As a charity specifically dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness, we were aware of the stigma that was still attached to it. We wanted to change the perception around loneliness and help people to understand that feeling lonely is completely normal. Through our dedicated grass roots work, we also knew the incredible power that comes when communities join forces. In 2017 we launched the UK’s first ever Loneliness Awareness Week (LAW) and ran a week of events across the Bristol and North Somerset area, including a film premiere and workshops in schools for children. That year alone we reached over 750,000 people and we knew we were onto something significant. In 2018 we ran the second LAW and decided to take the campaign nationwide. Over 250 businesses, charities and organisations across the UK engaged with us and 200+ events were run across the week. This time we reached over four million people through events, press coverage and social media. We featured in the local and national press and were filmed for a special report by NHK, Japan’s largest broadcasting organisation.

Marmalade’s 2019 Loneliness Awareness Week runs from 17th-21st June and leads up to The Great Get Together.


LAW 2018: The Lowdown

Where: Nationwide
What: Marmalade Trust is dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness and helping people make new friendships and connections. The first Loneliness Awareness Week (LAW) placed the extent of loneliness on the national agenda and actively supported those who took part to increase their social contact and make new friendships. This year we want to reach even more people.
Why: Loneliness and social isolation is something we can’t ignore. As social creatures, we need to attend to our loneliness just as we would eat if we’re hungry. Social connections are fundamental to our daily existence and help give meaning and purpose in our lives. We want LAW to be an occasion where people come together and take actions to connect.

Connecting with cake for LAW 2018


Food and friendship are two themes very dear to our heart. We called on the nation to bake Marmalade ‘Connection Cakes’ to help people connect and start conversations with neighbours and people in the community. We teamed up with local community hub Hart’s Bakery to offer a very special recipe to help people join in the fun and get making connections! Download the Marmalade Friands recipe here.

We asked people to share their own Connection Cakes on social media with the hashtags: #LetsTalkLoneliness #MakeFriendsWithMarmalade #ConnectionCake

Add your event to our interactive map

Our LAW 2018 manifesto:

Everyone can get involved; as an individual, a community, business, public sector organisation or school. Have a think about how you could make connections. We’ve provided some suggestions below:

  • Get to know your neighbours: organise a street party or a picnic in your local park or community hall
  • Shared lunch: don’t eat your lunch on the go or at your desk, get together with your colleagues to enjoy a shared lunch in your workplace, or dine out
  • Make some marmalade cakes or marmalade sandwiches and hold a bake sale or coffee morning – click here to download our exclusive Marmalade Friands Recipe
  • Call a family member or friend that you haven’t spoken to for a while
  • Disconnect to reconnect: if you travel on public transport, put your phone, iPod or Kindle away and start up a conversation with the person sitting next to you
  • Small and easy gestures: a simple smile or hello to a stranger could make their day
  • Organise a raffle, quiz, sweepstake or talent show as a fundraiser for the Trust
  • Sign up to volunteer for us! Do you have a specific skill you can offer?
  • Come along to one of our events.

Why the LAW is so important:

We believe everyone will be affected by loneliness at some point in their lives. You may be going through a period of transition e.g. starting school or university, moving home, changing jobs; you may be experiencing friendship changes, live alone, be a parent, widowed, retired, elderly… loneliness can affect people of any age and circumstance. For many, it is a transitory feeling but for others, it can become chronic and have a serious impact on a person’s health and wellbeing. LAW aims to generate positive action to help combat it.

Loneliness statistics:

  • Three out of four GPs say they see between 1 and 5 people a day who have come in mainly because they are lonely
  • Loneliness can be as harmful to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day
  • The UK is the loneliest country in Europe (UK Gov Survey 2017)
  • Around 200,000 older people have not had a conversation with a friend or relative in more than a month
  • Up to 85% of young disabled adults – 18-34 year olds – feel lonely

Download our fact sheet here:

You can learn about how harmful loneliness is on the Campaign to End Loneliness website.

You can read more about what to do if you’re feeling lonely here.

Other ways to help:

  • Talk – start a conversation to raise awareness
  • Action – attend an event or host your own to spread the word
  • Support – volunteer for Marmalade Trust or make a donation to support our work