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Real Stories

Hear from some of the real children and young people who shared their experiences to create our animated characters

Meet the Unicorn

Unicorn was born looking and feeling different.

She finds it hard to fit in and doesn’t enjoy the things the others do.

She knows that she is strong and magical and unique, but she has nobody to share her dreams and ideas with – and that’s really difficult.

Because she is rarely included, she never expects to be wanted – and so it feels like this loneliness might last forever.

Meet the diver

Diver is feeling under unbearable pressure.

He has withdrawn from his friends to focus on his future, and now he can’t find his way back.

Around him, the world is a storm of stress: to pass exams, to look good, to live his best life, to always be achieving, and seen to be doing wonderful things.

It’s all so exhausting that he’s drowning in everyone else’s expectations and so he feels lonely and overwhelmed.

Meet the crocoduck

Crocoduck has a difficult secret she doesn’t want anyone to know.

When she’s out and about, she’s fierce, brave, and dangerous – she takes risks and hangs out with people she knows and are no good for her.

She won’t let anyone get too close: underneath that fearsome exterior, she’s a gentle, lost soul who can’t find her people.

She never takes her friends home because that would maker her feel vulnerable: she doesn’t want the people she hangs around with to see her home or her family.

She’s lonely because she constantly pretends to be something she isn’t, just to survive.

Meet the Firefly

Firefly has too many responsibilities.

They spend their time worrying about and planning to keep the people they love safe.

Firefly is rarely asked to hang out, because they never say yes. When Firefly does get to do something fun, they get calls from home every hour, so they can’t relax or have fun.

Firefly knows it’s nobody’s fault that they have this responsibility – it’s just bad luck. They don’t want to moan or whinge or dump on people.

All this putting everyone else first, has left Firefly feeling angry, frustrated , a bit numb, and very lonely.

Read Co-op Foundation’s research on how young people are beating loneliness, and what we can all do to help

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Read what the Co-op Foundation is doing to beat loneliness, and help them do more

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