Starbeck mum hoping to grow Solo Mamas support network
Dec 1, 2021
(Left) Georgina Newsham with her two daughters and (right) one of the group holidays.

A single mother from Starbeck set up a Solo Mamas group seven years ago to meet other mothers who understood how difficult parenting alone can be.

Georgina Newsham felt alone and wanted to create an inclusive, supportive network of likeminded single mothers.

Since then Ms Newsham, who moved to the Harrogate district from West Yorkshire three years ago, has seen the group expand to the point where it now has 155 members in north and west Yorkshire.

The group provides advice and support as well as hosting monthly meetings and annual holidays.

Ms Newsham said:

“Being a single mother can often have a lot of negativity around it and I wanted to turn it into a positive. We started with just three of us meeting once a month at soft-play. Now there’s 155 of us.

“Everything is on you and it can be really draining so having this network has become a lifeline for a lot of us.”

Solo Mamas camping trip to Kettlewell in June this year.

Ms Newsham moved to Knaresborough three years ago but now lives in Starbeck after her relationship broke down. She said the group was “amazing” with offers of spare rooms and help to pay rent.

Following a surprise, large donation Ms Newsham was able to set up a crisis fund to help members who are struggling financially. She said she plans to apply for charitable status next year.

“There’s always someone out there that understands. The focus is for us to support each other through anything.

“Just having that network there, you can’t put it into words how it feels. It’s the difference between being completely alone and knowing you have someone.”

Read more:

Ms Newsham runs the group in her spare time alongside working as an adult social worker and an end-of-life doula.

As well as meet-ups and holidays, the group also has a private Facebook group for mums and organises regular workshops. Ms Newsham recently held a workshop with a solicitor to discuss writing a will and advance planning after one member took her own life.

Looking ahead, she wants to grow the membership, organise more meet-ups and maybe even hold a small wellbeing festival.

“I’m really hopeful that going into next year we can build our membership and start being there for more mums and their kids.”

Download the FREE Stray Ferret app here to access the latest news, competitions and offers.