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Extent of youth loneliness revealed after first study-of-its-kind

An image from the presentation at Vue cinema, which was supported by Torbay Council Leader Steve Darling

Young people from across Torbay have come together to discuss new research on youth loneliness in the bay.

Ocean Youth, part of Sound Communities, conducted research online which revealed that of the nearly 650 Torbay school children polled 500 of them "felt lonely at least some of the time" with 42% feeling lonely most of the time.

Loneliness was blamed on 'a lack of confidenc'e although other major concerns included' school, social media, friendship problems, self-doubt and family issues'.

It's hoped the research will now be used to help develop a local policy to address the issue.

Click play to hear Jack Thompson, 17, from Torquay who led the research

The research was presented at a special showing of Shaun the Sheep - Farmageddon at the Vue Cinema in Paignton on Saturday as part of the 'Imagine This' project which aims to make Torbay a better place to grow up in.

Before a discussion about the findings, the young people were also shown a short, impactful film on the subject of loneliness made by the Children's Society’s Doves Group.

Tanny Stobart, joint partnership manager of 'Imagine This',  which is a consortium of 35 young people’s organisations led by the Torbay Community Development Trust. was 'delighted' by the response.

She said: "These were some very powerful messages to share with our wider partners, and strong proof of the power of community and social action in the combating of loneliness for young people.

"Ocean Youth did a fantastic job in getting the conversation started and this was just the beginning, we will be doing more work on loneliness among young people as they have also shown themselves to be the ones with many of the answers."

Click play to hear Mike Cook, a director at Sound Communities

For more about Sound Communities click here

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