Co-op Foundation launches ‘yellow socks’ campaign to highlight youth loneliness

‘Get involved today to help young people everywhere see that youth loneliness matters’

Co-op Foundation, the Co-op Group’s charity, is today launching a campaign created by young people to beat the stigma of youth loneliness. 

The ‘We are lonely, but not alone’ campaign encourages everyone to wear yellow socks to show they care about youth loneliness. Supporters can then post a picture of themselves online at @lonelynotalone using #LonelyNotAlone.

People are invited to get involved whenever and wherever they can, wearing yellow socks to demonstrate that youth loneliness matters.

The campaign was created by a group of nine young people who have felt lonely in the past, in partnership with specialist youth co-design agency, Effervescent.

The young people chose yellow socks for the campaign, as the colour reminded them of hope, while the semi-hidden nature of socks reflected how loneliness felt for them.

Yellow Socks @ Edwards Trust – Co Op Foundation

They also helped create characters for an animation that reflects their feelings of loneliness. These include a unicorn, who feels different, and a ‘crocoduck’ – a duck that pretends to be a crocodile to fit in with others. See them at

‘We are lonely, but not alone’ is launched as research finds only 26% of young people are confident talking about loneliness, and even fewer (23%) believe society treats it as a serious social issue. Researchers spoke to 2,044 young people aged 10 to 25 years old UK-wide and also found that less than a third (31%) would be comfortable asking for help if they felt lonely.

Jim Cooke, head of the Co-op Foundation, said: “Loneliness is a feeling we can all relate to, but few of us realise that young people are affected more than any other age group. Get involved today to help young people everywhere see that youth loneliness matters and that even if they do feel lonely, they are not alone.”

Co-op Foundation is the leading charity tackling youth loneliness in the country. It has awarded £6.5m to projects UK-wide while also supporting the development of resources and networks to help youth workers identify and tackle youth loneliness with greater confidence.

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