'Jelly' sessions helped beat isolation for homeworkers

Mug with 'Jelly' logo on work table

Jelly South West mug in workspace - Credit: Louise Turley

The organiser of an East Devon initiative providing free workspaces for freelancers and homeworkers is inviting more people to join the sessions, when Covid restrictions permit. 

Louise Turley has been running Jelly sessions is at the Lighthouse in Sidmouth, Ocean in Exmouth and The Nook in Honiton, enabling people who would normally be working remotely at home to bring their laptops and share the office space with others.  

She said: “They are free co-working events operating throughout the south-west … they are about supporting small businesses, hybrid workers and freelancers, creating a support community and removing the isolation factor from working at home - I think we have all had enough of the isolation feeling!” 

She said during the Covid lockdowns, the Jelly sessions became weekly virtual support events with speakers, providing a connection to help people feel less isolated. 

Following the Government announcement on Wednesday, December 8 advising people to work from home because of the Omicron variant, she has postponed the office space events until next year, and will update the Jelly South West Facebook page with further information when available.

People attending the in-person Jelly sessions have found them useful for networking and making useful work connections. 

Business coach Annie Lee said: “Going to the Jellys has widened my network not only of fabulous people to collaborate with, but also I have forged some great friendships there too. 

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“The relaxed atmosphere means that people are more themselves than at other networking type events.  There is a real feeling of collaboration – everyone is there to work together.” 

Sidmouth-based HR consultant Sue Cockayne said: “I've found it a great network, especially when first starting out - to meet people in similar situations and find expertise and guidance.” 

Kat Diamentis from Word It said she was not usually a fan of networking events, but loves the Jelly events and has attended them in Sidmouth, Honiton and Exmouth. She said: “You meet people just like you. You might do something that complements what they do. You might do the same as them, which is never a problem. You might realise you can help each other out. This has been my biggest outtake. A lot of my work has eventuated from going to East Devon Jelly.” 

For more information, visit the Jelly South West website