Recent news reports of higher levels of loneliness than ever.
According to the ONS, in the week up to 1 November there were 4.2 million adults across Britain who said they were ALWAYS or OFTEN LONELY – compared with 2.6 million in parts of the summer and before the pandemic. This means approximately 10,000 people in Oxfordshire . This includes people in your community.
We have responded with a Telephone Support Service, which is highly valued and effective at reducing feelings of loneliness and isolation.
You can make a huge difference to someone’s life, with the gift of a small amount of your time.
If you can spare a few hours a week, we’d love to hear from you: Call and leave a message on 01865 790552, email firstname.lastname@example.org or find more information and apply to become a volunteer here.
Social distancing means Archway’s scheduled fund-raising events have been postponed so we need to think creatively about how to do fund-raising in a different way
Archway are delighted to share the news that on Tuesday 5th May ‘Giving Tuesday’ Jacqueline Cole, our office and finance administrator, and her family, (see below!) are running a half marathon relay (in their locality and on the treadmill) in aid of Archway.
The Cole family have set a modest fund-raising target of £500. Let’s help them to exceed that amount by donating using the button below!
Click here to donate to the Cole Family Fundraising Page for Archway!
March and April 2020 has brought major challenges and changes for us all. Another way Archway has been able to adapt its services is the launch of a new newsletter ‘The Bright Side’. Promotions & Communications Coordinator Conrad tell us more:
“The first week of ‘lockdown’ felt like pulling a U-turn – we were all working out, individually and as a team, personally and professionally – how to adjust to a new way of doing things. Thankfully although only a small organisation, Archway has always been forward thinking about working flexibly so we were all used to and equipped for a degree of working from home.
“The immediate challenge was best to support and keep in contact with Archway Friends without the use of face-to-face services, and alongside the telephone support service, a regular newsletter seemed like a good way of letting Friends know that Archway know they’re there and are thinking of them.“
Our new fortnightly newsletter the ‘The Bright Side’ has two sides to it – the first being unequivocally and unapologetically good news! The mainstream media have ensured there’s no shortage of or escape from alarming stories, so we wanted to provide a reassuring, regular, reliable place for Friends to have one guaranteed moment in their week to enjoy views from the Royal Horticultural Society gardens or the local goings-on of our news-hound Charlie the Norfolk Terrier.
The simple experience of receiving a letter addressed to you (that isn’t a bill or junk mail) can make a big difference to someone’s day.
“The second side is a simple noticeboard with essential information and reminders about keeping healthy, staying in touch, useful numbers etc and are starting to receive more ideas and contributions from Friends.
While things are still very uncertain for the foreseeable future, ‘a little goes a long way’ still stands true for loneliness and it’s good to be part of a team doing everything they can to improve life for people who are struggling on their own.”
Calling all knitters! Archway’s Susan Scott has come up with a great project to create something by and for Friends, Volunteers & Staff while we’re at home – an Archway Community Blanket! Instructions below:
Cast on to size 6 needles, using double knitting wool, 30 stitches. This should make a square of roughly 8 inches.
Measure across and knit down until the same measurement (knit a row, purl a row). Any colours or stitch (eg Stocking stitch) will do!
Collect your squares and keep to be washed – Archway will organise a collection at a later date.
We hope to be able to show the blanket at social groups once they’ve reopened and possibly auction it at a later date. We’ll keep you posted!
“The response to and impact of COVID-19 will mean many of us will be required to self-isolate with a more pronounced risk for those already experiencing isolation and loneliness becoming even more vulnerable during this time of crisis. Launching an inquiry now on this critical issue is more important than ever before. In the long term, once the pandemic has peaked, sadly loneliness will continue to be a challenge for many people across our society.
We have opened a consultation, which will form the basis of the inquiry for the rest of the year. It explores problems and solutions within four crucial policy areas, as identified by the Loneliness Action Group quarterly meetings and in our shadow progress report including:
Designing and implementing ways to test the implications of government policies on loneliness
Translating national policy into local action through local authorities
Community infrastructure (including housing, transport and public spaces)
How to adequately fund the voluntary and community sector upon which social prescribing depends
Please note that the consultation is due to close on Thursday 30 April at 11:59PM (though in light of COVID-19, the deadline may be extended).”
If you are interested in contributing to this enquiry please click the link below or if you have any queries contact RasteenBoni@redcross.org.uk.”
Radio 4 have been presenting a poem in their daily Today programme. Each presenter takes it in turn to select and read a poem. The poem below was chosen as it was remembered as bringing comfort to its reader at a time when as a teenager, she lost her father who died after a long illness.
“In light of the current pandemic, we have taken the decision to publish the Oxfordshire SSH Prevention Strategy without any PR or comms to support it at this stage. The strategy, along with an executive summary, will sit on the public facing Oxfordshire County Council webpages.”
In response to current public health guidance and in our efforts to minimise the risk for Coronavirus, Archway will be doing some things differently as of Tuesday 17th March.
Whilst our Supportive Social Groups are not meeting for the time being, and our Individual Support Service may need to revert to telephone support, we will continue to provide emotional support and contact through telephone calls, electronic and postal communication.
We are aware of the potential impact of reduced face to face contact on everyone’s mental health and well-being and we will be doing all we can to support people through this challenging time.
It’s important to keep updated with the latest advice and information from official sources. Please find links below:
To minimise the impact of coronavirus, and in the best interests of everyone’s health, we are asking all Friends, Volunteers & Staff to stay home if you have ANY cold or flu-like symptoms, fever or cough, however mild.
It is important to keep informed with the latest advice from official sources, so please click the links below for more information:
Archway continues to adapt the services we offer to support those suffering from loneliness, particularly in response to the challenges of COVID-19. We would like to thank National Lottery ‘Awards for All’ Community Fund for their invaluable help in helping us to make a real difference to reach the most isolated in our community.
You can find out more about The National Lottery Community Fund here.
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: