I think it’s good for single mums to volunteer as you get a wee hour to yourself to feel like you and not just a mum and get to socialise with customers and keep yourself in a wee routine.

When you do something you enjoy, it can make you feel better.

  • Lots of parents find that they spend a lot of their time doing things they need to do, rather than things they want to do. It is hard finding the time for yourself, and to see how to fit things you enjoy doing into your life
  • There are opportunities around. These can be simple and easy to fit around your children. They don’t need to cost. Even if it’s for only five minutes a day, it will make a difference
  • It could be something that you used to do, before children, that you can take up again. Or, something new.

Visit the sections below for some ideas that have worked for other single parents.

Some tips

Try to do something regularly that you can build into your life (but which doesn’t stress you). Options are things that:

  • Are slightly sociable like going to the library or a café
  • You can do on your own at home like reading or gaming or making
  • Connect you with a friend like phoning or messaging or emailing
  • Involve you in a group like a walking or cycling or book group
  • You’ll enjoy learning, for example in class or workshop or online, such as a language or a sport or something creative
  • Help others, such as volunteering

Activities and hobbies

Finding something fun to do that’s just for you can make you feel happier, healthier and more connected to other people.

If you are feeling low, going out and doing something might be the last thing on your mind. But once you start, you might be surprised by how much it helps.

Why not have a look and see if there’s something interesting happening near you?

Useful links

  • Our local services in Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Glasgow, and Lanarkshire arrange activities throughout the year and they can also tell you about other activities in your area.
  • Searching the name of your town in the Facebook search toolbar or on Google plus activities or hobbies you might be interested in could help you find groups that aren’t listed on other websites.
  • On Meetup.com you can find groups all over Scotland and details of upcoming events under headings like outdoors and adventure, family, photography, writing, music, sport, book clubs, food and drink, fashion and beauty, and arts and crafts. There are also links to lots of general social groups, so you can meet people even if you don’t have – or want – a specific hobby.
  • SportScotland has an A-Z of sports in Scotland. Follow the links to find the official websites of each of these sports and lists of local clubs to join.
  • The List is handy for finding upcoming events around Scotland, including family events.
  • The VisitScotland website lists things to do and places to visit in Scotland.
  • Whatever you’re keen on, whether it’s crafts, DIY, writing, gaming, researching your family tree, baking, stamp collecting, or doing an online course, there’s something for everyone. Sites like the Open University and FutureLearn have all sorts of short courses, many of which are free. Just use Google to find out what’s out there.


Volunteering your time to help others can be a great way to meet others and feel like part of a community, while learning something new and building your confidence.

Some organisations provide certificated training for volunteers which can also boost your work prospects.

When you are kind and helpful to others, it can also make you feel better about yourself.

Some tips

  • Check Facebook as there may be a local page for your town/area with a note of where volunteers are needed. This could be a local clean-up, or a community event, or cooking a meal for an elderly person.
  • Supermarket noticeboards can be good for finding out what’s going on and where you might be needed. You might be able to involve your children too.
  • If there’s something that interests you, whether it’s a cause or an issue or a local club or charity, why not get in touch and ask them if they need any extra help?

Useful links

  • You could think about volunteering for OPFS. Learn more about volunteering with us.
  • Look at websites such as Volunteer Scotland, Get Involved! or Volunteering Matters to find out about opportunities to volunteer in your area.
  • The Scottish Government has a list of third sector (not-for-profit and charitable) ‘interfaces’. These are organisations that coordinate lots of charities. Many have information on their websites about how to volunteer in the local area.
  • Peer support is a way of using your experience to help others. You may be able to volunteer to offer this. The Mental Health Foundation has information about peer support and what it involves. Not only can it help the person you support but it can help you too. Its benefits include improved self-esteem, confidence and positive feelings that you’re doing good.