Working with Drive Forward charity

22 Apr 2020

Why it’s so important to keep supporting charities in a pandemic

by Hannah Marcus

At Discover.ai, we’ve been very fortunate in many ways with regards to the impact of COVID-19 on our business. With most of our infrastructure being cloud based, and a team already working remotely and flexibly, it was easy for us to switch to a fully working from home model.

However, there are some things that are much trickier to replace and slide over. As the pandemic hit, we had just been setting up a work experience placement with Drive Forward, a charity which campaigns on behalf of care leavers and helps them to gain valuable work experience.

We are very aware that for many, the path into the market research industry is one of chance or of friendly networks, and we believe strongly that this should be opened out, to expand access to our industry and share opportunities. This is why we were keen to start offering work experience opportunities to people supported by Drive Forward – but COVID-19 has really affected this. It’s hard for someone to shadow someone when they’re working solely from home, and that’s before you start factoring in infrastructure, access to laptops, and suitable working spaces.

We think this is the most important time to make sure initiatives like this don’t fall through the cracks. As people start thinking about their own survival, it can be easy and understandable to focus on ourselves first – but this is the point where charities need our support more than ever.

As the world changes around us, it’s even more important that we also evolve, and continue to find ways to support our charities in any way we can – virtually and making use of technology. All over LinkedIn at the moment, people in our industry are telling brands that this is the moment where they show who they are – but that goes for us as well.

This is not just for the charities – it is for the people that they support. We want to be able to show them that they are not forgotten, and that whilst the opportunities offered may look different from before, there is still a chance to work on your career, gain work experience, and meet people whilst the world is in such a tumultuous state.

We’ve been working really closely with Drive Forward on how this would look – hosting an online q&a session, practice video interviews, and thinking about what tasks can be performed from home – and with which technologies. We’re still learning, but we’d be very happy to share our experiences. If you’d like to find out more about what we’re doing – or more about Drive Forward and their work – please get in touch.

Written by Hannah Marcus
Semiotician and ex-qual researcher, fascinated by the intersection of culture and technology in modern life. Looking for new meaning to her life since finishing a part-time MA in cultural studies.

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