Archway’s wonderful supporter Jackie Maynard and X Factor contestant tells us about singing at Archway, her favourite charity.
My experience with The X Factor, was like nothing I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve sung for over 40 years, for people from all over the world. The reaction has been amazing. In the days following my first appearance, I got recognised all over the place. Just popping into Tesco for milk and bread, took over an hour!! But signing for Archway’s social groups has also been an important experience. I’ve performed several times in the last few years for Archway’s social groups for people experiencing loneliness in Oxford, and to see people with insurmountable troubles (which they deal with on a daily basis) singing along with me, and dancing, is something I feel honoured to witness.
I am completely convinced that when I sing for people experiencing loneliness and facing disadvantage, it lifts their spirits. It definitely creates a fantastic connection.
I was struck by the genuine, warm welcome afforded to every single person who walks through the door at Archway. Then, I was struck by the fact that these were just ordinary people, like me and you, who were hurting, and reaching out. I’ve never really spoken about it, but I had a nervous breakdown, aged 18. Anyone reading this needs to appreciate that we’re ALL fallible. Any one of us could find ourselves homeless for example. It only takes a few unfortunate turns in our journey. Think about that.
Archway are a family of heroes, as far as I’m concerned. Depression and loneliness is not glamorous. Still, they soldier on. Unsung, and mostly unheard of. I’m immensely proud to have my name mentioned in the same sentence as theirs.