The creative industry is being impacted on a seismic level by the pandemic, with projects cut and workforces furloughed, yet the overwhelming response has been one of solidarity, with countless projects springing up to help in any way they can. However, it can be difficult to know how and who to help, which is a problem that new initiative Time Well Spent is hoping to solve. It partners furloughed creatives with charities, social enterprises and startups impacted by Covid-19, giving them a chance to donate their design skills to a good cause.
Started, aptly, by a group of furloughed creatives and strategists from brand agency Given, the initiative partners with volunteer platform Goodsted to make it as easy as possible for creatives to help those who need it most.
According to figures from the initiative, two-thirds of UK firms have applied to the government’s employee furlough scheme, with the creative sector making up a sizeable chunk. Eight out of ten UK-based marketing teams are delaying or reviewing their campaign spend, which is one factor leading to the thousands of creative professionals being put on furlough leave. Though these people cannot legally work while on leave, they can volunteer.
Meanwhile, charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises are facing unprecedented challenges. “Overnight, many have had to change the way they operate, communicate, or raise funds,” explains Given’s David Hedley. “Top charity bosses say they expect a £4bn shortfall in funding over this period”.
Time Well Spent connects the two, giving creatives with some newfound time on their hands a project to get stuck into, that will help a company struggling in the global emergency. It’s open to graphic designers, copywriters, illustrators, creative thinkers, product people, UX designers… anyone working in the creative sector who wants to put their idle hands to good use, with the added benefit of staying creatively active. Projects could involve anything from a creative campaign to a website redesign, or creating visuals to help an organisation reach new audiences on social media.
“We’re seeing individuals and organisations from so many different sectors getting practical and using what they’re good at to make a difference in their communities and help support the most vulnerable in society,” sums up Given’s Becky Willan. “Time Well Spent is an opportunity for people in the creative industries to get involved. It’s an industry that talks a lot about purpose – and it’s a good reminder that actions always speak louder than words.”
Sign up to Time Well Spent via the website.
GalleryTime Well Spent social campaign
Time Well Spent logo by Chris Seaborn and Dan Ulf-Hansen, two furloughed designers at Given