The Archway Foundation has continued to support people who are suffering from loneliness. CEO Sheila Furlong counts some of the achievements and successes of an extraordinary year.
‘At the start of 2020 none of us had any idea as to what lay in store.
I am mindful that for many people it has been a really tough year. Some have suffered ill health (physical and mental), others have been bereaved, lost jobs, or had reduced income. So many of us have missed seeing friends, going to our usual places for activity, worship, company or mutual support, be it at Archway and / or elsewhere.
I do not wish to minimize the impact of this but I do want to recognise what has been achieved in this time as Archway staff and volunteers have adapted to the changed circumstances and done everything possible to maintain connection and offer support.
Did you know that since the start of the first lockdown in March:6300 telephone support calls have been made
*17 issues of The Bright Side have been produced and sent to 394 people (280 of these by post)*
*250 packages of activities and treats have been posted to the Young Adults*
*75 volunteers have been trained (24 of them completely new to Archway) via Zoom)as telephone support volunteers*
*230 Christmas Goody Bags have been delivered by hand by volunteers and staff*
*70 Christmas Goody bags have been wrapped and posted*
Throughout this time the Trustee Board have worked closely with the staff team to keep the service under review and any changes made in line with Government guidance. Risk assessments, policies and practices have been regularly reviewed and updated in line with our changed way of working and this will continue in 2021.
Whilst it is very encouraging to know the vaccine programme is being rolled out, the situation will not instantly change in the New Year and it will be some months before the possibility of resuming face to face contact in groups can be considered. In the meantime Archway continues to keep connections through telephone, email and post. As always, we are indebted to our volunteers who have made calls, stuffed envelopes, wrapped parcels and delivered goody bags.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of Archway in reading this Newswire and taking an interest in our work. Some of you are regular and one off donors and your support is very valuable to us as like most charities, we face some financial challenges in the coming year. In keeping with Archway’s Christian Foundations some of you pray regularly for the work of Archway and we value your commitment in this
Wherever and however you are spending this Christmas and New Year may it be all that you need it to be.
With grateful thanks and warmest Christmas greetings.
Sheila Furlong (CEO, The Archway Foundation)