Bringing joy and companionship to people who would otherwise be alone on Christmas Day.
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. A typical member is someone who is vulnerable to loneliness, for example, a person of an older age who may have few or no family or friends around.
Everyone who joins us is made to feel part of our Marmalade family and is supported by our network of friendly volunteers. We currently hold our lunches in pubs or restaurants throughout Bristol, South Gloucestershire and the North Somerset region.
In 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted an alternative to our normal Christmas events. We are proud to have brought joy and companionship to 192 of the most isolated and lonely people in our region.
Marmalade members received weekly calls from a friendly volunteer, a 'Connection Advent Calendar', a delicious meal delivered, and hamper + doorstep visit on Christmas Day. We were also able to spread the word live on BBC Breakfast and BBC Bristol on Christmas morning.
"It means everything to know someone cares. Without Marmalade Trust, I wouldn't have spoken to or seen anyone over Christmas. I'm so grateful."
We're currently putting plans together for our Christmas Cheer 2021! We will also be running our Winter Companion project where volunteers provide friendship and support for our members during the difficult winter months.
We rely on our team of volunteers to make Christmas Cheer and Winter Companions projects extra special. Without our dedicated community of friendly and committed volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. Would you like to help us make Christmas Day special for lonely and isolated people? Applications will open in autumn, but please feel free to send us an email if you have any questions.
Last year, one of our volunteers told us: "I am so thankful, grateful and humbled for being able to be a part of this wonderful charity. What an incredibly important and deeply wonderful thing you are doing for all the lonely people in our city. I feel proud to be a part of it and to know that it exists in our hometown. "
We will be accepting referrals soon - please sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media to be the first to hear.
[Photos above taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.]