Changing our Lives is proud to be one of the Coop Foundation’s partners in tackling youth loneliness. This is part of UK-wide Belong network. Disabled young people and young people with experience of mental health difficulties are at a greater risk of social isolation due the discrimination they face. Our partnership aims to highlight the impact of this social inequality and identify solutions.

Common Ground was launched in October 2017 with the aim of reducing social isolation in young people in Walsall and Birmingham. As part of this project, we work with young disabled people and young people with experience of mental health difficulties from BME communities to help them establish meaningful connections, relationships and mutually beneficial partnerships with people in their local area. This is called Community Connecting.

Changing Our Lives has years of experience and expertise in community development, and so we are well placed to facilitate real connections between young people and their communities.

As part of this project, individuals have established new friendships, developed transferable skills and gained employment. We have also worked alongside groups of young people in schools and third sector organisations to instigate community development work, with young people driving the changes they want to make within their communities

The success of this project has challenged cultural stigma, raised expectations for young disabled people and their families and celebrated the interests, talents and skills that connect us all.

Do you want to learn more about how to support people who are social isolated to develop meaningful connections? Changing Our Lives runs one-day training courses on Community Connecting. Please click here for more information.