Lonely Not Alone 2023 launches today 

Today marks the beginning of Loneliness Awareness Week 2023. We couldn’t think of a better time to launch the fifth and final year of Lonely Not Alone – our incredible youth-led campaign to tackle the stigma of youth loneliness. 

Loneliness is an emotion we often associate with older people. However, The Co-op’s ‘Trapped in a Bubble’ research with the British Red Cross in 2016 found it was actually young people who were lonely most often. That’s why we’ve been working with young people for the past five years on Lonely Not Alone. We wanted to create a safe space for their friends and peers to share what it’s really like to be lonely and find helpful small steps to combat loneliness.   

And we’re so proud of what we’ve achieved.  

At its peak, 25% of young people in the UK had heard about us and more than 300 stories and 60 messages of support have now been added to our beautiful digital universe. Thank you to everyone who’s reached out to help. 

You can support Lonely Not Alone one last time from today. Get involved by: 

Thank you for helping us show lonely young people that they might be lonely, but they’re not alone. 

Reflecting and celebrating 

We launched year one of Lonely Not Alone in 2019 as our first ever behaviour change campaign to help us deliver on Co-op’s vision of ‘Co-operating for a Fairer World’.  

And a lot has changed since then. 

We started by sharing an array of amazing characters to help explain how young people feel lonely. In the same year, we also launched our first activation – asking people to wear yellow socks to show they cared about youth loneliness. We were so pleased to see so many people getting behind this idea by posting their outfits of the day on social media to help tackle the stigma of youth loneliness. We therefore decided to keep this activation going throughout 2020 as levels of loneliness spiked because of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Lonely Not Alone

In 2021, we created a theory of change to help us achieve long lasting impact for the campaign. As a result, our young co-designers created the Lonely Not Alone digital universe you can see today at The website has helped lonely young people from across the UK to connect with other young people who feel lonely for similar reasons – their tribe. 

We’ll be sharing this incredible journey over the next few weeks thanks to some beautiful new content young people from across the lifespan of the campaign created for us just last month.  

Get ready to sit back and reflect on what young people have done, and how they’ve felt on the way. Content will be live on our Lonely Not Alone Instagram, Twitter and Tik Tok channels so follow us now to keep up to date. 

Future of campaigning at the Co-op Foundation 

I can’t count how many times people have told me how impressive they think Lonely Not Alone is. I have to agree, but the praise goes entirely to young people who’ve guided us every step of the way.  

Working on Lonely Not Alone has completely altered my outlook on working with young people. Before this role, I didn’t realise just how much value and impact can come from working so closely with young people to create change. It has been an incredibly insightful experience for me. 

And that’s why young people are also going to be a big part of planning what we campaign on next. Our new Future Communities Vision has so many options and possibilities for campaigning and young people’s insight will help us make sure we have the most impact possible in years to come.  

I can’t wait to tell you more. Sign up to our blog below to keep up to date. 

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