News and events

Incredible Success of 24 hour Fundraising Challenge

An amazing team of Blenheim Palace staff, their families and members of the local community took on an incredible challenge to travel 3,502 land miles on exercise bikes, pedal bikes and on foot in 24 hours but achieved an incredible 4,105.62 miles. 250 people took part including local fire brigades. The challenge was to achieve the same number of nautical miles that Lord George Blandford and the Oar Inspiring Team rowed the Atlantic in 2018.

The funds raised more than doubled the initial target, raising an impressive £12.5K for The Archway Foundation and for Starlight Foundation. A special thanks to Jo Young of Blenheim who organised the event and was one of team who stayed up all night making sure that everyone was fed and watered and well looked after.  Thank you Blenheim – what an uplifting and inspiring team.


Singalong Songs – Jazz musician gets us singing at Archway’s Social

Ewan Bleach, professional jazz musician came to The Archway Foundation’s Monday Evening Social this month – our regular group for people feeling lonely or isolated. He beautifully performed well known song such as “we’re singing in the rain” and “Moon River” people joined in and a couple even got up to sing accompanied by Ewan on the piano.  A wonderful, joyful evening.

Join Walk to Tackle Loneliness – at Blenheim Palace Park

The Archway Foundation supports people experiencing loneliness and social isolation. Archway’s Trustee Sue Fulford invites you to join our dedicated team on a walk to raise funds to tackle loneliness:

Archway is Blenheim’s Charity Of The Year; join a sponsored walk around the grounds

Do you enjoy walking? If so then why not join a group of walkers from Archway on Saturday 27 April?  Enjoy a walk in beautiful surroundings in the company of fellow Archway volunteers and supporters – and raise funds for Archway at the same time. We will be walking around the park at Blenheim Palace, thanks to an arrangement as their Charity of the Year. One lap is 4.6 miles, two would be 9.2 miles, three would be …. you can do the maths! The whole lap can be walked on a paved route and so is easy underfoot.

Please meet inside Blenheim Palace at the Pleasure Gardens, by 10.30 am. There is parking there, and loos. You will need an entry permit which will be emailed to you the week before. The bus from Oxford stops right outside the Palace too but allow time to walk to the Pleasure Gardens, about 15 minutes. We will aim to walk as a group and hopefully finish one lap by lunchtime. Bring your own picnic or enjoy the delights of the Oxfordshire Pantry café. Those who are up for a second lap can then head off again.

If this appeals please email to register your interest and we will be in touch again later on with a permit.

This is a sponsored event and so we encourage you to ask your family, friends, colleagues to sponsor you. Instead of each walker raising individual sponsorship, why not ask for sponsorship for the whole group? Sponsor the group via this link 

Hope to see you then!

What is Hygge? – from the Happiness Research Institute Copenhagen

Laura Veitch – Archway’s Communications Coordinator talks about The Archway Foundation and “the flip side of loneliness”:

Archway is a charity that “serves those hurt by loneliness” but in fact at Archway we spend so much of our energies focusing on the flip side of loneliness, that is togetherness, connections, warmth, friendship and comfort. When I was recently given as a birthday present “The Little Book of Hygge” by Meik Wiking of the Happiness Research Institute Copenhagen, I flicked through the pages and it struck me that hygge is in a way, the essence of Archway – a charity supporting people experiencing loneliness.

So what is hygge? The author Meik describes this Danish word as “An atmosphere and an experience… about being with the people we love. A feeling that we are safe and shielded from the world.” He describes hygge as a way of being social without being socially draining and so therefore it is ideal for introverts. Think the opposite of a fast-paced and instrumental business networking event. Hygge is somewhere between socialising and relaxing in smallish manageable groups – you don’t have to talk with others but you are still together. 

Results from the Happiness Research Institute suggests that we should consider the success of a society as being not just about high standards of living (GDP), but about about “quality of life” – “what makes life worthwhile”. This is why journalists from around the world approach the Institute in Copenhagen (the capital of the happiest country in the world) for insights in to the secrets of happiness. The Institute have found (perhaps unsurprisingly!) that “The factor that has the biggest effect on our happiness is social support – do people have someone they can rely on in times of need – yes or no?” Of course the answer for many who approach our charity Archway for support is “no.”

 As though reinforcing Archway’s mission as a charity, Meik writes how research “shows that when individuals experience social isolation, many of the same regions of the brain become active that are active in the experience of physical pain” in short loneliness really is painful. According to the Happiness Research Institute relationships cause happiness and happiness causes relationships. Therefore Meik hypothesises that hygge is a way of planning happiness and preserving memories of happiness, and this can be put in to practice every day. Along with Denmark’s strong welfare state, Meik argues that hygge is one of the secrets to the happiness of the Danes. 

Some of the many hygge suggestions that Meik makes are; planning regular activities with friends and family (weekly, monthly, annually) such as board game evenings, film nights; cook together, create a warm, cosy and relaxed atmosphere with low lighting, have warm drinks, be ‘in the moment’ give everyone the space to talk, don’t brag or get caught up with politics and importantly… eat cake!

Well Meik could just as easily be describing an Archway social event. These events are places where people can come to meet new people and form friendships. Archway’s Monday Evening, Wednesday Welcome and Abingdon Social every other Friday afternoon provides just that! tea & cake, board games, papers, warmth and friendliness – you can sit and chat or just ‘be’ amongst others in a safe and supportive space. Our New Social Space for young adults opens up this warmth and friendliness to a new generation in the perfectly ‘hygge’ Handlebar Cafe & Kitchen in Oxford every other Tuesday. So let’s not forget the pain of loneliness which motivates us, but let’s move towards connections and friendship, the light that draws people in when they feel lonely.



Inspired? You can donate to The Archway Foundation here

Or you can apply to volunteer here