Edinburgh staff set up online skill-sharing community

A member of staff at the University of Edinburgh has set up a virtual skill-sharing initiative to bring communities together during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stay Home Skill Share’ is a new project that encourages Edinburgh residents to share their skills in exchange for donations to The Trussell Trust charity, an organisation working to stop hunger and poverty in the UK.

Megan McGrath, founder of Stay Home Skill Share and Communications Coordinator, in the University’s Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, said:

“I set up ‘Stay Home Skill Share to try and connect communities, and to enable donating time rather than money, as well as to provide people with some much-needed stimulation when in lockdown!”

Local residents offer to share a skill online with others who are interested in learning or developing a particular skill. Rather than make a payment for being taught their newly acquired expertise, they are asked to make a donation to the Trussell Trust.

Stay Home Skill Share now has more than 40 skills on offer, including basic graphic design, programming, multiple languages and exercise classes, sewing skills and music lessons. An MA graduate in Social Anthropology from the University is offering to share her knowledge of qualitative research in exchange for donations whilst another participant is offering professional support to those who may be struggling with anxiety or low mood due to social isolation during lockdown.

The group now has more than 650 members and has raised more than £800 so far to help fight poverty in the UK.