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Marmalade Companions.

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

In 2022 the Marmalade Trust supported 120 members through the Marmalade Companions project. We are delighted that the project continues into 2023. 


The Marmalade Companions Project is a Covid-safe, remote initiative. It’s a 15-week 1:1 phone-based project running February to June 2023, supporting some of the loneliest people across the Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset regions.

Why are we running the project?

Our Marmalade members vary in age and ability, but all experience social isolation and/or loneliness. Some have barely been able to leave their homes since the COVID-19 pandemic began, and are feeling quite concerned about engaging with people again. We know loneliness can have a negative impact on health and wellbeing and now more than ever it is important for us to support people to re-engage with their local communities. 

Our approach

We recognise that loneliness is a subjective experience, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach that will prevent everyone from feeling lonely. By matching a trained volunteer with each Marmalade member, we can ensure that each individual receives a tailored response that connects them with the kinds of services and support they think would help them. By building a trusting relationship through regular phone contact (30 minutes/week), companions offer help and support to build the member's confidence, form new social links and access services needed. This is a signposting to new activities or ways of making social connections inside or outside the home, is a key part of the volunteer role.

Our goal

Ultimately the project aims to enable our members to step out of loneliness and make meaningful, long-lasting connections that bring them joy far beyond the programme. By the end of the project, we hope to see our members developing lasting connections in their community, rekindling old hobbies, becoming more active or learning new skills.

Marmalade Companion Member 1.jpg

“My lovely volunteer never misses a call, even though she is busy. I love hearing all about her children. We chat away very easily, about all sorts of things, including cats. I feel more positive and am finding it easier to make new friends and talk to people.” 

Who can become a member?

We can accept referrals from those who meet all four of the eligibility criteria below.

  • Aged over 50*

  • Living in Bristol, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire

  • Living alone and in own home 

  • Feeling lonely and would like new social contact and connection (being part of a phone-based group, coffee mornings, activity groups, music or art groups, one-to-one befriending)


*Contact us if you are under 50 but would like to join. 

If you have any questions about Marmalade Companions 2023 please email us at or call us on 07566 244788 if you have any questions. 

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