The UK’s first ever Loneliness Awareness Week

Last year Marmalade Trust held its first Loneliness Awareness Week, which from 12–16 June 2017. This ran-up to the national Jo Cox Loneliness Commission event ‘The Great Get Together’ 16-18 June. It was a huge success and people of all ages from all walks of life came together across the region to raise awareness of loneliness.

Lorna film premiere

The highlight of our week was an exclusive screening premiere of ‘Lorna’, a film that TV and film director Lee Skelly made in association with us. Lorna is a look through the window of social isolation and how changes within society and in technology are increasingly fuelling it. It was a film that delivered a resonating message about loneliness and poignantly brought the issue to light. You can see a link to the trailer here:

Lee was joined by lead actress in the film, our new patron Helen Pearson and both led an in-depth Q&A session after the screening revealing what loneliness means to them and some of the background to the film. Held at The Station on Silver Street BS1, the evening included a talk from our founder Amy Perrin on the effects of loneliness and next steps in our work. Local businesses and charities had the chance to network over drinks and canapes. All money raised went towards funding our work.

We announced our new patron

We were thrilled to announce British actress Helen Pearson as Marmalade Trust’s first patron. Helen is lead actress of the short film ‘Lorna’ directed by Lee Skelly, made in association with us. Loneliness is a cause close to Helen’s heart. Watch a short clip about Helen announcing her new role below.

The launch of our Marmalade Trust Loneliness Awareness Badges

We designed and launched our first Loneliness Awareness badges, an orange slice made from locally sourced wood. Loneliness has a stigma around it and we want to try and end this by getting people to think about and talk about the issue more. Wear the badge as a symbol that you’re ready to have a conversation about loneliness. Keep an eye on our site and social media to find out where to get yours.

Starting conversations at school

Loneliness doesn’t just affect older people. At Marmalade Trust we feel it’s important to start the conversation about loneliness early, so we ran workshops on the subject for 5 to 7 year olds at Victoria Park Primary in Bristol.

We began by reading picture book ‘Say Hello’ by Jack and Michael Foreman which looks at the difference that one kind word can make to someone. We discussed loneliness with the group with one child saying: “If it was snowing I would go out and play a snowball fight with everybody who is alone”.

We held a drawing competition with prizes including an At-Bristol Science Centre family pass. Our judges were extremely impressed with the artistic interpretations of the subject by such a young age group. Following the success of this workshop, we’re keen to develop this idea further and run the session with more schools. Contact us to get involved.

Marmalade in the Bearpit

On a sunny Friday afternoon, Marmalade Trust lit-up the Bearpit market with entertainment from Bring your Own Baby Choir and dancing with Barrie, Barbara and friends via LinkAge Bristol. This was a great chance for us to bring communities together, showcase what Marmalade Trust is all about and what opportunities we have. Laura from the market said: “You truly brightened up the day and it was fantastic to be introduced to the work you are doing, not to mention getting the opportunity to foxtrot!”