News and events

An Update on our Services

WHAT IS ARCHWAY DOING NOW?

Because of the high infection rates in Oxford and advice from the Government to exercise caution we are keeping connected through:

  • Telephone Support Service, with staff and volunteers making regular calls to adults of all ages who are lonely and /or isolated. Offering a listening ear, emotional support and where needed support in accessing other forms of help.
  • The circulation (by email and post) of The Bright Side newsletter to which readers can contribute stories, photos, poems etc. Colourful pictures, quizzes, word searches and instructions for creative projects provide interesting material to read and things to do and a section on Covid updates and helpline numbers gives useful information, especially as the majority of recipients are not digitally connected.
  • Our Individual Support Service within which, some of our existing links are meeting up outside. Individual risk assessments are undertaken to inform decisions about meeting up outside/in cafes/indoors.

GOING FORWARD

Supporting Friends (Service users) in the best possible way is uppermost in our minds, and doing this safely is our highest priority. Over the past 14 months, a planning group consisting of senior staff members and representatives from the board of trustees has met regularly.  The group has monitored the progress of the pandemic, and assessed how our service of telephone support is engaging with people to ensure that the work of Archway carries on. Trustees wish to acknowledge how hard staff and volunteers have worked to ensure that we have maintained contact with as many Friends as possible. Whilst our service provision has changed, we have remained in business and have much to be grateful for.

The transition period from the release of government-imposed COVID restrictions on 21 June to the end of the year will be important. Even with some encouraging news reports, it is difficult to fully assess how these six months will unfold with regard to any continuing or new government restrictions, possible emerging variants of the virus and a potential return to higher infection levels.

Because of the uncertainty that is still in place, we are not yet in a position to resume our social groups as they operated before the pandemic. Whilst we recognise that many people are longing to meet as before, we are not yet able to identify which premises might be open and are Covid secure, how many volunteers and staff would be available, and how many Friends might wish to attend.  We are constantly monitoring these factors.

The pandemic has presented many challenges, but has also offered an opportunity to look afresh at how we support people. Archway’s focus continues to be connection with any who are experiencing loneliness or isolation. We recognise the importance of meeting together, but safety is our primary concern. As government guidelines unfold, the planning group will continue to look at ways to gradually and safely increase the programme of social contacts that we provide. This applies to the Individual Support Service and any possible social groups.

Vacancy: Service Development Coordinator

35 hrs a week (Mon-Fri) Salary £24K (actual)

An opportunity to help shape and develop services to alleviate loneliness for adults of all ages, (many with complex mental health needs). If you have experience of working in mental health/social care, have skills in facilitating groups, supervising / managing staff and would enjoy the challenge of a busy, emotionally demanding and rewarding role, we would love to hear from you.

Job description and application available below:

Vacancy: Service Support Worker

Part Time (6hrs on Tuesdays) £10.46 per hour

Want to help reduce loneliness and promote connectedness in
adults of all ages by providing support via Telephone and small supportive groups?
If you understand the impact of loneliness and have experience of working/volunteering in mental health then we would love to hear from you.

Job description and application below:

George runs the Oxford Half Marathon to raise funds for Archway Christmas Deliveries

On Sunday 17th October, George Davies-Craine is running the Oxford Half Marathon to raise funds towards Archway’s Christmas parcels for people in Oxford who are suffering with loneliness.

Everyone at Archway would like to wish George all the best for the run – all donations are welcome at the link below:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GeorgeDaviesCraine

Fundraising Trustee

The Archway Foundation has been in Oxford for nearly 40 years, serving people hurt by loneliness.

We currently have an opening for a Fundraising Trustee, to perform the duties of a Trustee of the Archway foundation and assist the Board of Trustees to develop a new approach to fundraising and/or income generation.

Please read the full description below and to find out more you can contact us at office@archwayfoundation.org.uk or by leaving a message on 01865 790552.

Download Fundraising Trustee info PDF

Raj Runs 50km For Archway – Saturday 10th July

After months of grueling training, Raj Patel is running an incredible *50km*(!!) round the Ex Estuary on Saturday 10th July to raise funds for Archway’s work in supporting people suffering from loneliness.

Raj says: ‘I am training to become a GP in Oxford, and doing my first ultramarathon on behalf of The Archway Foundation. It is a 50km(!) run along the Exe Estuary in Devon, on the 10th of July 2021. Of the many terrible consequences of the pandemic, this last year has emphasised the importance of providing support to individuals suffering from loneliness and social isolation.’

