Badger of Destiny🦡 Fundraiser Sat 22 Feb 7.30

Touching on Star Wars, school days and the emotional impact of supporting England in a major tournament, Christopher Badger reflects candidly on his search for meaning, mentors & the perils of navigating that first difficult 43 years…

Join Chris Matthewman for Archway fundraiser spoken word evening 🦡 BADGER OF DESTINY 🦡 Sat 22nd Feb 7.30pm – Tickets £7 (+ booking fee) from the following link:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/badger-of-destiny-tickets-89765658501

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Christmas Message From Archway

During the past week I have spoken to many people who find this time of year really difficult but are able to get through it because of their link with Archway and the connection to people within it.

At Archway we arrange events to celebrate the season whilst being mindful of and sensitive towards those who are struggling. As one lady said,

“I am so grateful for the events Archway puts on for us. When everything else closes for the holidays Archway carries on between the Bank Holidays. Last year it saved my life I can tell you.”

Providing transport, seasonal food and activities for more people costs that little bit extra, so if you would like to help to make a difference to someone’s Christmas this year, you’re welcome to donate here.

Thanking you for your support and sending warmest greetings from all at Archway.

– Sheila Furlong (CEO, The Archway Foundation.

Introducing Ros

We are thrilled to announce our newly appointed trustee Ros Alstead. Here Ros tells us a little about her background and hopes for Archway.

‘I am delighted to be appointed as an Archway Trustee. I bring experience as a general and mental health nurse and NHS manager over the last forty years. I recently retired from my role as Director of Nursing and Clinical Standards at Oxford Health FT so I know local health and social care services well. 

I am very impressed by the range of opportunities that are available to support people through Archway and expertise and enthusiasm shown by volunteers and staff I have met. I have much to learn, and bring knowledge of the NHS systems and local contacts, board governance and mental health practice and have agreed to take on the role of the named Trustee for safeguarding.

I hope to contribute towards Archways continuing funding and successful future.’

We would like to offer Ros a warm welcome and thanks for lending her expertise to our Archway’s Board of Trustees

Join us in the New Year when we talk to new digital trustee Jack Burnet.

Driving Home For Christmas?

You may have seen our recent campaign in social media, leaflets, posters and on Oxford Bus Company screens (see above) which has been helping to recruit new volunteer drivers to give someone a lift to and from a weekly social group.

We are looking for people who:

  • Live in the Oxford Area
  • Have car and driving licence
  • Can spare an hour or two every week to give someone a lift to & from a social group

Volunteer drivers are welcome to attend the social group as convenient, and free parking and mileage are available.

Even if you don’t drive, you can still help! We want to share our call-out ‘Drive for Drivers’ as widely as possible. If you’re able to put an A4 poster up in your local church, doctor’s surgery, workplace or community centre – please give us a call or drop a line and we can post/email some information to share:

01865 790552 / conrad@archwayfoundation.org.uk

Remembering Wilson

On 30th November 2019, a memorial service was held at St Columba’s Church for long-time Archway volunteer Wilson Sutherland who passed away the previous month.

Wilson was a dedicated, humble, good-humoured and kind-hearted man, married to Ruth who was for many years Co-ordinated Wednesday Welcome, Archway’s weekly call in café run in partnership with St Columba’s Church. After (and during) his distinguished academic career Wednesday Welcome. Wilson devoted time to helping others. He was the welcoming face of Archway as his role was meeting and greeting everyone arriving at Wednesday Welcome. He was well known and respected by Archway Friends, volunteers and staff, by former University students and colleagues as well as members of St Columba’s Church where he worshipped and served as an elder and at one time as Church Secretary. It is not surprising that St Columba’s Church was full to capacity for the memorial service.

Archway would like to extend our thoughts and prayers to Wilson’s family and friends. Wilson’s other favourite charities included Oxfam and Christian Aid (click links to donate).

Co-operative Members Charity-Giving Scheme boosts funds and awareness for Archway

Archway has been one of the beneficiaries of the Co-op members’ charity giving scheme and on Saturday 23rd November the Co-op in Witney invited us to the store to celebrate the amount of money raised by its members and to give out free Co-op cakes to customers and spread the good news of the work of Archway. Co-op staff gave us a very warm welcome and kindly helped give out cakes and leaflets to customers.

We would like to send our sincerest thanks to Co-operative staff and customers for their generous contribution of funds and time in helping tackle loneliness in the local community.

If you would like to make a donation to Archway, please click here.

Raising Voices Against Loneliness – Summer Fields Concert Raises £3K+ for Archway

Archway’s festive season got off to a flying start as on Monday 2nd December, a thirty-strong Summer Fields School Chapel Choir, led by Director of Music Gareth Price, performed ‘Raising Voices for Loneliness’ – a private fundraiser concert at Blenheim Palace to raise money for Archway.

