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 planning to run it again in early 2023!


The Marmalade Companions Project is a Covid-safe, remote initiative. It’s a 15 week 1:1 phone-based project running February-June 2023, 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. 

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 members 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.

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 will be recruiting for Marmalade Companions for our 2023 project shortly. To register your interest please contact: companions@marmaladetrust.org

A huge thank you to everyone that applied to become a Marmalade Companion. The project has now ended for 2022 but we'll be back in 2023! We'd be thrilled to have more volunteers for our future projects, so make sure you sign up to our newsletter and follow us on socials to hear about more opportunities.

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"Listening to the confidence in the member grown, and their ownership
of what sort of social interaction they would like. That is so rewarding!"

Marmalade Companion Volunteer 2022


"It’s improved my confidence. I’ve started going out a lot more, bumping
into people I know, arranging to have coffee. I've been on a few day trips,
meeting people at an old dance group and the knit and natter group
which my volunteer found for me"

Marmalade Companion Member 2022

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. 

Please note, we are currently closed to Marmalade Companion referrals. To register your interest in making a referral, please contact: companions@marmaladetrust.org

If you, or any of your friends and family would like to become a volunteer with the Marmalade Trust please sign up to our newsletter and follow us on social media to hear about upcoming volunteer opportunities.