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There With You: Finsbury Park tech firms produces platform to connect furloughed volunteers with charities

PUBLISHED: 17:58 28 May 2020

Furlough Go. Picture: Unsplash

Furlough Go. Picture: Unsplash

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Hundreds of furloughed workers have signed up to volunteer with charities using a new platform.

Software company Time to Spare has helped created Furlough Go to connect charity staff who are temporarily out of work and on the government’s job retention scene with good causes they can benefit.

Time to Spare ordinarily runs out of the Space4 co-work space in Finsbury Park, overseen by tech co-operative Outlandish.

Space4 is a space for social enterprises and tech co-operatives in the digital sector, provided rent-free by Islington Council.

Furlough Go was the idea of Gus Alston, who also works in Space4 – and Time to Spare has worked with him to deliver the software and the volunteer matching.

Since then they’ve worked with London Plus, C4, Small Charities Coalition and the Volunteer Centres in Islington and Camden to roll it out more widely.

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Volunteers register their interests and skills on the platform, and charities use it to find the helpers they need.

So far 260 volunteers and more than 100 charities have signed up.

Will Thompson, of Time to Spare, said: “It’s incredibly useful for the charities because they have had to furlough a lot of their staff, particularly fundraising staff and have lost quite a lot of income. They have had increased demand and haven’t been able to do fundraising events because they’re in a lot of trouble.

“And it’s also good for the volunteers because it’s good for them to get out and a difference and get a positive experience from being furloughed.”

One volunteer, Rachel, has been volunteering with Transforming Autism after finding the charity via Furlough Go.

She said: “I would recommend others to sign up and use their skills to help the smaller charities out when they’ll struggle the most. It is a great chance to try a new job role which your transferable skills match.”

Volunteers can sign up at furloughgo.com.

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