The BOOK – Single Mum & 21st Century Peasant – Breaking out of Benefits Jail.

On Tuesday 29.11.22 I lost my father, without any end of life care, proper diagnosis, much needed outpatient appointments, or his end of life wishes properly recorded on his medical notes, due a broken, stretched system.  I am not okay with it, but I am using my emotions constructively, and fuelling my work of which he was so proud. Our ecosystem is broken, and I blame those who manage it, or do not manage it I should probably say.

I have held a number of webinars to address barriers to adequate work, homes and finance, and consequential benefits. This book shares my own journey as a Single Mum and self-proclaimed 21st Century Peasant, as I share information, advice and tips on how to escape the benefits trap, as I did. It is not linear. I thought it was, before I knew. I thought it was black and white, you simply get a job. If you have clicked this far, the chances are you already know what a battle it is, not to need support, when there are barriers and sharks at play.

But it can be done! I am a single mum, my daughter is ten, benefits are behind me, and I enjoy paying tax again instead of needing to continue to claim it back. The banks refused to help as soon as I was in hardship, and the sharks fed from my wounds, enjoying profiting from my desperation. Landlords rejected me and friends and family were too fearful to act as guarantors. Between the banks, the landlords, the 9-5 presenteeism, and cheap unhealthy diet I bled hard, I cried hard, and I didn’t want to carry on at all, but we do, for our children, and my daughter was my guiding light back to peace, pride, purpose and disposable income!

What I share with you is not a get rich quick scheme, it is not a high ticket trick to feed from your hunger, this is sharing what I have learned in a decade, what I wished somebody had told me in my first week of being a single mum, it is intended to save you from wasting too much time and to guide you to do everything you can to help yourself in a positive way.

As I state in my book:

‘If you take circa 873,000 mums who want to work, and offer those with young children, roles in the NHS from 9:30 – 2:30, or 10-2, and those with older children NHS roles from 9-4, even if it is 38 weeks per year, surely that would save lives?  Surely.  In November 2022, the Royal College of Nursing [RCN] announced that nursing staff at the majority of NHS employers across the UK had voted to take strike action over pay and patient safety, and on 1st December 2022, the Department of Health and Social Care [DHSC] stated that the UK will face a prolonged period of excess deaths, due to cancelled appointments and NHS avoidance during the pandemic.’

By helping you break away from benefits, and by educating Stakeholders on how to remove barriers to work, homes and finance.  We can all create a better and safer future, for us, and our families.

This book is packed with signposting, information and advice.


  1. Making Peace with Benefits
  2. Flexible Working
  3. Multi-Level Marketing & Networking
  4. Ethical, Impactful Business
  5. Business in a Digital World – Setting up your shop window and Minimum Income Floor
  6. Business Departments and Transferable Skills
  7. Mindset and Gratitude
  8. Peer Pressure – Anti Growth
  9. Social Conditioning – Expectations Hurt Us
  10. Forgiving Ignorance and Walking Away
  11. University
  12. Support and Information
  13. Embracing Isolation & Loneliness
  14. Barriers
  15. Financial Education
  16. Responsible Finance
  17. Credit Scoring, Sharks, Fat Cats, Tax Evasion
  18. Social Impact Review 2019

The purpose of this book is to have a positive impact, and to support the work of the SMBN, which is a business network with a social conscience, full of women contributing to not only helping themselves, but helping each other, and helping our wider community.

You can buy the book on Amazon HERE – it is more expensive due to Royalities, or you can checkout below. If money is tight (I get it) Please use THIS LINK to pay £3 per week via GoCardless

Single Mum and 21st Century Peasant – Breaking out of Benefits Jail

Postage 7 days – Amazon is quicker but more £


This book is dedicated to my Dad, my hero, Michael Hawkins.  Dad suffered as a result of our broken system, before I could make enough impact to help him, nothing will ever make that okay.  Avoidable strain on our NHS, means that I can never hug him again.  

My Dad was noble, and kind, he used his life always to try and help others, whether via policing, his work  within his local council, or as mayor.  He fought to save Westbury Hospital and always treated others with kindness and respect.  For him to leave us without any end of life care, or pain relief, is simply unacceptable, it is too late for him.

