Furlonteer Q&A with Jen and Jade
Please could you introduce yourself to us and how you came to hear about Furlonteer? Jen: I’m Jen. I’m based in London and under normal circumstances work in the sports sponsorship industry. As soon as I was furloughed I was keen to look at volunteering options as I wanted to be able to give something back during the COVID-19 pandemic. I came across Furlonteer on social media, signed up and was quickly matched with a charity.
Jade: I’m Jade, a Senior Brand Executive based in Manchester, usually working in the Professional Services sector. Once furloughed, I had a considerable amount of spare time and had tried a few routes into volunteering, but a lot of charities were understandably overwhelmed and had been unable to get back to me with opportunities. My colleague and friend, Jen, reached out and recommended that I sign up for Furlonteer, where she had been quickly paired with a charity.
What made you want to want to sign up as a Furlonteer? Jen: I saw Furlonteer as a fantastic opportunity to share my professional skills with a charity who were in need. I wanted to ensure that when I return to work, I can look back on this period away from my usual day-to-day job and feel proud that I have been able to make an impact in a meaningful way.
Jade: Volunteering seemed like a great way to make a difference to the COVID-19 effort with the time that I had spare through furlough. It has been great to put my marketing knowledge and skills to use with this important initiative and it’s really helped to boost my confidence.
Could you tell us a little about the charity you’ve been matched with and your role in helping them?
Both: We are working with an incredible charity, The AB Foundation, that purchase and supply vital PPE and testing kits for healthcare workers. The AB Foundation focuses on improving the livelihoods of communities around the world and is currently concentrating on supporting the COVID-19 efforts in the UK.
We have worked together to offer strategic brand and campaign advice, ensuring that the charity is in the best position possible to continue its fundraising efforts and raises its profile. This has taken many forms, such as assistance in securing a creative agency for logo development, website development and campaign planning. The charity has already helped several healthcare workers across the UK and we are committed to helping it to tell their story, develop and raise the charity’s brand profile, and explore ways to generate more donations to this important cause.
What impact do you feel it’s had on your experience of being Furloughed and are you likely to continue volunteering after it ends? Jen: A very positive one. I am someone who likes to keep busy and keep my mind active so the initial prospect of being furloughed was daunting. Furlonteer changed this and has given me a clear direction and purpose during this challenging period. My plan is to continue working with The AB Foundation in my free time, offering advice where needed and personally doing some fundraising to continue to help the charity to help others.
Jade: Volunteering has allowed me to feel like I have a purpose every day and has given me a focus. It’s been incredibly rewarding so far, and I would really like to continue to help The AB Foundation moving forwards, once I have returned to work.
Could you give any advice or tips to other people considering signing up to Furlonteer?
Jen: If you have some spare time and want to share your own professional skills, I would highly recommend signing up. Charities need additional support more than ever now and you could play a part in that support. No matter how big or small, you could help to make a difference.
Jade: You don’t need to dedicate entire days to make a difference. An hour here or there where you could lend your professional skills can make a huge difference to a charity that doesn’t always have the necessary resources to get its message out there. In the current circumstances, where the country is more reliant than ever on charitable support, it’s vital that if we can help, we do.