Exploring Social Isolation and Employment Among Young People In Lower Income Communities
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Written by Paul Addae and Shaun Danquah Apr 14, 2022

Categories: Blog, CR Blogs

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We are pleased to announce we are working with Lambeth Together-Neighbourhood and Wellbeing Delivery Alliance on an important piece of work on loneliness and employment among young black people.

There have been issues in the post-pandemic landscape regarding the uncertainty, lack of career aspiration and increased aspersion to regular employment, feeding into wider apathy around job seeking, skills, training and education. This has also manifested itself across deprived and lower income communities within South London. Based on our track record on engaging locally, especially at the hard end of South London community spheres, Centric will be working with young people to understand their hopes, fears and ideas so we can start to get a real understanding of this generation and co-design initiatives with them in employment, wellbeing, entrepreneurship etc.

The future of work has changed, so it's important to gauge how those within that future conceptualise that realm.

There is a growing body of evidence in London indicating social isolation and loneliness have an impact, often detrimental, on physical and mental health. To the extent that it may increase the likelihood of early mortality by 26% (Holt-Lunstad et al., 2015: 227-237). Social isolation and unemployment impacts people in the UK of various ages and across a range of backgrounds, with there being an estimated nine million people in the UK experiencing loneliness, four million of these being older adults.

This means young people are the most susceptible. The lockdowns exacerbated this and Owens et al. (2022: 12) note while young people were left relatively unscathed by Sars-CoV-2 during the COVID-19 pandemic, evidence suggests lockdowns possibly caused psychopathology, which could lead to a chronic course of negative outcomes, including educational, social, economic, physical, societal and personal costs.

Loneliness has become a major contemporary health concern and young adults are currently the loneliest of all age-groups within the United Kingdom and beyond. Fardghassemi and Joffe (2021) in their study found young adults from London’s most deprived communities can feel isolated even in the company of family and friends. However, longitudinal studies are required to examine the effects of the different coping mechanisms as this can guide potential isolation and loneliness interventions (Fardghassemi and Joffe, 2021; Owens et al., 2022).

To unpick the barriers to employment and understand young people’s attitudes to the workplace, Centric will harness trusted and credible young people in South London who have the experiential knowledge and the empathy to gauge sentiments. Using Centric’s method of engagement, connectivity and then activation, seldom heard voices from across South London can be included. This will be used to build a platform for young people going forward, via a range of operations which Centric will be involved in developing.

This work will also align with Lambeth Council’s Equality Commission strategy and its focus on communities and reducing inequalities.

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References

▪Fardghassemi, S,and Joffe, H.(2021). “Young Adults Experience of Loneliness in London’s Most Deprived Areas.” Frontiers in Psychology, 12: 660791. Accessed Online April 2022: Young Adults’ Experience of Loneliness in London’s Most Deprived Areas

▪Owens, M., Townsend, E., Hall, E., Bhatia, T., Fitzgibbon, R. and Miller-Lakin, F. (2022). “Mental Health and Wellbeing in Young People in the UK During Lockdown (COVID-19).” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19, 1132. Accessed Online April 2022.

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