The project aims to tackle youth loneliness by bringing together young disabled people and their non disabled peers to build connections in the community.
For the campaign, funded by the Coop Foundation, young people were asked to share their stories of loneliness by getting creative and producing artwork of many forms.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, work on the project became virtual. There was also an increased awareness of loneliness as people spent time apart.
Some young people reported feeling isolated from their communities and families as they got used to ‘the new normal’. However, for many young people, these feelings of loneliness are the ‘everyday normal’ and Changing Our Lives sought to capture this through the creative works of young people.
Several pieces of artwork were completed by young people from Wolverhampton through Real Arts, a project commissioned by the WV Holiday Squad. Artwork is being displayed in an online exhibition with Wolverhampton Art Gallery as well as on Changing Our Lives social media channels, @ChangingOurLives on Facebook or @Positive_Lives on Twitter.
Councillor John Reynolds, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People, said: “Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, many young people will have felt lonely – not being able to see their loved ones or school friends, having underlying health conditions which have meant they have had to shield, or not being able to take part in their normal day to day activities.
“This campaign is a great way of highlighting the impact that loneliness can have on young people and we are delighted that some of the great pieces of work is being displayed as an online exhibition at our city’s art gallery.”
If you know a young person, or you are a young person, whose emotional wellbeing is affected, please contact Base 25, a service in Wolverhampton which delivers children and young people’s wellbeing services. To find out more, visit Base 25, call 01902 572040 or text 07800 002 222.