The Team Oxford Furlough Exchange: Natalie's story

Aspire met graphic designer Natalie Taylor through the Team Oxford Furlough Exchange, which connects furloughed employees with meaningful volunteering opportunities across Oxford City.

Natalie was matched with Aspire to support participants on our Enterprise Development Programme, where clients who have faced challenges work with Programme Manager Sophie Kilmister for specialist, practical and tailored support to start businesses of their own.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Natalie has collaborated with Enterprise Development Programme clients to sustain momentum for their business planning, providing targeted graphic design support to bring their diverse business plans to life and translate the story of how their businesses came to be, through unique, client-led brand design.

To date, Natalie has worked with four Enterprise Development Programme participants to develop tailored logos and business card designs: 

  • Daisy May’s Cakes and Bakes, a home-made bakery business
  • LJ Hair and Beauty, a mobile hairdressing service
  • Ox-Box, a boxercise fitness business led by a qualified instructor
  • Gamebe, a consultancy service providing lived experience to support organisations, communities and policy makers to reduce gambling harms 

Natalie’s time with Aspire’s Enterprise Development Programme serves as a fantastic example of the impact achieved with targeted and skill-specific volunteering, working towards real objectives. With Natalie’s support, clients have been able to progress the development of their businesses at a time where many business planning activities have been put on pause, setting their sights on the landscape beyond COVID-19 with motivation and confidence.

If you are interested in contributing your skills or seeking targeted support for your organisation on a voluntary basis, visit the Team Oxford website to find out how you can join the network.