You loved it when I worked hard Dad, and work hard I shall, in your name, in our name.  Hawkins

Dad, Michael Hawkins, 23.09.1946 – 29.11.2022


For some support meanwhile, you can watch a recent webinar recording below:

Your future starts today, with positive steps towards a positive outcome. No stigma, no shame, just support, understanding, encouragement, and insight.

To be notified when the book is released, if you’re not ready to pre-order now, please ensure you sign up to the SMBN newsletter

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Welcome New Member, Nina Farr, to the Single Mums Business Network. Nina is a Leadership Coach & Mentor, TEDx Speaker, Author of ‘I am the Parent Who Stayed’, and there’s more! Read on…

I am delighted to welcome Nina Farr, to the Single Mums Business Network, aka SMBN.

You really need to visit Nina’s website to fully appreciate the scope of her offerings, from coaching, HR Support, her own Cluster Mothers Membership group, her book, and much more. Here is what Nina says;

Member Impact Story – Claire Harris – Pets2Places

Thank you to SMBN member Claire for submitting our first official Impact Story!

The Single Mums Business Network [SMBN] was set-up in 2019 to help single mums with work, enterprise and wellbeing, with a strong focus on positive mental health and economic impact…

Welcome New Member, Claire Standen, Coach, Speaker and Activist, to the SMBN

Welcome New Member, Claire Standen, Coach, Speaker and Activist, to the SMBN. Claire is a coach and therapist helping entrepreneurial and professional women break the generational curse of ‘never enough’ so that they can build businesses, relationships and family lives that light them up. Read more..

Welcome New Member to the SMBN – Debra Elsmore, Owner at Balance, Pilates and Wellbeing

I am delighted to welcome Debra to the Single Mums Business Network. Deb and I have been connected via networking for a number of years and it is always very heart-warming when somebody who has known me for years and I consider a friend, sees the value in formal membership of the SMBN. Debra is a kind and intuitive woman and I know that you are safe in her hands.

Welcome New Member – Carmen Romero, Founder and Director – Impact Creation Lab Ltd

I am delighted to welcome Carmen Romero as a member of the Single Mums Business Network. Carmen has worked for more than a decade in the space of impact investing, UHNWI, family offices and social enterprises as well as with start-ups at various stages of their growth from ideation all the way to pre-seed or seed investment ready.

Welcome New SMBN Member – Danielle Baron – Integrative Therapist | Life/Career Coach | Experienced Teacher and AHT 10+ Years | 11 + Entrance Exam Tutor | Seen in Daily Mail, Prima, Grammar School Insider, Brainz Magazine… and there’s more!

I am delighted to welcome Danielle Baron to the Single Mums Business Network!

Danielle catalyses children and adults to rise like a phoenix from the flames 🔥 and to reach their optimum potential. She is an entrepreneur, inspiring 11+ and 7+ entrance exams tutor, rapid transformational therapist®, business coach for overachievers, a life coach for all, an NLP Master practitioner and she is also certified by the ILM.

Read more…

Right darlings! The Gov have just made a ‘bit’ of a ‘massive’ poop in judging you instead of tackling the root cause and keeping you safe in the interim, so, let me see what I can do to help… Webinar/ Workshop – Breaking Free from Benefits – Flexible Working and Self-Employment – Free of Charge – all welcome regardless of reason for needing support.

I cannot express enough how disappointed I am in the Chancellor’s attitude towards the most vulnerable members of society in receipt of universal credit. I am all for everybody working, and I am all for growing the economy, but punishing the most vulnerable, instead of tackling the root cause, epitomises what is wrong with our Governance. I have always been a proud tax payer, but right now, I am not proud of where that tax is going.

I’ve had a busy 24hrs! I have spoken to the PM; challenged, listened, delivered our message, presented the barriers, the solutions, the pain, and I am beyond satisfied that I have done all that I can; here’s what was said…

Naturally we do not know whether it will be Rishi or Liz that resides at No.10 next month, but I can hand on heart, in the knowledge that it will be one of them, say that I have spoken to our PM! Quite literally for YEARS, I have been writing to Downing Street, Royalty, MP’s, […]

Friend of the SMBN Carol McIntyre – Founder of Exec Pro VA – A Welcome Renewal!

