Changing Our Lives is proud to be one of the Co-op Foundation’s partners in tackling youth loneliness, as part of the UK-wide Belong network.

Since 2017, we have been working with the Co-op Foundation on Common Ground, an area of work which uses community connecting as an approach to tackle youth loneliness.

Through Common Ground we have worked across the West Midlands and targeted young disabled people, their non-disabled peers, young people with lived experience of mental health difficulties and young people from minority ethnic communities to establish meaningful connections, relationships and mutually beneficial partnerships with each other and their communities. This project has successfully challenged societal discrimination, cultural stigma, raised expectations for young disabled people and their families and celebrated the interests, talents and skills that connect us all.

The national conversation about youth loneliness talks about the significance peer support can play in challenging the stigma. Common Ground takes this approach and embeds human rights within the work. Through doing this, Common Ground has supported young people in the West Midlands to understand loneliness as a normal human experience. This work will continue to equip them to navigate their thoughts and feelings through the development of their own solutions to tackle youth loneliness.

Do you want to learn more about how to support people who are socially isolated to develop meaningful connections? Changing Our Lives run one-day training sessions on Community Connecting.

Pilot project

Human rights

Your new normal. My normal.