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Facilitating skill exchange in East London since 2014

Initiated by Echo, Loughborough University London and Hackney Wick & Fish Island Creative Enterprise Zone

The Match

Connecting skilled furloughed professionals with the businesses who need them. Interested in requesting or offering support? Sign up here

Success Stories

by Sarah Henderson
When CaribEats met Catalina

A few months ago, images of elderly people walking through empty supermarkets broke the nation’s heart. The question of how elderly and vulnerable people get their food became a concern. In response to this problem, a group of friends in Hackney, East London, started off with a simple, kind gesture, which turned into a community-led initiative: CaribEats.

Set up to provide warm, home cooked food to vulnerable and elderly people once a week, CaribEats was self-funded and relied on online donations. As the project grew, so did the need for funding.

So, Alison from CaribEats contacted The Match, and we connected her with Catalina, a local Hackney resident with experience in writing funding applications. When Catalina signed up to volunteer with The Match, we spotted that her skillset could be just what was needed to help a heart warming collective just around the corner. Catalina told us “The fact that we both live here and her work is for the borough made me feel a special connection to what I was doing.”

Alison and the CaribEats team

At The Match, which is a project powered by Echo, we believe that sharing skills makes businesses and professionals better collaborators. As a volunteer, Catalina found it “so empowering to use my skills on something so different yet so relevant.” This productive empowerment was also felt by Alison, who is leading CaribEats, who told us “Honestly, I couldn’t have matched with someone better if I’d picked her myself.”

We believe skills are universal, and should be shared in creative and collaborative ways. If you are a professional who would like to explore how your skills can make a big impact, sign up to volunteer with The Match.


When Counterpoise met Bree

Counterpoise is a business that knows art is a necessity, not a luxury.

Why? Because “the creative industry is central to the economy and drives innovation at all levels”, and like all essential parts of our economy, gender balance is high on our priority list.

That is why Counterpoise opened its doors in January to improve the gender balance in the creative industries.

But since the rupture of the COVID-19 pandemic, Counterpoise faced a difficult path ahead.

So, what happened next? Counterpoise met Bree, a volunteer with The Match.

Bree provided communications guidance to help Counterpoise adapt their strategy to the new COVID19 reality, and signpost toward the additional information Counterpoise needed. And it wasn’t just Counterpoise that benefited from this match.

Like Bree, volunteers at The Match are changing the way businesses navigate the social and economic crisis facing our time.

If you’re interested in being part of The Match, as a volunteer or business, do get in touch. We’ll find you a match.