It is always lovely to welcome a new member or new friend to the SMBN, but it’s something extra special when a member has a break then re-joins, or renews their membership. It’s a real pleasure to extend a warm second welcome to Carol McIntyre, after her confirmation of renewal of being part of what we are so proud to be. A force for good.

So, for those of you who don’t know about Carol or Exec Pro VA – here’s a little snippet:

Welcome ‘Friend of the SMBN’, Katie Phillips, The School of Self Love

The Empowered Feminine Approach To Dating When it comes to preparing midlife single women to be ready to receive their ‘one’ and enjoy an empowered relationship – our friend Katie Phillips is your gal. Katie is a master at guiding women through the inner work that’s required to experience a shift in their external circumstances. […]

Aaaaand, we’re off!

Aaaaand, we’re off!

The SMBN Single Mums Business Network 2022 Awards are officially OPEN for entries! Read more…

Cost of Living Crisis – How the Government are trying to step up.

I say step-up, and not help, because they should have stepped up a long time ago. I have always said that the cost of living outweighs inflation and that we have, for our entire lives, trusted that our tax is used for the right reasons, but it has been like observing a solicitor who has been given a trust fund live a very comfortable life on it and giving the beneficiary peanuts instead of the intended income….

So, today, the Chancellor, as a result of outcry and pressure, sadly not through genuine understanding, has announced the following:


Categories announced for the SMBN 2022 Awards…

Categories this year are:
Campaigner of the Year
Acing Adversity Award
Super Start-up
Community Champion
Excellence in Customer Care
Employer of the Year
SMBN Champion of the Year
Best Corporate Responsibility
Best Innovation Award
Best Business Marketing

Read more…

Welcome ‘Friend of the SMBN’, Charlotte Webb, Principle at Castle Green Financial Planning

I am delighted to officially welcome Charlotte to the SMBN as a ‘Friend’, being a friend of the SMBN means that you benefit from the exposure on-line and in print whilst supporting our quest to make work work as single parents. We appreciate every friend of the SMBN as, with their actions, they demonstrate they support our work and mission, whilst enabling us to support theirs. Here is a little about Charlotte:

Small Business – Big Difference! In this interview with Alison Cork we discuss how she champions female entrepreneurs, is passionate about healthy living, and how she has now launched a Viral Campaign for the UK Small Business Community to Donate £1 each to support Ukraine Appeal..

Just wow! You know that question that often pops up – if you could choose just a few people to have dinner with, well, Alison Cork would certainly be on my list, she is an absolute powerhouse, doer, thinker, entrepreneur and all round great lady to support, motivate, inspire, whilst knowing how to pull something out of the bag in an absolute humanitarian crisis to help us all so SOMETHING, when we may feel we can do nothing!

2022 – The Year of the Single Parent!

2022 – The Year of the Single Parent!

I have it on good authority! Things are changing for us, we are raising awareness of, and challenging, genuine barriers that feed negative public perception. We are making it okay to be single, and a parent! We are not ashamed, we are celebrating a future where relationships are only about love, and not about necessity, we are showing our children that

It’s official! Purple Shoots Responsible Finance Raising Funds to Specifically Support SMBN Members! and we are so grateful!

This is Mike and Karen, from Purple Shoots, receiving flowers at this years’ Single Mums Business Network Awards, in gratitude for having faith not only in me (Jules), but in a handful of my members when banks had written us off because the computer says no. Purple Shoots Business Lending (“Purple Shoots”) is a not-for-profit […]

From MEH to Magnificent! Ways to grow through student life. By Sarah Harvey

I am so excited for SMBN member Sarah who has today published her book on Amazon – From MEH to Magnificent! Ways to grow through student life.

I have had a front row seat for the past two years as Sarah has developed her courses, piloted in private secondary schools and with true relentless tenacity has not given up on her commitment to support the education sector with her experience, advice and expertise, and now she has published a book too, to directly help the students directly or via schools or parents who purchase this book.

Welcome New Member – Nicola Booth, Founder, Director, and Chair of Trustees – Single Parents Support and Advice Services aka SPSAS

I am beyond pleased to welcome Nicola Booth, of Single Parents Support and Advice Services, to the SMBN. Nicola and I connected when I did THE BIG EVENT, for Single Parents Day 2021, and we all know that actions speak louder than words, so the fact that she has since joined so that we can support each others empires and in turn further support the parents we support warms my heart in so many ways. …

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