Archway would like to say a huge thank you to Raj for going above and beyond to raise funds and awareness for people suffering from loneliness. You can see Raj’s progress, and make a donation, at his fundraising page below:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/…/showROFundraiserPage…

Archway Foundation CEO Sheila Furlong awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Sheila has been involved in the Oxfordshire charity from its early beginnings in 1982. Helping to draw up its vision and scope, first as volunteer and now for over 20 years as CEO, her guidance and inspiration have lifted thousands of people in the Oxfordshire area from the despair of chronic loneliness.

Chair of the Trustees, Chris Taft says ‘Ahead of the current awareness of the impact of loneliness, Sheila has long recognised how for some individuals it is almost impossible to regain social interaction after trauma or personal difficulties. Her work has transformed the lives of individuals and the general perceptions of loneliness in Oxford and the surrounding area. Her commitment to improving the lives of those suffering extreme loneliness extends far beyond the expectation of her role as CEO.’

Archway’s service users are known as Friends rather than clients or customers. Sheila brought this change into being after consultations with the volunteers and users on how to make the service more inclusive, reflecting the emphasis and ethos that she has nurtured.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began Archway has been fully operational even as social groups have been prevented from meeting. Archway has implemented telephone support of over 180 Friends through staff and volunteers, and a creative approach has ensured that the service has continued.

The Foundation is delighted that Sheila has received this recognition. Sheila’s commitment has made a massive contribution to the alleviation of loneliness for many years. Her impact and inspiration in bringing the problems of loneliness to a wider context has been ahead of its time and as a result Sheila is recognised locally for her expertise and experience in this field. Sheila says:

‘While it is a surprise and an honour to receive this award, I am just one person in a small but dedicated team of staff and volunteers whose commitment, care and dedication ensure that Archway continues to reach, listen, understand and connect with adults of all ages struggling with loneliness and its associated mental and physical challenges. It continues to be a privilege to be a part of this work in bringing relief, acceptance, hope and opportunities for supportive human contact and meaningful connection.’

This award is greatly welcomed as the charity marks its 40th anniversary in 2022.

An Update on our Services

WHAT IS ARCHWAY DOING NOW?

We are providing a Telephone Support Service, with staff and volunteers making regular calls to adults of all ages who are lonely and /or isolated. Offering a listening ear, emotional support and where needed support in accessing other forms of help.

We are keeping connected through the circulation (by email and post) of The Bright Side newsletter to which readers can contribute stories, photos, poems etc. Colourful pictures, quizzes, word searches and instructions for creative projects provide interesting material to read and things to do and a section on Covid updates and helpline numbers gives useful information, especially as the majority of recipients are not digitally connected.

Our Individual Support Service, continues to provide telephone support for those with existing links within this service and as restrictions ease, individual risk assessments are undertake to inform decisions about meeting up outside/in cafes/indoors.

GOING FORWARD

Supporting Friends (Service users) in the best possible way is uppermost in our minds, and doing this safely is our highest priority. Over the past 14 months, a planning group consisting of senior staff members and representatives from the board of trustees has met regularly.  The group has monitored the progress of the pandemic, and assessed how our service of telephone support is engaging with people to ensure that the work of Archway carries on. Trustees wish to acknowledge how hard staff and volunteers have worked to ensure that we have maintained contact with as many Friends as possible. Whilst our service provision has changed, we have remained in business and have much to be grateful for.

The transition period from the release of government-imposed COVID restrictions on 21 June to the end of the year will be important. Even with some encouraging news reports, it is difficult to fully assess how these six months will unfold with regard to any continuing or new government restrictions, possible emerging variants of the virus and a potential return to higher infection levels.

Because of the uncertainty that is still in place, we are not yet in a position to resume our social groups as they operated before the pandemic. Whilst we recognise that many people are longing to meet as before, we are not yet able to identify which premises might be open and are Covid secure, how many volunteers and staff would be available, and how many Friends might wish to attend.  We are constantly monitoring these factors.

The pandemic has presented many challenges, but has also offered an opportunity to look afresh at how we support people. Archway’s focus continues to be connection with any who are experiencing loneliness or isolation. We recognise the importance of meeting together, but safety is our primary concern. As government guidelines unfold, the planning group will continue to look at ways to gradually and safely increase the programme of social contacts that we provide. This applies to the Individual Support Service and any possible social groups.

The Archway Storytelling Project

Archway has been supporting people throughout the pandemic.

We wanted to hear from people what difference that support has made in their lives and to learn about what being involved with Archway has meant to people. 

In order to do this, we set up a storytelling project and listened to the voices of Archway Friends by collecting their stories of this time.  The report of what we heard and found is here for you to read.