Students hold virtual event to ease loneliness during lockdown

@cityplym Students hold virtual event to ease loneliness during lockdown

City College Plymouth students hosted an online conference earlier this month that aimed to tackle the problem of intergenerational loneliness.

The virtual meeting, which was held using Google Hangouts, followed a similar event in February and was organised by the College in partnership with Next Steps South West: the obvious difference being February’s event was held in person.

For this event, media students joined forces with those studying art, drama, computing and health and social care, to work together to help solve the problem, with a particular focus on how to ease loneliness during lockdown.

Next Steps South West Officer, Mary Coles, said: “This was another hugely successful event, despite having to drastically alter the set-up to comply with the current lockdown. It was an authentic experience of remote, collaborative working, and the variety of educational backgrounds really enhanced the outcome of the project.

“After a couple of hours of discussion, each group was tasked with putting together a proposal for a scheme that could help people to feel less lonely. Art and exploring creativity seemed to be a common theme among the different groups, and towards the end of the event, we all agreed on a proposed scheme - CreativiTEA With A Purpose, which would pair students with members of the community to work together on a creative project.”

Like February’s event, the students were joined by College staff and a number of external speakers. These speakers included: professional creative artist, Kat Savage; singer-songwriter, Kat Marsh; Laura Henry, Artistic Director at EXIM, who specialises in working within intergenerational community settings; Craig Gazey, former Coronation Street actor with an interest in wellbeing; Jonathan Clitheroe, Head of Challenge Based Learning at Real Ideas Organisation, and Lindsay Rosenthal, clinical researcher and future medical student interested in promoting healthy lifestyles for young people through sport and mindful creativity.

Lindsay said: “City College Plymouth’s Intergenerational Loneliness Workshop was a source of inspiration during the deeply trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I was impressed by the degree to which the students were internally motivated to collaborate on and support the development of this project. As long as the conversations are flowing, I have no doubt that our collective idea can become a tool by which to combat intergenerational loneliness.”

Deborah Coles, who is studying for a Foundation Degree in Health and Social Care, said: “In a time of uncertainty,  loneliness has touched many generations, both young and old. It was nice to work alongside other students and professionals coming up with ideas and strategies to combat or ease loneliness. To just give someone hope, or to know someone cares is enough to brighten their day. It was a pleasure to be a part of this event.”

For their participation, students earned a Cities of Learning badge. 

Friday 22 May 2020

Press enquiries contact:

Louise Greenleaf on 07967 410249


Note to Editors

About City College Plymouth

City College Plymouth is a leading provider of innovative, technical and professional education and training, with a reputation for promoting enterprise, employability and science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). Find out more at

  • The College’s Apprenticeship achievement rates place us 1st in the South West and 2nd nationally out of all General Further Education Colleges (source: National Achievement Rates Tables 2018/19).

  • The College is first in the South West for overall and timely achievement for 16-18 year olds and for those on level 3 courses (source: National Achievement Rates Tables 2018/19).

  • City College Plymouth is the first general further education college in the country for student satisfaction, with a 97.1% positive rating (FE Choices Learner Feedback Survey 2017/18).

  • The College was awarded Gold on the Teaching Excellence Framework in relation to its higher education provision in June 2017.

  • City College Plymouth is the third highest performing general further education college in the country for employer satisfaction with a 98.1% positive rating (2017/18 FE Choices Employer Satisfaction Survey).

  • Ofsted rated the College as ‘good’ in its 2020 inspection visit (source: Ofsted Inspection Report 2020).

  • City College Plymouth is a Highly Trusted Sponsor of UK Visas and Immigration and has been awarded the International Charter by the Association of Colleges.


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