Marmalade Trusts’ annual Loneliness Awareness Week is all about breaking down the stigma attached to loneliness and encouraging people to speak openly about it.
Frolo (a combination of the words ‘friend’ and ‘solo’) is a first-of-its-kind app and community for single parents that only exists because founder Zoë Desmond spoke out about the loneliness she experienced as a newly single parent.
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.
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 can chat, ask for advice, share experiences, and arrange meetups.
Since it launched in September 2019, it’s been downloaded almost 8,000 times, 655 Frolo meetups have been organised, and more than 7,000 friendships have been formed.
Frolo is proud to support The Marmalade Trust’s Loneliness Awareness Week because encouraging people to speak out when they feel isolated is a vital part of our work to support and empower single parents.
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 isolation that being the only adult at home with children for extended periods of time can cause. Additionally, the stigma that is attached to admitting you feel lonely, coupled with the stigma that is still attached to single parenthood, causes some single parents to withdraw and hide the fact that they are a one-parent household, deepening the sense of isolation. This is why it’s so important to reach out and form meaningful friendships with people who understand your experience. 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.
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:
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.
Feed. A newsfeed where you can ask questions, seek and share advice, and share updates with the Frolo community.
Meetups. In this section you can search for local Frolo meetups or create your own meetup. 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.
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.