When Margaret wrote a post in CSMC’s Facebook group, Single Mothers Stronger Together, she thought she was sharing some happy news about an issue that had been annoying her for some time. What happened next was an outpouring of support from single mothers who were also irritated by that same thing, and individual actions that ended up turning things around.
“It’s always irked me that when you buy tickets for an event, they have adult tickets, children’s tickets, and then family tickets, which are generally two adults and two kids at a reduced price,” wrote Margaret.
“It just seemed like families with two parents are given a discount when single parent families are not.”
Turns out, Margaret was not alone.
“I have this same gripe!” someone responded. “At a recent day festival, I had to buy one adult and one child totalling $70, but a two adult, two kid family would have been $80.”
In her original post, the good news that Margaret wanted to share was that when booking a ticket for Sovereign Hill Winter WonderLights, she had been thrilled to see that Sovereign Hill offered a single-family ticket (one adult, two children) at a discounted rate, in addition to the also discounted two-parent family ticket.
“I ended up saving $20,” says Margaret. “As a single mother of two daughters, and especially over school holidays, this makes a real difference.”
Another single mother who had booked tickets to the festival that didn’t offer single parent family tickets wrote to the event organisers, Spring Bliss, and was pleasantly surprised when they responded, thanking her for her feedback and assuring her they were going to change their ticketing system next year.
She shared the news with the rest of the Single Mothers Stronger Together group.
“Awesome response!” replied one poster. “Glad to see they took the feedback on board!”
“That’s the only way we’re going to effect change,” responded another. “Ask the question, make the request…. Give these event organisers a bit of a shake up and jolt them into the present day!”
The week after she wrote her post, Margaret hopped online to book tickets for herself and her daughters to a major international art exhibition. Tickets were expensive and Margaret was dismayed that the only discounted family tickets were for two-parent families. Reflecting on her conversation with other mums in Single Mothers Stronger Together, Margaret decided to take a couple of minutes and write a quick email to the gallery.
“… Aside from the issue of fairness, I’m much more likely to return to a place that recognises that families may not all look alike, but should all be treated the same,” she wrote.
The gallery was quick to respond, telling Margaret that they would be reviewing ticketing for the next exhibition.
“What this whole experience told me was that small things like writing an email can make a real difference,” Margaret told CSMC.
“It also told me that when you have a group of people doing the same, like the mothers in Single Mothers Stronger Together, that change has the potential to be widespread.”