YOUTH workers in Dumbarton and the Vale are dealing with children struggling to cope with loneliness and isolation on a daily basis. 

The revelation comes as new figures from NSPCC Scotland said 4,063 counselling sessions, equal to 11 a day, were given to children and teenagers through their Childline helpline in the past year across the UK, and West Dunbartonshire is “no exception”. 

Alan Keane, from youth charity Y Sort It, said the figures were “troubling” but not surprising.

He said: “Children and young people in West Dunbartonshire are no exception and at Y Sort It we respond to this on a daily basis. 

“We provide a range of group-based and one to one activities for young people designed to meet the needs of those who feel isolated or are at risk of suffering loneliness. 

“The activities we provide range from one to one mentoring support to group-based and peer group approaches. 

“A key aspect of Y Sort It provisions is we aim to understand the needs of each individual young person and will work together with local partners from education; and the health and social care partnership to best meet these needs.”

It’s the first time loneliness has been counted as a category by the service and NSPCC warned it could be much higher.

Matt Forde, national head for NSPCC Scotland, said: “There is no single reason why so many young people are suffering from loneliness and as result there is no simple fix to the problem. 

“What is clear is that the world is becoming an increasingly complex place to grow up in with children and teenagers’ facing daily pressures to achieve what society defines as a successful life – grades, relationships, physical appearance.

“It is therefore vital that children and teenagers have people around them, in particular parents, who they can really open up to about how they are feeling.”

One 15-year-old girl who contacted Childline told them: “I’ve thought about ending my life because I think it’s pointless me being here. 

“I don’t feel like anyone cares about me and I’m lonely all the time. I’ve tried to talk to people about how stressed and anxious I feel, but they’re not bothered. It’s like I’m worthless. 

“Whenever I compare myself to other people, it makes me realise how pathetic I am. I wish I was different.”

Y Sort It has projects such as the Buddy Up peer mentoring and Intandem mentoring for young people with experience of the care system. There is also a young carers service, their LGBT peer support group Fusion and drop-in sessions and other youth work programmes, all touching on loneliness amongst other issues.

Mr Keane added: “At a recent residential trip we delivered an innovative new peer led internet safety workshop and we will provide these regularly in the future.  This raises awareness for young people and parents on internet safety; and internet bullying; and how young people can keep themselves safe online.”

Y Sort It can be contacted through or 0141 941 3308.