***LAUNCH NIGHT: 12th March – 7.30 – 9pm***
LIVE MUSIC FROM: Leigh and Liam
AT: The Handle Bar Cafe Oxford, OX1 2EB
FREE CAKE & COFFEE TOO!
The Archway Foundation are launching the new social evening, “Social Space” a warm and friendly place for people aged between 18 and 30 to meet new people and build friendships, at the Handle Bar in Oxford. The project has been made possible due to new funding from the National Lottery Building Connections Fund to extend Archway’s social groups for young adults experiencing loneliness. Archway already has an afternoon group for young adults “The Social Hub” which runs on a Tuesday afternoon and the funding has enabled this project to be extended too.
Loneliness is a completely normal and universal experience, and everyone will have times in their lives where they would like to expand their social network in the real world and not just online. “A Place to Belong” – a report in to the role of youth organisations in addressing youth loneliness from UK Youth (2018), summed up how social media is a source of connection for young adults at the same time as one of loneliness “young people can equate social connections with social media ‘likes’ and ‘follows’. This is publicly available information which can set young people’s expectations of response online very high and have them dashed very quickly if they are not met.” According to the report, there have been drastic cuts to youth services,” 600 youth centres have closed between 2012 and 2016″ (Unison 2016). This is why groups such as The Archway Foundation’s new “Social Spaces” are needed.
Archway wants to reduce the stigma that surrounds loneliness and create a space where anyone aged between 18 and 30 can come together. Whilst the space will be available for people to talk to empathetic, trained volunteers about how they are feeling, it will be geared towards the flip-side of loneliness – that is making new connections and friendships. “We chose a cafe venue for our evening meet up Social Space and have plans for comedy and gig nights as well as quieter craft and board games nights to be part of the programme of events for the evening, which will run twice monthly on a Tuesday evening. We’re really excited to see how this develops and plan to be led by the people who attend” Says Archway’s CEO Sheila Furlong.
Lynne Wiggington who previously volunteered for the Social Hub is leading the project, running both the Social Hub and Social Space. She is the point of contact for anyone interested in either group. You can her at firstname.lastname@example.org.