Becoming Furlonteer: Using Technology to Connect Talented Workers And Good Causes
Journalist, Broadcaster, Chair, MC, Blockchain Enthusiast, Diversity Advocate, Dreamer
Furlonteer – the new non-profit project connecting furloughed employees with the people who need it most.
Furlonteer.com is a brand new, organically-grown community initiative aiming to connect people on furlough with remote volunteer opportunities for charities and good causes. With seven in ten UK firms having furloughed staff and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme recently extended to the end of June, Furlonteer.com is rapidly gaining traction.
The initiative received over 1,000 sign-ups in the first 48 hours and over 50 charities have been matched with ‘furlonteers’ over the past week.
Furlonteer & technology
The Furlough scheme in the UK pays unessential employees to stay at home – but they are not allowed work for their employer. This scheme matches potentially bored but talented people at home with charities and good causes – all over the world.
Already local Irish equine charity, The Irish Horse Welfare Trust
, has joined the platform to see help during the crisis.
Matching the diverse skills and expertise that millions of furloughed people have with thousands of charities that need resources more than ever, Furlonteer.com allows people to spend their time making a positive difference while maintaining a sense of purpose, routine and focus during their extended period away from work.
‘Furlonteers’ are matched with volunteer roles for charities based on criteria such as their skills, experience and amount of time they have available, which can range from a few hours a month to several hours a day, the majority based from their homes.
With major events such as the London Marathon postponed, charities are being negatively impacted by COVID-19 and many have been forced to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme themselves in order to secure their long-term future plans. Furlonteer.com allows charities to find volunteers who can fill vital and diverse roles during this time; it could be anything from digital marketing, fundraising and IT to bookkeeping, HR and business development.
In addition, Furlonteer.com has partnered with Champion Health to support wellbeing in offering free online mental health training to those who register.
Charities signed up so far include UN Women, Duty to Care, Nourish Britain, Meals for the NHS, The Big Give and UK Community Network, helping elderly and vulnerable people who are self-isolating.
The initiative was conceptualised over a lockdown takeaway curry on Zoom between Hamish Shephard, co-founder of Hello Fresh and founder of Bridebook, Rosie Shephard, founder of the Luxury Communications Council and Sam Tasker-Grindley, Director at accounting firm RSM UK.
“Furlonteer.com was born from a simple idea: we realised that so many causes need help, while at this time so many people want to help them, and have time to do so. We decided to bring them together.
“The novelty of being furloughed has worn off for many, and we’ve had an incredible response so far with a huge number of skilled and talented people willing to volunteer, either in charities or to help create the Furlonteer.com team.
“Using digital platforms like Zoom, it’s amazing to see a group of strangers in lockdown with a common passion coming together, combining their expertise to create a movement like Furlonteer.com within days. We’re growing and excited to see what the future holds, both for Furlonteer.com and for the charities we’re able to help.”
Visit furlonteer.com for more information or to register to be a furlonteer or as a charity or cause. Alternatively, follow @furlonteer on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
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Regarding the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, I am a director (voluntary) and PRO of this registered charity. Charity Registration number 20048235.
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