5 Dec 2018

Sam Royston, Director of Policy and Research at The Children’s Society, which was involved in the ONS research on children’s loneliness and in developing the recommended measurements, said:

“Now that the heartbreaking scale of loneliness among children has been laid bare, it’s time for action to put more support in place and understand the underlying issues.

“Loneliness can be something that passes and we see many children who use our services move through these difficult periods. However, for some children, loneliness can lead to mental health issues and mean they struggle alone to cope with other challenges in their lives. In the most serious cases it can leave them more susceptible to grooming by sexual predators or criminal gangs.

“Children told us that they valued having someone to talk to, so we want the Government to commit to ensuring all secondary school pupils have access to a counsellor.

“Relationships with family and friends are crucial to children’s happiness. However, services which support these relationships - like youth clubs and help for young carers - have been cut by councils who are facing a £3bn children’s services funding gap by 2025, and it’s vital that ministers address this shortfall.”

More information on the new research is available here.

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For more information, please contact Senior Media Officer Rob Devey on 07814 525918 or rob.devey@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.