It may have only just turned November, but Christmas has already started here at Marmalade Trust! This year we’re hoping to reach even more people who will be on their own this Christmas, and we need your help to find them.
Loneliness is on the increase, and sadly we know there are many people in Bristol and South Gloucestershire who will be on their own not only over Christmas, but throughout the rest of the year too. By reaching more lonely people and taking them out for lunch on Christmas day, we aim to start combating loneliness, connecting people with their communities and providing support and friendship when it is most needed.
Did you know that two fifths of all older people (about 3.9 million) say the television is their main company (Age UK, 2014)? Loneliness can strike at any age, and in 2014 the Office For National Statistics found Britain to be the loneliness capital of Europe. Loneliness has been shown to adversely affect health, and is now considered a major public health concern.
Something needs to be done.
This year, Marmalade Trust are again inviting guests to special lunches held at restaurants across Bristol. We will be providing a sit-down Christmas lunch specifically for people who would otherwise be on their own, and particularly older people in the city. We are calling for people across the city to get in touch if they or someone they know will be on their own this Christmas.
Our Founder Amy Perrin said: “Christmas day can be particularly tough if you are on your own. Sadly there are a lot of people living in the city who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation and there are very few options for them to enjoy Christmas day with other people. Following on from the success of our Christmas day lunches last year, we are hoping to reach even more people this year.”
Each year we work with a dedicated team of fantastic local volunteers who collect guests from home, take them to a Christmas day meal in a local pub or restaurant, and then return them home afterwards. It’s a great opportunity for people to make new friends, and we fundraise for the meals – enabling every guest to be invited as a friend.
Roger, a previous guest said: “The company of people and the meal put together made my day. An inspired occasion put on by inspired young people.”
All places must be booked in advance, and in order to be eligible to attend one of the lunches, guests must be:
Otherwise be on their own on Christmas day
Living in Bristol, South Gloucestershire or surrounding areas