WAY members treated to Oxford bus tour for Big Picnic weekend

May 2024

WAY members were invited for an exclusive guided bus tour of Oxford to mark Big Picnic weekend

As part of WAY Widowed and Young’s Big Picnic weekend this month, WAY members from Oxfordshire and Warwickshire were treated to a private double-decker guided bus tour of Oxford.

Longtime WAY member Martin, who is a professional sightseeing tour guide for City Sightseeing Oxford, invited WAY members and their family and friends to explore the city’s dreaming spires in comfort before joining Oxford’s annual Big Picnic gathering in Christ Church Meadow on Sunday, 19 May.

The Oxford Bus Company offered the complimentary open-top bus tour to give WAY Oxfordshire’s Big Picnic guests an extra boost this year. 

“It was great to see so many people come together to share their experiences, with lots of new people attending,” said Martin. “Touring members around on the City Sightseeing Bus was the perfect way to kick off the afternoon, and we’re so grateful to Oxford Bus Company for such fantastic support.”

Widowed twice within seven years, Martin sought support and understanding through the WAY community after his first wife Jane and his second wife Kirsty both tragically died of breast cancer.

“WAY has provided support to me and my family as well as countless others,” explained Martin. “It’s more than just an organisation; it’s a lifeline, fostering a community that helps thousands adjust to the loss of a life partner.”

WAY’s Big Picnic weekend is a once-a-year opportunity for WAY members, volunteers, friends and family to meet up with friends old and new and to showcase WAY’s peer support.

Martin continued: “While it may seem intimidating to newcomers, the Big Picnic is always a fun and welcoming experience to all, where widowed individuals and their loved ones can make new lifelong friends. Widows are resilient and understand the joy of life, even when a life has been taken away from them.

“We aren’t the only ones affected by the loss of a loved one. Children or parents can be impacted too. That is why it is crucial to spread awareness and provide a platform for members to invite friends, family, and supporters, introducing them to the charity’s ever-growing support network.”

“Every widow’s journey through grief is unique, shaped by various circumstances,” Martin added. “Loss may be anticipated in some case, but in other scenarios it arrives suddenly, highlighting the importance of spreading awareness for these big picnics, where widows and their loved ones can grow stronger in sharing their diverse experiences.”

Luke Marion, Oxford Bus Company’s Managing Director, said: “We are proud to have been able to support a special event in our community that helps so many people like our colleague Martin. It is inspiring to see people overcome such challenging life events, and we are pleased to have been able to help make this year’s Big Picnic a day to remember as part of our community values.”