One year ago I would have had no idea who WP&UP was, or that they changed their name to Big Orange Heart (BOH) in April of 2020. March and April were certainly uncertain times in 2020. I actually first discovered Big Orange Heart attending a virtual WordPress London meetup where BOH is the main organizer. I had really enjoyed WordCamp London 2019 and in my hunt for virtual events I came across this meetup.
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A number of things struck me from the start. First, they had created their own platform, and over the last year have really made it an easy to interact with environment for both attendees and speakers. Second, the openness and welcoming of the group was so genuine and meaningful. So I dug deeper into BOH. Can we get a quick description?
A charity supporting and promoting positive wellbeing and mental health within the remote work communities.
… and …
Be part of the world’s first peer support community dedicated to remote workers. Access well-being support and a thriving community.
Why is this community so critically important? From WP Tavern, Big Orange Heart Opens 2020 Remote Work Wellbeing and Mental Health Survey:
Results from the 2019 survey showed that the majority of people in the WordPress community work alone and a significant percentage are dealing with anxiety and suicidal thoughts:
• 8% of the WordPress community have had suicidal thoughts in the last 12 months
• 47% stated their workplace makes them feel anxious
• 56% of the WordPress community works alone
I can only imagine the rise in numbers after the 2020 survey results especially the number that work alone. I reached out to Dan Maby, Founder of Big Orange Heart, to get an idea of how transformational BOH has been to its members. I think he encapsulates this quite well.
At Big Orange Heart helping to reduce social isolation for those working remotely is a key focus. We must not underestimate the importance of human connection. Over the years of delivering our free services, we’ve heard numerous times how the BOH network, services, and community have saved the lives of its members.
We should never minimise the impact our actions can have on another person’s life.
Ultimately, I feel BOH provides an invaluable service to a growing constituency of not only the WordPress world remote workers but all sorts of remote technology workers.