Supporting Marmalade members to make new connections and find social activity in their local community.
The Marmalade Companions Project is a Covid-safe, remote initiative. It’s a 15 week 1:1 phone-based project running March-June 2022, supporting some of the loneliest people across the Bristol, South Glos. 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.
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 members confidence, form new social links and access services needed.
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.
Become a Marmalade Companion!
We rely on our team of volunteers to help us support almost 200 Marmalade members. Without our dedicated community of kind and committed volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. Would you like to help us bring companionship and joy to those experiencing loneliness? We have members eagerly awaiting to be matched with a volunteer right now.
A huge thank you to everyone that has applied to become a Marmalade Companion. The project has now started and we are no longer accepting Companion applications. But don't go away! We'd be thrilled to have you for another project, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter and follow us on socials to hear about more opportunities.
"It feels great to know I am making a difference and bringing a smile to my companion's face, especially when they wouldn't otherwise have spoken to anyone.
I genuinely enjoy and look forward to my calls. It doesn't feel like volunteering at all!"
Companion volunteer, 2021
"You've been absolutely wonderful. I so appreciate you looking out for me, it means the world. I would give Marmalade Trust 10/10!"
Marmalade Trust member
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
*Contact us if you are under 50 but would like to join.