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Co-op Foundation youth projects are #TacklingLoneliness

Belong is our Co-op Foundation’s network of projects helping young people in UK communities tackle loneliness through co-operative action.

One of these projects, run by Staffordshire-based charity Make Some Noise, is working with schools, including our Co-op Academy in Stoke, to explore teens’ experiences of loneliness through music. Participants are then challenged to organise a welcoming festival, to help younger students with the transition from primary to secondary school.

It’s a great example of young people finding creative ways to explore an issue which can be difficult to talk about – and then taking action to help others in their community.

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Our new research published today shows that peer support is key to tackling youth loneliness. And our #iwill fund is looking for projects that can help young people overcome the stigma around this issue.

Loneliness is a widespread issue for young people

Loneliness is often linked to times of transition. Young people go through lots of significant life changes, in quick succession. When we combine this with the pressure to succeed and ‘fit in’, almost two-thirds (65%) of young people think that loneliness is a problem among their generation.

Although 95% of young people agree loneliness affects people of any age, fewer than one in five (19%) believe that society takes youth loneliness seriously. This can result in many young people ‘bottling things up’ and blaming themselves for feeling lonely.

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Technology has a mixed impact on youth loneliness. Young people are concerned about how they feel they need to present themselves on social media, and how they perceive others’ lives online. However, they also see positive opportunities for connecting online, especially where it enhances face to face contact.

Being lonely can be an intensely personal experience, but the more young people are confident to speak about it, the more they can support each other.

Still, 81% say that fear of others’ reactions would stop them talking about feeling lonely, with fewer than one in ten (9%) thinking that their age group is confident discussing this issue.

“To be seen as lonely is to be seen as though there’s something wrong with you. Then if you admit you’re lonely it makes you feel even more isolated.”

Karina, aged 20

We’re looking for causes #TacklingLoneliness in young people

Last year, we launched our £2m partnership with #iwill to tackle loneliness through youth-led social action.

From today, we’re looking for projects breaking down the stigma of youth loneliness and promoting peer support.

Find out more, including how to apply if you work with young people in one of the fund’s target areas.

Jim Cooke
Head of Co-op Foundation

Find out more about how we’re #TacklingLoneliness:


Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. Peer Support in Adult and Teenager Roles is a vital resource,and enables the most vunerable in our society to gain voiceabilty.and using their personal attributes to make safer zones and work on sustainable projects in there own community’s

  2. […] reinforces what we found in previous research into young people’s own views and experiences of loneliness. Despite being a common experience, young people often feel uncomfortable admitting feeling lonely, […]

  3. Ok, starting to put a plan together..will get back with dates soon


    ________________________________ On: 26 April 2018 15:29, “The Co-


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#TacklingLoneliness with British Red Cross, Campaigning, Guest blog posts