Furlonteer Q&A with Yasemin Gumushan
Please could you introduce yourself to us and how you came to hear about Furlonteer?
Hello! I'm Yasemin and I have been furloughed from my role in Marketing and Communications at a regional theatre. As I attempted to keep myself busy (deep cleaning the shower!), I listened to my favourite weekly podcast The High Low. Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes, the podcast's co-hosts started discussing Furlonteer and I thought it was perfect! I signed up as soon as I finished with my bottle of The Pink Stuff spray.
What made you want to want to sign up as a Furlonteer?
Working for a charity in my full-time role, I understand how vital a scheme like this is and this is one of the main reasons I wanted to dedicate myself to another great cause. As I look to the future, I appreciate that it can be unnerving but, that is a motivator for volunteering and channelling any negative energy into something really positive.
Could you tell us a little about the charity you’ve been matched with and your role in helping them?
I've been partnered with The Commonwealth Education Trust who invest in teachers in lower-income countries to ensure quality education for all. It's an absolutely brilliant initiative and has made me truly acknowledge the value and power of teaching as it's something I've probably taken for granted. The Commonwealth Education Trust is formed from a small but mighty dedicated team, one member is the lovely Eleanor Sykes, sister to one half of The High Low, which is such a coincidence! We're looking at future fundraising campaigns, blog post ideas, resources to share, case studies and testimonials and enhancing the organisation's social media presence.
Which new skills has this experience given you?
Although I'm yet to really get started with the Commonwealth Education Trust, I can already say that this experience has already given me a boost in confidence and I know the team and fellow Furlonteers are going to teach me a lot too - which is exciting!
What impact do you feel it’s had on your experience of being Furloughed, and are you likely to continue volunteering after it ends?
It's definitely helped me overcome this feeling of guilt on furlough that I've been experiencing. I can't wait to meet new people and contribute to a great cause. I actually can't wait for some structure and self-motivation, all whilst giving back! I would 100% love to continue volunteering, it's important actively be a part of the change you want to see. Every time you volunteer, you're making a positive difference.
Could you give any advice or tips to other people considering signing up to Furlonteer?
Go for it! Everyone is so lovely, grateful and receptive of your ideas. If you're sat on furlough right now, remember that you have amazing qualities and insights which charities need more than ever! You really can make a huge difference, no matter what your skill set is. Plus, you don't want to tell your grandkids you just binge-watched Netflix back in 2020...