems of single dads.

She added: "It is harder for single dads. Everyone thinks of women but there are some gentlemen who are doing a wonderful job raising their kids.

"Some men can't open up as well as women and chat about their problems, so I think often it is even harder for a man to get the help from his employers or from those around

him.

"We just want people to visit our website and watch the short film about the problem. It is about raising awareness so that single parents are not all pigeon-holed into this category of automatically being bad parents."

More information can be found at www.gingerbread.

org.uk.

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