With the UK events and hospitality industry taking the biggest battering from the Covid-19 pandemic, one man lost his new job and decided to set up a podcast to support the NHS.
In mid-March, Mike Oldham (@NeuDad on Twitter) started a new role as Event Director for an international events company in South London.
He lost his job the same day.
As the COVID-19 crisis took hold, the events industry was plunged into disarray. Mike’s new employer couldn’t afford to keep him on, and to make matters worse he missed the furlough cut-off date by just a couple of days.
When lockdown set in a few days later, Mike’s wife (jeweller Catriona Stevenson) was no longer allowed to go into her workshop, so with a three-year-old boy to look after at home, their situation very abruptly became a worrying one.
Mike was determined to draw a positive from the situation, and with his background in radio production, decided to start a podcast from home. With all the uncertainty about the future, he decided to call the podcast What Happens Now.
He reached out to a number of high-profile people, to speak to them about lockdown, how their lives had changed – and to focus on what positives may emerge once the crisis is over.
So far, he’s interviewed BBC’s Helen Skelton, fitness influencer Carly Rowena as well as TV cleaning expert Lynsey Queen of Clean among others.
He is also using the podcast as a way of raising money for the NHS at this difficult time.
By seeking donations on his GoFundMe page, Mike hopes to be able to continue the podcast in the future, and with 25% of all donations going to NHS Charities Together he has already raised over £200 for the charity.
Mike plans to record 10 episodes for season one of his new podcast, while he continues to look for a new full-time role.