We are committed to playing a key role in delivering the following vision:
“To create a society where people freely acknowledge that loneliness can exist, and will actively support those experiencing it to increase their social contact and make new friendships.”
Our mission is to find and support isolated people to reconnect with society and enjoy better lives. We do this through a 4-stage process:
1. Identify lonely people through an established referral network.
2. Actively raise awareness about loneliness to reduce the stigma, encourage people who experience it to come forward and influence positive action to alleviate it. We launched the UK’s first Loneliness Awareness Week in 2017.
3. Support those isolated in our region to attend our Christmas Day event, to reacquaint them with socialising/making friends.
What we do
We offer a vital link between lonely people and the communities and resources that can help them. We have two bi-annual events: our Christmas Day Lunch and Loneliness Awareness Week, which is held in June. We are also currently supporting Marmalade members struggling with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic with regular telephone support. We raise awareness of loneliness all year round to help people to reach out and make positive changes within their own lives and communities.
In a nutshell:
WHAT: We recognise and raise awareness of loneliness
HOW: We support and signpost people to new resources and communities
WHY: To empower people to make new friendships and connections
We are a predominantly volunteer led organisation, and each member of our ‘family’ supports and embodies our core set of values:
- Everyone associated with Marmalade Trust will, through their behaviours and communications, demonstrate integrity, respect and understanding and a commitment and enthusiasm to challenging loneliness.
- We are collectively determined to reduce the stigma of loneliness, so that no one is ashamed to say they are lonely.
- We are inclusive, supportive and value community connections.
- We do not discriminate on any basis.
- We are committed to building a sustainable organisation
We have a positive and proactive approach to loneliness and we want to normalise the conversation around it. There is nothing wrong with feeling lonely: it’s just a lack of social connections. We aim to lose the stigma around loneliness and rather than seeing it as a negative, shameful or hopeless thing, we want to educate people to see loneliness as a blank canvas on which they can fill their lives with new friends and experiences. We all feel lonely at some point but the good news is that it is entirely fixable. We are committed to changing the language of loneliness to make it a conversation about connections instead.
Why the name Marmalade?
“I actually chose the name Marmalade Trust because of Paddington Bear! I first experienced loneliness at the age of seven, when I was at school. My teddy bear felt like my only companion at that time, a secret friend who I could rely on. I think a lot of people can relate to that feeling of security and comfort. Paddington Bear also experienced loneliness: he was as an immigrant alone in a new country yet he was always so friendly and proactive. He would walk down the street and smile and say hello to everyone and I was inspired by his friendly, can-do attitude. These are the pillars Marmalade Trust has been built on. And of course Paddington was very generous sharing his marmalade sandwiches around! I believe that getting people together over food is a really nice and sociable thing to do.” Amy Perrin, Founder