Sharing positive messages via social media for young people feeling lonely is among the ideas to emerge from online workshops taking place this week.
Young people have been taking part in online and digital workshops this week with a design agency to develop a loneliness campaign for later this year.
The group of 13 to 25 year olds have been involved in creative sessions led by design agency Effervescent to help develop the next stage in the Co-op Foundation’s Lonely Not Alone campaign later this year.
The charity’s campaign launched last year and encouraged people to wear yellow socks for the day to show they care about youth loneliness. This also involved Effervescent working with youth people, who last year helped create characters for an animation about loneliness.
Young people involved in the preparation of this year’s campaigning took part in five days of sessions with Effervescent on video conferencing app Zoom.
An amazing group of 13-25 year olds are on @zoom_us right now planning out year two of #LonelyNotAlone. What could they have in store for everyone’s favourite unicorn.....?#youthloneliness #belong pic.twitter.com/t153m4TIgu— Lonely, Not Alone (@lonelynotalone)
Video conferencing has been used after the group of young people’s plans for a face-to-face meet up were cancelled due to the Covid-19 lockdown.
Among the group’s ideas is to encourage people to show they care about young people who may feel lonely by sharing supporting messages now on social media using #LonelyNotAlone.
“Our Lonely Not Alone campaign encourages people to show they care about youth loneliness whenever and wherever they like,” said Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation.
“This message is more important than ever right now, with schools and youth clubs closed and social events cancelled, taking a heavy toll on young people’s wellbeing.
“Get involved today, show your support and share your story at #LonelyNotAlone so young people everywhere can see that although they might feel lonely, they’re not alone.”
The online sessions this week have also been a chance for young people involved “to make new friends and beat their own feelings of loneliness while schools, colleges and universities are closed”, says the Co-op Foundation.
Elorm is a 15-year-old young carer among the young people to help develop the campaign. She said: “Lonely Not Alone is important to me because it’ll help break the stigma around loneliness and create a community and bond between young people, children and people around them.
“Taking part has boosted my confidence, too, and added more skills to what I can do.”