Young Scot, the national youth information and citizenship charity, has been successful in securing funding from the Co-op Foundation to put young people at the heart of addressing youth loneliness in Scotland.
Building on work completed by young people from Perth and North Lanarkshire in 2018, Young Scot will recruit a Design Team of young people from across Scotland, who will work over the next two years to explore and test approaches on how youth loneliness can be tackled.
The Design Team will develop recommendations and actions for sector-wide organisations to consider in addressing youth loneliness at a strategic level, as well as creating a dedicated digital information resource for young people on the issue.
One of the young people from Brannock High School, North Lanarkshire who took part in the pilot last year said: “This was an amazing opportunity to be involved with such a well-known and respected organisation as Young Scot. As soon as we started thinking about and discussing ‘Youth Loneliness’ we knew this was an important issue to many, many young people across Scotland and we were thrilled to get involved in exploring web content that would help to inform our fellow young Scots and signpost them to help and support. I feel I have had the opportunity to get involved in a meaningful way, on a national platform about a topic that is so important to the positive mental health of young people in Scotland today.”
Jim Cooke, Head of the Co-op Foundation said: “Our work with Young Scot has helped develop an understanding of the issues faced by lonely young people in Scotland, and the interventions that help them belong. By continuing our partnership, we will help young people in communities with the greatest challenges run campaigns and create resources that tackle loneliness locally while also influencing national policy. We look forward to working closely with Young Scot over the coming years to connect and empower even more young people and strengthen the youth sector that provides essential support and opportunities.”
Louise Macdonald, Young Scot’s Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding from the Co-op Foundation to continue our invaluable work on youth loneliness. This provides us with a great opportunity to ensure young people are at the heart of tackling youth loneliness in Scotland, acting as system changers and influencing the important issues in their lives.”
The report from the pilot project in Perth and North Lanarkshire is available here.
For more information or to apply for a place on the Design Team, visit www.young.scot/get-involved