When we launched the Grow Remote Community Fund in 2021, we invited all Ireland-based chapters to put together a proposal for a project that could create social impact locally and contribute towards the local chapter goal.
Usually, chapters have one of three chapter goals;
- a) create employment for local people;
- b) rural repopulation; or
- c) foster social connection between remote workers locally.
One of the chapters that successfully applied to the 2021 Community Fund was Grow Remote Donegal, including the team from the Arranmore Island chapter.
As a result, they were able to develop an application to promote mentorship of remote job candidates on Arranmore Island.
The gúrú app is a web platform which links local people who are looking for remote employment with a mentor who can give one-to-one coaching. The topics might include support with the application process, what to expect in interviews and how to avoid common pitfalls of remote work.
Registration on the gúrú platform gives users an opportunity to schedule meetings with mentors, access the Grow Remote Wiki and resources, and browse the Grow Remote Jobs Board where they can find current remote employment opportunities.
The idea to create the app came directly from the local community living on Arranmore Island.
After focus groups and local discussions, potential remote workers and those already in remote work suggested a “buddy system” which would give support to job candidates and, by demystifying the process and providing essential and personalised supports, could help towards increasing the number of remote workers on the island.
The Arranmore Chapter of Grow Remote – in partnership with the County Donegal Chapter – pooled resources and applied to the Grow Remote Community Fund for support in August 2021.
“We commissioned local software developer Hexa Studios to develop a proof of concept platform which is now available at www.gúrú.work”Seamus Bonner, Arranmore Island Chapter Lead
There are many barriers to accessing remote employment. These include self-confidence, the challenge of new concepts and unusual ways of working, as well as a sometimes lengthy and complicated application process.
Navigating these can be difficult for new job applicants. However, guidance from a fellow community member who is already reaping the benefits of remote work can go a long way towards helping break these barriers down for others.
Arranmore Island has already benefited from remote employment as increasing numbers of islanders have been able to bring their well-paid jobs home while enjoying the benefits of living in an island community. This has impacted all aspects of community life (such as school numbers) and has reversed a long-standing decline in the island’s population.
“The Grow Remote Community is made up of inspiring people doing extraordinary things. The creation of gúrú will have long-term implications for the Arranmore chapter, but we see its potential to make an impact in communities across Ireland and beyond. And we have plans, through our Changemakers programme, to make that happen. We’re delighted for Seamus, Laura, Adrian and all the members of Grow Remote Arranmore. We can’t wait to see the next phase of gúrú.”Dónal Kearney, Grow Remote Community Manager
This Local Leader Training involves 3 live sessions over 3 weeks plus 6 self-paced eLearning modules. Participants will learn from fellow local leaders and can avail of 1:1 mentorship and support. Upon successful establishment of a chapter, local leaders can then apply to the Community Fund.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected].