Day in the Lonely campaign encourages children to share their feelings

We’ve launched a campaign to let children know that lonely feelings don’t need to last.


Day in the Lonely uses day-in-the-life videos to show how three young people experience loneliness.

The videos highlight the ways in which Childline can help young people, including by email and through our message boards. All the videos are based on real-life calls to the service.

Through Day in the Lonely, we’re encouraging young people, with the support of their parents, to speak about their mental health issues early on, so they don’t escalate to crisis point.

Retailer Lidl GB is supporting the campaign and has raised funds for Childline since 2020.

Calls about loneliness are still high

As the campaign launches, new Childline data shows that the service is contacted on average 15 times a day by children struggling with loneliness. Between April 2021 and March 2022, Childline delivered 5,564 counselling sessions on this issue.

Counselling sessions on loneliness peaked during the height of the pandemic, with the service supporting more than 6,000 children and young people who were feeling lonely. Since then, counselling sessions on the issue have dropped slightly but still remain high.

Children and young people can contact Childline for free, confidential support and advice 24 hours a day online at or by phone on 0800 1111.

A 10-year-old girl who called Childline said: “I am so lonely as I have no friends at school any more. I often cry myself to sleep at night…so I called Childline. I have not told my parents how I am feeling because I don’t think they will take it seriously.”**

Poor mental health is a top concern for children contacting Childline and has been for the past six years.

A 15-year-old boy said: “For the past few months, I’ve been feeling lonely and like I’m nothing. I act happy when I’m around my mum – she seems to think I’m fine but I’m really dying inside.

"I feel like nobody understands and I don’t know who to tell. I’m worried they'll laugh and won’t believe me or say, ‘you out of all people can’t be feeling that!’”**

Insight from Childline

Childline’s trained counsellors hear from children feeling lonely because they’ve been left out of friendship groups and social media chats.

Other children say their loneliness stems from feeling negatively about themselves or believing their friends or family don’t understand them.

Shaun Friel, Childline Director, said:

“Loneliness is sadly an issue that a high number of children and young people are experiencing.

"At Childline, we know the impact this can have on a child’s wellbeing and mental health.

“We’ve had cases of children left feeling depressed. That’s why we are reminding all children that talking to a trusted adult like a parent, teacher or Childline counsellor about being lonely is a brave thing to do.

"It will enable them to get the help they need.

“Through this campaign, we want to raise awareness among children and adults, that there are many reasons why young people might feel lonely, but these feelings don’t have to last.

"Getting support early on can prevent things from escalating in the future.”

Mark Newbold, Lidl GB Senior CSR Manager, said:

“It’s heartbreaking to see young people struggle with loneliness, and that is why at Lidl we are proud to have funded the NSPCC’s Day in the Lonely campaign.

“We are committed to raising funds that mean more youngsters in need of emotional support can get the help they require as fast as possible.”

Disclaimer: ** These quotes are based on real Childline service users but are not necessarily direct quotes. Potentially identifying details have been changed to protect the identity of the child or young person involved.