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A new way to manage loneliness as a single parent

19 June 2020

Read Zoë’s story as a single mum & founder of Frolo, one of the services we reccomend through our FamilyLine helpline as she talks about how single parents can combat loneliness with a new and free way to stay connected.

Becoming a single parent can be a very lonely experience – even if you have supportive friends and family – when you don’t know anyone else going through a similar experience. The Frolo app – a first-of-its-kind app for single parents was created to tackle this loneliness and empower single parents through community and connection.

In a survey conducted by the Frolo app, 96% of respondents said that they had experienced feelings of loneliness and isolation since becoming a single parent. Loneliness often accompanies the end of a relationship, but for single parents this feeling is heightened by many other factors: spending periods of time away from their children if co-parenting, a reluctance to be a burden on friends with partners, and the craving for adult conversation that being alone at home with children can cause.

Frolo (a combination of the words ‘friend’ and ‘solo’) was created when founder Zoë Desmond experienced this loneliness first-hand and decided to do something about it. Zoë’s relationship ended shortly after her son Billy’s first birthday. On top of the usual heartbreak that accompanies a break up, Zoë found herself feeling increasingly isolated and dreading the weekends, reluctant to impose upon her friends’ ‘family time.’ She wished there was some way of meeting other local parents in a similar situation for playdates, walks in the park, Sunday lunches, and pub trips.

“being part of a community of people who understand their experience made them feel less alone.”

After failing to find what she was looking for online, Zoë decided to create her own network, and so Frolo was born. Frolo is an empowering app and community designed to help single parents connect and form meaningful friendships. The app is a positive and supportive space where frolos – as single parents in the community are known – can chat, ask for advice, share experiences, and arrange meetups with people who understand what they’ve been through. Whether you’re a solo parent feeling overwhelmed without the support of a co-parent, a single dad who doesn’t know any other single dads, or a widowed parent who is struggling with the idea of meeting someone new, there is always someone in the community who can relate to your situation.

89% of survey respondents also said that being part of a community of people who understand their experience made them feel less alone. This is why Frolo exists. We want single parents to feel proud of and empowered by their status as frolos, and to know that there is a place where they can reach out for connection and support 24/7.

Since it launched in September 2019, the app has been downloaded more than 8,000 times, 655 Frolo meetups have been organised, and more than 7,000 friendships have been formed.

About the Frolo app

The Frolo app is available to download on iOS and Android in the UK and Ireland.

The app is comprised of four main sections:

1. Discovery: This is where you can browse like-minded single parents living in your area according to your location, shared interests and similar aged children.

2. Feed: A newsfeed where you can ask questions, seek and share advice, and share updates with the Frolo community.

3. Meet ups: In this section you can search for local Frolo meet ups or create your own meet up. You can also use this part of the app to organise Frolo holidays and trips. We have moved to virtual meetups during Coronavirus lockdown and there is something happening to keep frolos connected every day of the week.

4. Messaging: You can message your Frolo connections privately, or join one of our many group chats covering everything from co-parenting, to hobbies, to local area chats.

If you’re a single parent and you’d like to join the community, you can find out more and download the app here. Or contact our FamilyLine for free information, guidance and support.