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Marmalade Companions

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

Marmalade Companions started as a response to the Covid crisis and has evolved into a broader response to support those in our communities who are the most socially isolated, and who experience chronic loneliness (feeling lonely all or most of the time).  We are delighted that the project will continue in 2024.


It's a time-limited, 1:1 project operating from February until July across Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.  Based on the enabling/empowering social prescribing model, trained volunteers make a weekly call to members focusing on their specific needs and interests.  These conversations lead to volunteers signposting them to local social activities and community support, to improve their social connections. Marmalade Companions is not a "befriending call project", the participants need to be keen to explore new ways of getting social connections.

Why are we running the project?

Our Marmalade members vary in age and ability, but all experience social isolation and/or loneliness. 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. 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 engaging with a new group, activity, or opportunity in their community; rekindling old hobbies, becoming more active or learning new skills.

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

Becoming a volunteer

Joining us as a volunteer not only changes lives but also offers a chance to forge lasting friendships, enjoy meaningful experiences, and truly connect with your community. 

Make a referral 

We have now reached our capacity for referrals for this project. To stay in the loop with future projects, please sign up to our newsletter >

Marmalade Member, Companions Project

What is a Marmalade Companion Volunteer?

As a Marmalade Companion Volunteer,  you will support one or occasionally two of our members (the people we support) for a period of up to 16 weeks.  All calls will be finished by mid-July. The role involves phoning a matched member once a week for a friendly call lasting about 30 minutes plus researching potential social connection and activity opportunities. 


You will receive training on how to build up a trusted telephone relationship with your member(s) to enable you to support and signpost them to relevant services and activities. This project aims to help reduce social isolation and loneliness and to support your member(s) to discover lasting connections in their community. 


Contact us 

If you have any queries about the roles please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Helen Ker-Bridges, who will be happy to help! 


Phone: ​07942 359343

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Help us reach more people!

Download our Marmalade Companions poster to display in your workplace or community space.

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