Director of Music Gareth Price conducts Summer Fields Chapel Choir at Blenheim Orangery

Guests were treated to a tour of Blenheim Palace state rooms dressed in Alice in Wonderland themed ‘Alice In The Palace’ before mince pies, mulled wine and a first class evening of festive music and readings.

As well as being a magical evening, ticket sales and donations so far raised have over £3000 which is a welcome boost for Archway and a great start to Archway’s festive season!

If you would like to donate to help us alleviate the suffering caused by loneliness in the Oxford area, please click here.

Wednesday Welcome Turns Twenty!

On Wednesday 25th September, we celebrate 20 years of our weekly drop-in cafe in central Oxford, which has been a crucial part of Archway’s work in providing friendly, safe and welcoming places where socially isolated people can meet, connect with, and often help support one other.

For the anniversary we will be celebrating and sharing memories with ‘Wednesday Welcomers’ at a special Wednesday Welcome for Archway Friends, volunteers, staff and supporters past and present – and will share all the news from the event soon.

In the meantime we would like to sincerely thank everyone who has helped Archway to make Wednesday mornings such a special – and warmly welcoming – feature of our week.

Happy birthday, Wednesday Welcome – here’s to the next 20 years!

To find our more about Wednesday Welcome, including volunteering, please contact victoria@archwayfoundation.org.uk

Drive for Drivers

Archway runs a range of social groups, giving isolated people somewhere to go out, get together, take part in activities, enjoy entertainment, celebrate birthdays and special occasions, and meet Friends, volunteers, staff alike. However, many people would find it difficult if not impossible to get were it not for help with transport to get these groups.

This Autumn/Winter, we’re doing a drive to recruit new volunteer drivers – to give someone a lift to and from a weekly social group. Volunteer drivers are welcome to attend the social group as convenient, and free parking and mileage are available.

We are looking for people who:

  • Live in the Oxford Area
  • Have car and driving licence
  • Can spare an hour or two every week to give someone a lift to & from a social group

Even if you don’t drive, you can still help!

We want to share our call-out ‘Drive for Drivers’ as widely as possible. If you’re able to put an A4 poster up in your local church, doctor’s surgery, workplace or community centre – please give us a call or drop a line and we can post/email some information to share:

01865 790552 / conrad@archwayfoundation.org.uk

You can also find and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram – and look out for our campaign on Oxford City and Park & Ride bus screens – and take a snap if you see one!

Archway’s ‘Perceptions of Loneliness’ Event – Review

On July 8th Archway hosted a panel discussion at Oxford Town Hall, featuring philosopher Julian Baggini and historian Fay Bound Alberti. These influential writers came together to discuss perceptions of loneliness, past and present. They asked how our view of loneliness has changed over the last century, and why it has become such a pressing issue in the modern world.

With almost 150 people in attendance, the level of public interest in this issue was undeniable. Alberti kicked off the evening by pointing out that loneliness, as we currently perceive it, did not exist before the nineteenth century. For her, it is a distinctly modern phenomenon created by the rise of capitalism and the breakup of communities. Therefore, she argued, it should not be understood as a personal problem, but as a societal one which we have a shared responsibility to combat. She drew on recent research which suggests that loneliness can be alleviated by focusing on the body as well as the mind. Activities like cooking, massage, painting and object handling have been shown to improve loneliness in people of all ages. As such, Alberti claimed that viewing loneliness as a mental health problem ignores this physical dimension.

Baggini spoke next, posing an interesting question about the stigmatisation of loneliness: if contemporary society is constantly telling us to be individualistic, self-reliant and self-interested, then why does it portray solitude as a terrible affliction? Everyone is supposed to be ‘out for themselves’, yet being alone is somehow seen as shameful or embarrassing. Baggini went on to highlight the difference between loneliness and social isolation: the former is an unwanted and distressing type of solitude, while the latter can be perfectly normal and benign. By confusing the two, he said, we are in danger of telling people who enjoying being on their own that there is something wrong with them. Baggini concluded his talk by warning against the medicalisation of loneliness. We are often tempted, he said, to ‘diagnose’ loneliness and find a ‘cure’, but perhaps this clinical language is not suited to such problems, and we must develop a different, more creative way of speaking about them.

After the speakers gave their presentations, Archway patron Lindsay Mackie chaired a lively audience discussion where many other issues – such as the impact of social media and the role of community organisations – were raised. In the end, Archway staff were able to speak to many members of the public about our work, but we were also able to mutually reflect upon the nature of loneliness, and appreciate its complexity as a social, physical, political and psychological problem.

You can follow the speakers and chair of this event, on Twitter: