Hello! We're Marmalade Trust.
We’re delighted to have you here. Now we’ll tell you all about us.
Who we are
Marmalade Trust is the UK’s leading loneliness charity for all ages and the only charity in the world specifically dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness. We are a small charity with a big mission – and the momentum is growing.
What we do
Marmalade Trust has a twofold approach to loneliness.
Number one: through our projects we identify the people most at risk from experiencing loneliness in society, signpost them to the right support and resources and help empower them to make new friendships and connections.
Number two: through our national and international campaigns we raise awareness about loneliness across all sections of society. On both a micro and macro level we are committed to bringing about positive and lasting change. And making new friends while we do it!
Why we started
Marmalade Trust was started in 2013 by healthcare professional Amy Perrin. Through the nature of her work, Amy was always aware of loneliness and she wanted to do something to change the stigma around it and help to build a more connected society. Since we launched we have directly helped thousands of people and have reached millions more. Loneliness is no longer seen as something that only older people experience and we’re now raising awareness of loneliness across all demographics in society.
What is the Marmalade mission?
It’s very clear and simple:
‘To create a society where we recognise that loneliness exists and support each other to find new social connections’.
What are our pillars?
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.
In 2017 we launched Loneliness Awareness Week (LAW). We had one simple aim: to reduce the stigma of loneliness and encourage people to talk more openly about it. For LAW 2020 we ran a digital campaign called ‘One Less Lonely Voice’. We saw over 20,000 charities and organisations such as the Royal Family, the Jo Cox Foundation and Manchester City FC get involved online and we reached a massive 271.5 million people globally.
During the pandemic, we launched our Winter Companions project to provide companionship and support to people during the cold and dark winter month.
What is Marmalade's mantra?
Loneliness is completely normal – we are human beings who need social connection to survive! There is nothing to feel ashamed or embarrassed about. Whatever your experience of loneliness is, there are always things you can do or support available to help you feel more connected.
We started the conversation with the Let’s Talk Loneliness messaging, which became the inspiration for the Government’s national campaign. Marmalade Trust’s founder Amy Perrin has worked with the Department of Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) on their Let’s Talk Loneliness Team and is a part of the DCMS’s loneliness steering group. She also regularly partners with the Jo Cox Foundation and is a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT).
Who's talking about us?
We have received press coverage from major UK local and national TV and radio channels: BBC Breakfast, LBC, Talk Radio, BBC Bristol, BBC News, ITV News as well as international media such as Bloomberg and news channels in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. We have been featured in national newspapers such as The Guardian and The Telegraph as well as regional titles like The Bristol Post.
How we're different:
As pioneers in loneliness, Marmalade’s approach is approachable, warm, practical and inclusive. With over fifteen years of expertise and experience working in the field of loneliness, we focus on the people first and always honour the positive value of the human experience. At Marmalade Trust we like to think of ourselves as a family, a unique community-based charity with a global reach!
Why the Marmalade Trust?
The name was actually inspired by Paddington Bear! Amy first experienced loneliness when she changed schools at the age of seven and her teddy bear was her ‘buddy’ that came along and kept her company. We believe a teddy bear is your first friend, the one you tell all your stories and worries to. We also admire the qualities of Paddington Bear: friendly, proactive and who has a smile and a hello for everyone. These are the pillars on which the charity is built (as well as Paddington and Amy’s fondness for getting people together over food).
Stay in touch
We are always looking to grow our family of supporters. Whether you’d like to get involved with our flagship projects and campaigns or do something yourself, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn.
About our loneliness guides
At Marmalade Trust, we're encouraging people to see loneliness as an experience, not as a condition. It doesn't define us. By building a greater awareness and acceptance of loneliness, we can help ourselves and others to manage the feeling.