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Lack of money fuelling loneliness among young people, study suggests

The Co-op has stepped up a campaign aimed at helping young people share stories of loneliness.

04 October 2022

Many young people say not having the money to take part in activities is having a negative impact on how lonely they feel, research suggests.

A survey of 2,000 people aged between 10 and 25 by the Co-op’s charity, the Co-op Foundation, found that 95% said they felt lonely, a 6% increase in the past 12 months.

More than half of those describing themselves as lonely said not being able to afford to take part in activities affected how they felt.

Sad young woman sat on sofa at home
The Co-op has stepped up a campaign aimed at helping young people share stories of loneliness (Alamy/PA)

The charity said this raises concerns about how the cost-of-living crisis will further affect young people in the coming months.

Only one in four respondents said they believe youth loneliness is treated seriously by society, and two thirds of lonely young people said feeling lonely makes them lose confidence in themselves.

The Co-op stepped up its Lonely Not Alone campaign aimed at helping young people share stories of loneliness.

Young man looking through window from double decker bus in London
Only one in four respondents said they believe youth loneliness is treated seriously by society (Alamy/PA)

Nick Crofts, chief executive of the Co-op Foundation, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is another blow to young people who’ve had to overcome so much over the past two years.

“Young people will need help from parents, guardians, teachers and employers alike as the UK tightens the purse strings through a difficult winter.

“I hope the Lonely Not Alone digital universe can be an added source of support to help boost youth mental wellbeing in communities and tackle loneliness. Young people might be lonely, but they’re not alone.”

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