We’re supporting ‘Lonely, Not Alone’
Lonely, Not Alone is Co-op Foundation’s campaign against youth loneliness.
Only a third of 10-25 year olds would feel comfortable asking for help if they felt lonely. Because of the stigma attached to it, many young people just stay in the cycle of loneliness.
The campaign was created by a group of nine young people who’ve felt lonely in the past. Some of those young people go to Co-op Academy Swinton.
For the launch of the campaign on Monday 23 September, those students held a round table discussion about loneliness with 20 of their peers.
Taylor, in Year 8, helped to create the campaign. She wanted to get involved due to feeling different from other young people her age.
“’We are lonely, but not alone’ has made me realise that if someone is lonely, you don’t just walk past them – you ask if they are okay, or you see if they want to spend time with you. This project has really developed my confidence. I have realised through this process that I am loveable and wonderful, after all, and that has helped me to find deeper and better friendships at school. I now have some great friendships with people.”
‘We are lonely, but not alone’ encourages everyone to wear yellow socks to show they care about youth loneliness. Young people chose yellow socks as their campaign idea because the colour reminded them of hope, while the semi-hidden nature of socks reflected what loneliness felt like for them.
To be ambassadors for the campaign, the Co-op Academy Swinton students wore yellow socks all day to help start a conversation with other students about loneliness.
At Connell Co-op College, Director of SEND Rhian Brady knows how hard transitioning to college can be for students.
“It is easy to see how loneliness can affect our young people. They become withdrawn, isolated and then often as a result socially excluded. It is great to know that students can come to a place in the college for support, friendship and guidance”
Connell Co-op College held a ‘Creative Contribution Bake Sale’ outside The Hive where in exchange for their thoughts and feelings students could get some cakes.
The Hive is a safe and welcoming space at Connell open to everyone, whether it’s just for quick chat or more long term support.
Students answered questions about loneliness on sheets of paper, and were asked to draw their interpretation of loneliness on paper figures. These figures will then be turned into a temporary installation in the college.
‘We are lonely, but not alone’ is funded by the Co-op Foundation and government. It builds on the Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign.
Co-op Academies Trust is excited to be supporting Co-op Foundation. It is the leading charity tackling youth loneliness in the country and has awarded £6.5 million to projects UK-wide.