Lonely Not Alone 2021 - Effervescent

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Now in its third year, there were high expectations for Lonely Not Alone in 2021. In 2019 we collaborated with children and young people to co-produce and launch the campaign. In 2020 during a national lockdown we iterated the campaign, making it bigger and better; and 87% of 10-25 years who saw the campaign said they took a POSITIVE ACTION as a result.


So in 2021 we set ourselves a huge challenge; not only to reduce the stigma of youth loneliness, but to build empathy amongst young people who hadn’t experienced loneliness themselves. 

We knew that to do this we’d need to share authentic stories – stories that helped young people understand what it’s like to be lonely. The co-design team recognised that this presented an amazing opportunity… what if we could create a safe place for young people to share stories, find their tribe and discover the one small step that could help to make things better? 

That place became the Lonely Not Alone universe. 

“ When we got together to create Lonely Not Alone, we realised that as a group we’re talented, strong and gorgeously weird people. Like stars in the night sky, we’re fierce, fiery, beautiful balls of energy and light, waiting to find meaningful connections in the darkness.  We find ourselves isolated, but there’s nothing wrong with who we are, we just haven’t found our place in the universe yet. We haven’t found our tribe.  ”

In the Lonely Not Alone universe young people can share their story anonymously and we help them to find their constellation; people who share some of the same experiences and challenges. Each constellation is a place for young people to belong. 

The universe is home to 10 constellations. The Hedgehog constellation is full of people who are hurting, but don’t let anyone get near enough to help. Unicorn constellation is made up of talented people who just don’t seem to fit in with those around them. And each Lonely Not Alone constellation has been mapped to a real constellation, so you can look up at the night sky see your star up there, shining bright.

“ What’s great about Lonely Not Alone is that it invites people to share their stories and connect with other people’s stories. I think after the last 18 disjointed months, that feeling of connection will be invaluable. It certainly has been while we’ve been co-creating this campaign ”

Nathan, 15, Lonely Not Alone co-designer

A sky full of fierce, fiery stars

By the end of 2021, almost 150 stories had been shared to the Lonely Not Alone universe, each one with the potential to build empathy, tackle stigma and show a lonely young person that they’re not alone.

Lonely Not Alone Instagram

Driving action amongst millions of young people

3.1m young people say they have now seen Lonely Not Alone and 97% of this group say they’ve taken an action as a result.

Reducing the stigma

Young people who’ve seen Lonely Not Alone are three times more likely to say they believe society is now taking youth loneliness seriously, and 7 out of 10 young people who recognise the campaign say they feel less alone after seeing it.