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RESEARCH: Two thirds of young people across Essex are lonely

07 Oct RESEARCH: Two thirds of young people across Essex are lonely

Young people are launching the second phase of their campaign to beat the stigma of youth loneliness today (7 October), as new research from the Co-op Foundation finds the Spring lockdown made even more young people feel lonely.

Lonely Not Alone asks everyone to show they care about youth loneliness by wearing yellow socks and sharing their ‘Outfit of the Day’ on social media with #OOTDYellowSocks. Young people who made the campaign say yellow socks are their symbol of solidarity when they feel lonely and look to the floor.

The campaign was made by a group of 12 to 22-year-olds working together on Zoom during lockdown. They all had different experiences of loneliness, including a young carer, a graduate unable to find suitable work and a young person heading to university this year to study nursing.

Today’s launch follows research of 2,000 10 to 25-year-olds UK-wide. Two-thirds of young people across East England said they felt lonely at least occasionally during the March to July lockdown, compared to just 53% before restrictions began.

Today, 69% of young people in the region say they are lonely at least occasionally. 

The research also found that across the UK:

  • 78% of 16 to 25-year-olds missed out on life events or celebrations during lockdown, including going on holiday, graduating from university and going to their prom.
  • Less than a quarter of young people (23%) think society takes youth loneliness seriously while only a third (36%) feel confident talking about loneliness
  • 27% of young people would be uncomfortable asking for help if they felt lonely while a fifth (19%) said loneliness was something to be embarrassed by.
  • Despite this, young people want to help friends and peers who feel lonely. 91% would be comfortable taking an action to help others, including more than half (52%) who would take part in a campaign like Lonely Not Alone.

Minister for Loneliness, Baroness Barran said: “This year has brought loneliness to the forefront of all our minds, and it’s more important than ever that we look out for our young people.

“I’m pleased to work alongside the Co-op Foundation to raise awareness of this issue, tackle the stigma and encourage people to reach out to someone so that no one needs to feel alone.”

For more information on the Co-op Foundation, visit Read about Lonely Not Alone at