3 December 2019
Loneliness is a challenge faced by many young people and is something the College is taking steps to address. At a recent Buddy Day held at Pontypool Campus, a small group of learners from across the College came together to speak about social isolation and how to tackle it. Activities including creating a collage, writing a story, and role play gave participants the opportunity to unpack the subject of loneliness and develop some skills for overcoming it. Following these discussions, the learners made a list of ideas that could be introduced on their campus. Staff will offer support to learners as they develop these ideas over coming weeks and months.
A wonderful by product of the day was individuals growing in confidence. At the start of the day some learners struggled to speak in the group. By the end, everyone was contributing and making sure their voice was heard. One learner commented, “Talking about issues isn’t a weakness; it’s a strength”, another said “I’m going to talk to somebody new as I have problems getting to know people.
The buddies who took part made new friends, grew in confidence and gained fresh enthusiasm to be agents of change on their campuses.
Loneliness is a real issue that isn’t going to disappear overnight. However, with young people feeling empowered and confident, loneliness will decrease and together we will create an environment of greater inclusion and belonging. For more information about the Buddy Project contact Ruth Israel