Councillors are to discuss ways of reducing loneliness among the borough’s youngsters at a meeting this week.

Barnet Council has drawn up a report showing the efforts it is making to tackle youth loneliness, including the work it undertakes with charities and other partners.

It comes in response to a request made by members of the children education and safeguarding committee (CESC) at a meeting on June 6.

The council provides free early education through children’s centres and a targeted youth service enabling people to socialise and build self-esteem.

There is also a resilient schools programme to help schools support youngsters affected by poor mental health.

Kooth, an online counselling system for 11 to 25-year-olds, saw 40 per cent greater demand for its services than expected in the three months after its launch in June 2017.

There are a number of other initiatives in place to help tackle loneliness, including specialist support for young people leaving care.

The report cites research by ACEVO (Association of chief executives of voluntary organisations) showing nearly half of young people in the UK often feel lonely, compared to only a quarter of over 65s.

Young Londoners are twice as likely to feel lonely as their peers, the study shows.

The report will be discussed at a meeting of the CESC on Thursday, September 13, from 7pm at Hendon Town Hall.