What I do...
“IT’S REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE NORMALISE THE LANGUAGE OF LONELINESS”
Amy Perrin, 39, is an occupational therapist and founder of the Marmalade Trust. The Bristol-based charity is dedicated to raising awareness of loneliness in older and more vulnerable members of society, and helping them to make new connections.
Amy was compelled to start the trust after experiencing loneliness herself. “Loneliness can affect anybody at any time in their life,” she says. “There’s a real stigma around it and it’s really important that we normalise the language of loneliness; to help people understand that it really is just not having a level of social connection.
“As a health professional, I realised how many people were experiencing loneliness and the effect it can have on our wellbeing. There was a real need to do something.”
The Marmalade Trust launched in 2013 with its rst Christmas lunch, which has now grown into a thriving annual event, and last year Amy launched the rst Loneliness Awareness Week in Bristol. People from across the city came together to put on events from lm premieres and foxtrot dance mobs to inspiring talks, and the event received national attention.
This year’s LAW promises to be even bigger. “We’re going to link in with lots of community charities and organisations and get people not only across the region but also across the country to take part,” says Amy.
Loneliness is now on the political agenda too, through the appointment of loneliness Minister Tracey Crouch last year. “I hope it will start to make some real positive changes in our society,” says Amy. Loneliness Awareness Week runs from 18-24 June. Visit www.marmaladetrust.org for more info.