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Regional projects

Supporting Marmalade members to make new connections and find social activity in their local community.

As well as our national and international campaigns which raise awareness of loneliness, Marmalade Trust runs projects which support those most at risk from experiencing loneliness in our region. 


Our most long-running project is our annual Christmas Cheer lunch in the Bristol, South Glos. and the North Somerset area for our ‘Marmalade members’, older and vulnerable people who would otherwise be by themselves on Christmas Day. 

We also run our Marmalade Companions project. Trained volunteers empower and support older people to new activities, social connections and friendships in their local community. 

Christmas Cheer

Christmas time usually conjures up joyful images of family and friends celebrating, exchanging gifts, excited chatter and delicious food. For some people, however, it can be a dreaded, sad and lonely time. Marmalade Trust understands how difficult Christmas can be for someone who is struggling with loneliness.


We don’t want anyone to spend Christmas Day alone if they don’t want to, so we invite them to join us for a free festive lunch on the big day, or a doorstep visit. Members are those who feel particularly lonely and isolated this year, for example, a person of an older age who may have no family or friends around. Everyone is made to feel part of the Marmalade family!

“This was the first time in 16 years I was not alone on Christmas Day. I’ve got some lovely memories!"

Marmalade Companions


Marmalade Companions is a time-limited 1:1 project operating across Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos. Friendly volunteers make a weekly call to those involved to discuss their interests and needs. These conversations will lead to signposting to local social activities and community support, to improve social connections. The project enables people to make meaningful, long-lasting connections that bring them joy far beyond the program. 

“The project is more than a befriending scheme - it has taught me there is lot going on around you that I didn't know about and this has had a real impact on my life, it has been a 'life tool'.”

Meet Helen, 87

“The loneliness and the isolation... it makes me feel very low,” says Helen of life since her husband died. “Some days I don’t see a soul.” Helen was caught in a cycle of feeling disconnected, “It’s really hard to make new friends when you’re feeling down. It makes you want to stay in.”

Thanks to the Marmalade Companions project, Helen was matched with a friendly, trained volunteer to help her make new connections and find social activity in their local community. “My lovely volunteer never misses a call. We chat away very easily, about all sorts of things, including cats.”


“She has asked me all about things I like to do or used to enjoy doing. It's been really helpful to talk about ideas and think about what might be possible. She’s encouraged me to get back to my knitting club and has also found me another activity to go to on another day of the week. I’ve met a few new people so far, I feel more positive and am finding it easier to make new friends and talk to people.”


“The project has been important to me because I feel it has brought me together with people again. My hopes for the future? I just want to be friends with people!”

Our incredible volunteers


Each year, our small team at Marmalade HQ are overwhelmed with how many kind people offer their time to support their community.  Through our projects, we reach out to those most at risk of loneliness, guiding them to vital support and empowering them to make new friendships and connections. Our volunteers not only change lives, but enjoy the chance to forge lasting friendships, enjoy meaningful experiences, and truly connect with their community. 

In 2023, we were delighted and honoured to have been awarded the prestigious King’s Award for Voluntary Service! Equivalent to an MBE, the King’s Award for Voluntary Service is the highest award a voluntary group can receive in the UK, and we are truly humbled to be recognized for our commitment to raising awareness about loneliness and fostering connections. The award added a special sparkle as we celebrated our 10th anniversary.


Over the past 10 years, 1000’s of incredible volunteers have supported us in our mission to create a society where we recognise that loneliness exists and support each other to find new friendships and connections.

What people say

“Volunteering this winter has brought joy into my life. I was feeling lonely too, so we’ve both benefitted!”

Volunteer, Marmalade Companions

How you can support us...


From sponsored runs to cake sales, fundraising is a brilliant way to support our charity.


Monthly or one-off contributions make such a meaningful impact to us.

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We couldn’t do what we do without the amazing support of our volunteers. Join us!

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