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IT recruiter launches innovative group for UK’s furloughed workers and jobseekers

In April, Coventry man Gary Wills was furloughed from his IT recruitment role of 10 years.

Instead of baking banana bread or catching up on Netflix box sets, he decided to use his experience to help some of the 9.5 million people in the UK now in the same position.

After first raising £7000 for the NHS through a sponsored Nightingale London to Nightingale Birmingham run live from his garage, inspired by a close relative admitted to ICU with Covid-19 (since happily recovered), Wills and his friend Jade Johannsen launched a not-for-profit organisation to provide free support to people who have been furloughed, made redundant or are seeking jobs.

FurLearn sources inspirational leaders who are experts in their field for workshops, webinars and insight sessions. Live events held to date have featured career and interview coaches, money saving experts, a BBC MasterChef finalist, a former fighter pilot, and a polar explorer, as well as mental wellbeing and motivational experts.

The main priority is improving the well-being of the community and getting people in their best shape for a return to work.

The approach is working – more than 1,150 have joined the group, which is organised by a team of 14 volunteers from across the UK, most of whom have not actually met in person yet.

The organisation's vision is built upon a foundation of six core pillars: personal brand, positive mental health, financial wellbeing, fitness and motivation, healthy eating, and fun.
The idea is to provide structured support to enable people to take positive action and navigate through the mass uncertainty arising from Covid-19.

“We want to use this time to remind everybody out there that they are not alone, they are stronger than they think and that this will pass,” Wills says. “We aim to give our community real-life tangible tips that will help them to start feeling like themselves again whilst preparing them for their return to work”. To find out more, go to :

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