Looking for a way to connect with and meet other single, LGBTQI+ parents? Enter Frolo…

BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS

Single mum Zoë Desmond wanted to find a way to meet other single parents – so she made an app for it. Enter, Frolo, a brand new app for single parents designed so that they can connect with one another, arrange meet ups, and offer support via group chats. 

Nearly all of the users so far are mothers, no surprise when you consider that nine out of 10 single-parent families are headed by women. Topics on Frolo vary day-to-day, from navigating co-parenting, to drop-off tantrums and finding fellow single parents in your area.

The app offers the single-parent community friendship and support, which can be difficult to find – especially as an LGBTQI parent. For Zoë Desmond, Frolo came from her experience as a single parent and the loneliness that came along with it.

So, how does Frolo work?

The newly-released app is made up of four parts: Discovery, which suggests parents based on shared interests, kids’ age, and location; Private Messaging, to speak to other parents; Community Newsfeed; and Frolo Meetups, which can be used to create weekends away or group holidays. 

We chatted to an ambassador for the app, Zoe Berryman, to find out more about Frolo and why it’s the app that every LGBTQI, single parent needs…

DIVA: Can you tell us all about Frolo? 

ZOE BERRYMAN: Frolo is a community for single parents and is the idea of Zoe Desmond, a single parent herself. Zoe found that she was lonely, especially at the weekends when lots of people spend time in their family unit. Personally, I find it’s difficult imposing on friends at weekends and holiday times and it’s often tough to admit how hard things are. Zoe created the app to connect with like-minded single parents in her area who understood how she was feeling and could meet up for play dates, Sunday lunches and things like that. It’s location-based so you can meet people in your area and you share your interests to match up with other parents.

The app has chat functions, advice, newsfeeds and there’s also a Frolo Instagram account. There’s a meet-up section on the app where people arrange events or social gatherings, both with and without children! Break-ups are hard enough but when there are children involved it’s really difficult. It has been invaluable to meet with like-minded parents who get what you’re going through. 

What’s the story behind the name?

The word Frolo is derived from “friends” and “solo”. It’s replacing the title single parent to something that feels more empowering and uplifting!

How do you get the word out?

Frolo started out as an Instagram account – that’s how Zoe shared her own experiences and story and connected with people who felt the same. We now have Frolo ambassadors, such as myself, who go out into the community and spread the good word.

Are there any success stories you can share with us? 

Many friendships have been formed over the Frolo app. I’ve just returned from staying with a friend I made in Northamptonshire who is also an LGBTQI+ parent. Last summer, a group of us went to Camp Bestival. As you can imagine, being a single parent at festivals with children is not the easiest thing, but we all had a great time making new friendships and creating special memories. I was a little nervous at first, but once we all met up I realised I had nothing to worry about.

How do you ensure security on a platform like Frolo?

In terms of safety there is bank-like technology including a two-tiered authentication process where you have to take a live photo when you’re signing up for your account. You can’t do it through Facebook or anything like that which deters people. You can also remain anonymous on the app if you wish to or, if you happen to spot your ex on the app, you can make yourself invisible to them.

Why would Frolo appeal to LGBTQI+ parents?

Who doesn’t want to meet more LGBTQI+ single parents?! I became an Ambassador precisely to spread the word in our community. A lot of the time, people assume I have an ex-husband and I have that moment where I have to come out again and explain that actually, I have an ex-wife. Even now I dread those moments… I didn’t find coming out an easy process and have experienced negativity, so I’m mindful that I don’t want that for my children. The Frolo app has a little badge you can display on your profile to say that you are an LGBTQI+ parent so it’s out there from the get go. This makes it so much easier to connect with others. I think it’s also good to raise awareness that there are LGBTQI+ single parents out there too!

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