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Young people feel lonely more often than any other age group. That’s why Co-op Foundation launched Belong, a UK-wide network of partners tackling youth loneliness. Through this work we’ve seen how important local youth organisations are to helping young people find a sense of belonging in their communities.


82% of youth workers think loneliness is an issue for young people

Research funded by Co-op Foundation was released today by the national charity UK Youth. The research looks at how youth organisations are already tackling loneliness and what might help them do this even better.

The findings come from youth workers who are on the frontline, supporting young people, and build on previous Co-op Foundation research, which looked at young people’s own first-hand experiences of loneliness.

The key findings and recommendations of UK Youth’s report, A Place to Belong, include:

  • 82% of youth workers agree loneliness is an issue for young people
  • 67%of youth workers say their service already offers support to young people who are lonely, but there are challenges to success
  • 73% of youth workers disagree that young people actively seek help for loneliness, making it hard to offer support
  • 63% of youth workers say that there isn’t enough money to run a specific activity on loneliness

On the back of today’s findings, UK Youth is calling for improved training and resources to help youth workers address loneliness, support for a network of youth workers to share ideas, and development of better links with local education and health services so they can provide better and more joined-up support to young people.

Helping tackle youth loneliness

The Co-op has been active in helping tackle loneliness in recent years, especially amongst young people.

Our Co-op Foundation is joining UK Youth in calling for other funders, sector organisations and policy makers to respond to today’s findings so we can work together unlock the full potential of local youth services

Co-op Foundation’s partnership with the Government on a dedicated £2 million youth strand of the Building Connections Fund will make an important contribution to this work.

Co-op Members can support the Co-op Foundation’s Belong programme by choosing it as their local cause on their online Membership account. Find out more about this report and our Foundation’s take on the findings in Jim’s blog post.

Jim Cooke,

Head of the Co-op Foundation

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