Our History

 

Marmalade Trust was founded by Amy Perrin (a qualified Occupational Therapist) in 2013.

Having worked as a health professional and volunteered for over 20 years, she was well aware of how tough social isolation and loneliness can be.

In 2013, three of the older people she volunteered with told Amy they were going to be spending Christmas day alone.  She attempted to find them somewhere to go and became aware of the great shortage of Christmas day events running in Bristol, so decided to take them out herself.

Word soon spread…

Amy started getting approached by GP’s, health professionals and even a local bank clerk, all asking if there was a space for someone they knew who was going to be alone at Christmas.

So three soon became 18!

A doormat piled high with thank you cards!

After a lovely Christmas Day event, the thank you cards began to flood in…with words such as, “this was the first time in 16 years I was not alone on Christmas Day.” Amy realised the importance of what had been achieved and Marmalade Trust was born.

The more you ask, the more you get…

In 2014, we recruited more volunteers; fundraised a bit harder and found even more people due to be on their own.  With the amazing support of our volunteers, we were able to take out 40 people on Christmas Day.

It just keeps getting bigger and better…

In 2015, we decided it was time to expand further into our community, and held a Christmas Day lunch in three locations across the city.  With the support of volunteers in each local area we gave companionship to 60 people.

Trust in Marmalade

  • No one should spend Christmas Day alone if they don’t want to.
  • If you’re on your own on Christmas Day, you are likely to be experiencing loneliness the rest of the year. We work closely with local organisations to provide our Members with information about social activities happening throughout the year.
  • We host our lunches at local pubs and restaurants because our Members say this makes them feel part of the community.
  • We fundraise so that all our Members are invited as friends (for free).
  • We do not exclude people by age. Last year we were able to extend the invite to several people with disabilities who would also have been on their own.
  • Our volunteers are everything to us. They drive our Members, raise the money, fill the hampers and share the excitement of the day.  We could not do it without them.

I loved the fact we went to the Future Inn.  I felt like everyone else, like a big family…
A stranger wished me happy Christmas in the toilet!” ~ Margaret

We believe anyone can experience loneliness, and giving companionship on Christmas day is a great place to start to reconnect people.