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Trust in Yellow to Tackle Youth Loneliness

Loneliness is an issue that can affect us all at some point in our lives. Argyle Community Trust is supporting the ‘Lonely Not Alone’ campaign by wearing yellow socks to show we care. ‘Lonely Not Alone’ encourages everyone to wear yellow socks to show they care about youth loneliness. Young people are lonely more often than any other age group, but they don’t talk about it because they don’t think other people will understand, or be able to help. The 7th October saw the launch of the new campaign created by young people using their own experiences of loneliness to help others. The young creatives’ co-operative approach to the campaign is just one example of the actions many young people are taking to beat the stigma of youth loneliness.

In January 2018, the UK Government announced a programme of work to tackle loneliness. The following October, the Government launched its Loneliness Strategy, which committed to tackling the stigma of loneliness and promoting the importance of social connections. From this, the #LetsTalkLoneliness campaign was born, to encourage everyone to start the conversation and say it’s OK to feel lonely and it’s okay to talk about it. The ‘Lonely Not Alone’ campaign is funded by the Co-op Foundation and builds on the governments Let’s Talk Loneliness campaign. The Co-op Foundation is the leading charity tackling youth loneliness in the country. It has awarded £6.5 million to projects UK-wide while also supporting the development of resources and networks to help youth workers identify and tackle youth loneliness with greater confidence.

  • Researchers spoke to 2,044 young people ages 10 to 25 years old and found that less than 31% would be comfortable asking for help if they felt lonely.

  • Only 26% of young people are confident talking about loneliness

  • 23% believe society takes youth loneliness seriously

  • 65% of young people agree that loneliness is an issue that affects their age group and the fear of other people’s reactions is a barrier to talking about it.

Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation, said: Loneliness is a feeling we can all relate to, but few of us realise that young people are affected more than any other age group.

Nicky Morgan, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said: Loneliness is a huge challenge and sadly a reality for too many young people. The Co-op Foundation’s innovative campaign is a fantastic way to raise awareness and help them realise they are not alone in feeling lonely. I hope this campaign will encourage more people to spot the signs of loneliness, speak up and build more meaningful connections with each other.

Why Yellow Socks?

The young creatives realised that when they felt lonely, they would often avoid people’s eyes and look to the floor. Socks are semi-hidden, like loneliness, but yellow socks can provide a little ray of hope – a flash of colour that shows them that people care. Supporters are encouraged to post a picture of themselves on social media using #LonelyNotAlone and #OOTDYELLOWSOCKS. People are invited to get involved whenever and wherever they like. Every time someone wears yellow socks, they’ll show young people everywhere that youth loneliness matters.

If you need to talk to someone right now, call ChildLine on 0800 1111 or The Samaritans on 116 123. They are both there to listen.

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