UK Youth Voice young people have developed a document for Youth Workers to use to approach the topic of loneliness with young people.

The 20-page document contains poems, advise and activities for youth workers to do with young people (virtually or in-person).

They say:

This project is the product of a collaborative effort by a group of young people in the UK Youth Movement. We wanted to make a guide for youth workers that would help them to understand loneliness from the perspective of young people with lived experience of the issue.

We wanted to produce a guide for youth workers to help them work with young people who are experiencing loneliness, to explore what it means and how it can be overcome by building the kind of positive and dependable relationships that support us through difficult times.

Our hope is that as many youth workers as possible can see this so as many young people as possible can benefit from it.

We spent a lot of time as a team discussing the definition of ‘loneliness’, as it is a multi-faceted and broad issue that can be experienced in lots of different ways. We all felt that loneliness and being alone are distinctly different as young people can still be lonely whilst surrounded by people. If someone lacks meaningful, healthy and dependable relationships, whether familial, platonic, or romantic, they may feel isolated and lonely.

We have used poetry and pictures throughout this resource to explore how loneliness makes us and other young people feel and shared some personal stories of how healthy relationships and a sense of community through volunteering have helped to overcome feelings of loneliness.

Lastly, this guide also includes some activities designed to bring young people from all walks of life together to build practical tools and to understand how building healthy and dependable relationships can be key to tackling loneliness.