Loneliness: support for care experienced young people

What is loneliness?

Many people feel lonely at some point in their life. Social isolation can bring about negative feelings like loneliness. This can be from lack of communication, friendship or human connection with other people. It might feel like you don’t have any one to talk to, share things or meet up with. If you do not tackle loneliness, it can lead to other health issues, both mentally and physically.

Here is a video on loneliness and what to do if you feel lonely:

What can I do if I’m feeling lonely?

Pick up the phone

It helps to talk, there are people in your life who want to listen to you. Try calling a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, they might be feeling lonely too.

Join local community groups

It’s good to meet up with people who have similar interests. Try searching for things you like doing (crafts, walking, animals) there is bound to be a local group who likes doing the same.

Go out for a walk in a public place like a park

Fresh air and a fresh perspective can help with you are feeling low. Try to get a change of scenery when you are feeling lonely.

Visit your local coffee shop

We know a change of scenery is good, it’s also good to be around other people. If you’re worried about going alone, bring a book or table. You may meet people and get chatting.

Invite a friend around for tea

Cooking can keep you busy in the evening – it doesn’t need to be anything fancy but there is something satisfying about cooking for someone else. Maybe invite an old friend, work friend or neighbour.

Start a new hobby

It’s great to follow your interests and passions. Have a google for things in your area that might interest you. It’s the taking part that counts, you don’t need to do things perfectly! Lots of places have free trials for your first session.

Teach a skill

A good way to connect to others is to teach them things. Maybe you can draw really well, maybe you just love talking to people – you could volunteer with a charity to teach people new skills while enjoying their company.

Use technology to reach out to people

It’s a good idea to maintain contact over things like Zoom or Discord if you have less mobility or your friends and family live far away. Plan out some time with others to make calls so you can speak with the regularly.

Meet other care experienced young people

It helps to meet people who have had similar experiences to you and may understand what you are feeling. Getting out and meeting people of a similar age is also good. You could join the Voice and Influence Panel (VIP) and meet other care experienced young people, talk about how you are feeling and what the Council can do to support you all.

Find out more here: Voice and Influence Panel, contact cwolfe@swindon.gov.uk 07929 741819 or contact your Pathway Advisor for more information.

Look into other people/ celebrities who are like you

It may feel like you alone in feeling lonely but many people feel that way, especially those who are care experienced. Care Experience and Culture shares collections of work from all care-experienced people including programmes, media, people, data and books.

Who can help me?

There are lots of people out there who will listen to you, you just need to reach out. You can talk to:

  • Your PA can help you access or find groups that may be suitable for you.
  • Your GP can help you find ways to manage loneliness and signpost you to support groups.
  • Children Looked After Health Team are a team of Specialist Nurses based at the Lyndhurst Centre Swindon with experience of working with all age groups around emotional health. If you want help to access a service or assess what would suit your needs contact us on 01793 464334.

What websites will give me more information?

Side by Side - an online community like providing a place to listen and share with others who have similar experiences. Available 24/7, moderated 8.30 am - midnight. They welcome everyone over the age of 18. 

A New Direction - this is a directory for care experienced young people who are creative. It can help you find work, help you to have your voice heard and join groups.

SupportLine - offers emotional support to all children, young people and adults and can signpost you to counsellors, agencies and support groups if you need them. You can visit their website or call 01708 765 200

The Samaritans - provide a 24 hour 365 days of the year, confidential, listening service providing emotional support to anyone in crisis. They will offer you a safe place for you to talk about what is making you feel low. You can call them on 116 123 (free) or email jo@samaritans.org

Young Minds - provide advice for children and young people suffering with mental health on where they can go for support. They provide resources for young people, parents and professionals.

NSPCC (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children) – are a charity campaigning and working in child protection in the UK. They have put together a self-harm web page to provide information including why children self-harm, how to spot the signs
and where to go to get help: NSPCC - self-harm

National Self-Harm Network - supports individuals who self-harm to reduce emotional distress and improve their quality of life. Support and provide information for family and carers of individuals who self-harm. Raise awareness of the needs of people who self-harm, dispel myths and combat discrimination.

Beat - the UK’s leading charity supporting anyone affected by eating disorders, anorexia, bulimia, eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) or any other difficulties with food, weight and shape.