Vincent Dance Theatre working in partnership with Priority 1-54 was awarded a grant from the Co-op Building Connections fund to explore the perspectives, knowledge and experiences of young people in care (and care leavers) in addressing loneliness.
VDT and Priority 1-54 led workshops with young people exploring how digital technologies and social media might exacerbate or reduce a young person’s sense of loneliness. Drawing on themes explored in Virgin Territory, and using video clips from Shut Down, the workshops engaged young people to respond creatively.
Each workshop was documented to create visual and audio material which formed a short film at the end of the project that represented the young people’s manifesto for change.
Youth loneliness is widespread, but not widely understood. The project aimed to improve outcomes for young people in care and care leavers, those in residential care settings (including secure units) and in short- and long-term foster placements, aged 11-21 years old. Recognising these groups are particularly at risk of experiencing loneliness and social isolation at key transition stages in their lives i.e when leaving mainstream education and leaving care.
The £11.5 million Building Connections Fund is a partnership between Government, Big Lottery Fund and the Co-op Foundation, set up in response to the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness to support projects in England that prevent or reduce loneliness.