Centre tackling youth loneliness - The Evesham Observer

Centre tackling youth loneliness

Evesham Editorial 29th Sep, 2019   0

VOLUNTEERS at an Evesham youth centre are backing a campaign to help tackle the stigma of youth loneliness after new research revealed barely more than a quarter of 10 to 25-year-olds felt confident talking about the issue.

Ourside Youth Association on Broadway Road is putting its support behind ‘We are lonely, but not alone’ which asks everyone to wear yellow socks to show they care about young people who feel lonely. Supporters can then share their ‘yellow socks’ picture online using #LonelyNotAlone.

The campaign has been created by a group of young people who’ve felt lonely in the past, in partnership with specialist youth co-design agency, Effervescent.

It launched on Monday (September 23) alongside an animation which reflected how the young people feel lonely.

Characters include a unicorn, who feels different, and a ‘crocoduck’ – a duck who pretends to be a crocodile to fit in with others. The animation is narrated by 15-year-old Mia Povey, from Middlesbrough

Centre manager Bev Wride said: “We have been doing lots of work around loneliness during drop in sessions at one of the local high schools and have a variety of activities and exercises that we can run during the evenings around feeling connected’

Carly Elwell, director and trustee of Ourside Youth Association, said: “We recognise individuals we work with see and feel ‘loneliness’ differently, it’s integral and important for us to create an environment for young people where there is not only a shared understanding of what the term means, what it feels like and how it can differ but also where it feels safe and comfortable to talk about it.

“Through doing this we will gather a greater understanding of youth loneliness and what it means for the young people we are working with.

‘We are lonely, but not alone’ launched as Co-op Foundation research found only 26 per cent of young people were confident talking about loneliness, and even less, 23 per cent, believe society treats it as a serious social issue.

However, the research also found lonely young people are proactively trying to overcome their feelings of loneliness and help others

Visit www.lonelynotalone.org or www.ourside.org.uk for more.

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