After 15 fantastic weeks, our first Marmalade Companions project has come to an end.
Trained volunteers (Marmalade Companions) supported Marmalade members with weekly phone calls to help members make new connections and find social activity in their local community. The project has been a great success with 89% of members reporting it was easy to chat with their volunteer.
We've been speaking to members and volunteers to find out about their experiences of the project and how Marmalade Companions has impacted them.
This week, we've spoken to Helen, a member of the project. Here's what she had to say about her experience as part of Marmalade Companions...
“I have no children and feel very alone since my husband died. It’s really hard to make new friends just like that, especially when you are feeling a bit down.
For me, loneliness means isolation - it makes me feel very isolated.
I was excited to be part of the Marmalade Companions project! My lovely volunteer never misses a call, even though she is busy. I love hearing all about her children. We chat away very easily, about all sorts of things, including cats.
She has asked me all about things I like to do or used to enjoy doing. It's been really helpful to talk about ideas and think about what might be possible. She’s encouraged me to get back to my knitting club and has also found me another one to go to on another day of the week. This one will be smaller and with different people.
I’ve met a few new people so far, I feel more positive and am finding it easier to make new friends and talk to people.
The project has been important to me because I feel it has brought me together with people again. When you’ve got no children you can feel very alone.
My hopes for the future? I just want to be friends with people!”