How Frolo is connecting single parents during the Covid-19 lockdown

Frolo (a combination of the words ‘friend’ and ‘solo’) is a first-of-its-kind app and community for single parents. Here’s how Frolo have acted to help the community during this time.

Frolo (a combination of the words ‘friend’ and ‘solo’) is a first-of-its-kind app and community for single parents. It was created by founder Zoë Desmond when her relationship ended and she experienced the loneliness that many single parents feel first-hand. She longed for a group of local friends in a similar situation who would be up for playdates, Sunday lunches, and weekend adventures. After failing to find what she was looking for online, Zoë decided to create her own solution, and so Frolo was born. 

Frolo app is a positive and supportive space where single parents can discover other like-minded single parents living locally, chat, ask for advice, share experiences, and arrange meetups. 

However, when lockdown was declared, many single parents had their support networks snatched away. Single parents could no longer rely on schools, childcare providers, friends or family to help them manage the juggle. The Frolo Community were also worried about social isolation, income security, and what would happen to their children if they got ill.

While some of these worries are universal and apply to all parents, they're all intensified if you're a single parent. 

Here’s how we at Frolo have acted to help the community during this time.

Introduced a calendar of virtual meet-ups on the app

It was clear that frolos wouldn’t be able to organise their usual gallery trips, playdates, and nights out for a while so we created a virtual meetup option within the app.

There’s a virtual meetup happening every night of the week - from regular Book Club, Movie Club and Happy Hour meetups to mindfulness sessions and support groups for solo mums, widowed frolos, LGBTQ frolos, and dads.

These virtual catch ups are a great way to keep single parents connected and prevent the loneliness that can creep in after bedtime. 

Hosted by members of the community, our virtual meetups have been incredibly popular and will continue after the pandemic.

They’re a great way to get to know frolos from all over the UK and Ireland and they’re very accessible - this is especially helpful for frolos who live rurally, have mobility issues, or struggle to find childcare in the evenings.

Provided helpful expert content within the app   

Single parents have specific needs and have felt the effects of social distancing in different ways from two-parent families. As part of our efforts to support them in every way we can, we have gathered together useful, expert content on a whole range of topics and in a variety of formats - from blog posts to videos and live Q+A sessions. 

We’ve worked with child psychologists, financial experts, family lawyers, play coaches, chefs, and many other experts to provide frolos with the resources they need to support their families through lockdown.

Introduced a group messaging function within the app

We prioritised the release of a group messaging feature as it felt more urgent following a transition to an online-only community experience. 

Frolos can now browse, join, and create topic-based group chats - the perfect way to find your single parent tribe. Group chats can be about anything, from kids' ages to parenting set-up, hobbies to location.

More than 50 group chats have been created already, including groups for sharing co-parenting tips and recipes, chats for frolo dads and solo mums by choice, as well as lots of location-based groups. 

Encouraged frolos to reach out to the online community on the app

The Frolo app Feed is a great place to connect with and form friendships with others in the same situation, share ideas, ask for advice on specific issues, chat to frolos from all over the UK and Ireland.

There are various types of frolos in the community but, crucially, they all get what it means to be a single parent - we encouraged frolos to share their worries, questions, and concerns about lockdown with one another and access valuable peer support via the app whenever they needed it.

We’ve learned a lot about the true meaning of community during lockdown. It’s been a tough and stressful few months for many single parents, but the way the Frolo Community has come together, supported one another, and - crucially - provided some respite for others and had a lot of fun, has been incredibly inspiring.

The pandemic has helped us all to reach out and connect with one another in a different, but very meaningful and valuable, way.

The online aspect of the Frolo Community has flourished and, considering our last virtual Cocktail Hour finished at 3am, we hope this new, digital form of connection is here to stay.

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 also introduced 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.

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