Furlonteer Q&A with Lucy
Updated: May 27
Please could you introduce yourself to us and how you came to hear about Furlonteer?
I came across Furlonteer on Facebook, I was a couple of weeks into being furloughed and saw this as a great opportunity to keep my brain active and to help a charity at the same time. The perfect win win away from my sourdough making.
What made you want to want to sign up as a Furlonteer?
I have lots of friends who do amazing work for the NHS and I was beginning to feel really helpless. I really wanted to have some routine and purpose back into my week. Realising that this period was going to go on for a while I had that feeling of wanting to look back at this time with a sense of “yes I did that”. Volunteering has always been perceived as having to do something physical, but I loved the way in which I could share some of my work skills with a charity and see them having an impact no matter how small.
Could you tell us a little about the charity you’ve been matched with and your role in helping them?
I started working with Early Bird Run crew, which was set up in Harrogate and Knaresborough, being based in Cornwall I never thought I would have the opportunity to work with a charity like this. They are part of the CALM initiative (campaign against living miserably), the group usually meets to run before work to improve and maintain having a healthy mental health. Sport is such a fantastic way to usually bring people together, we have been working to try and bring people together digitally at a time when people feel so disconnected. I have also begun working with SheFlies to look at their strategy for keeping their female extreme sports community going.
Which new skills has this experience given you?
Adaptability, confidence and management
What impact do you feel it’s had on your experience of being Furloughed, and are you likely to continue volunteering after it ends?
Definitely, when working I volunteer for the Girls Network as a mentor, but it has really made this strange period feel valuable and given me even more enthusiasm to keep mentoring and to be more conscious of how we can all help during these times.
Could you give any advice or tips to other people considering signing up to Furlonteer?
DO IT - it only takes a couple of minutes, but the impact and feeling you might get from this could last you a lifetime. Think of when you’re 95 telling people about the ‘Covid pandemic’ … what were you doing?