We launched The Big Help Out in August 2020 to provide support to those affected by redundancy, furlough or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Here you can find out a little bit about the people we were able to help out during this time.

What is The Big Help Out?

Open Study College launched The Big Help Out in August 2020 to provide help and support to those affected by redundancy, furlough or unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The year of 2020 and the start of 2021 were difficult for many and the impacts of COVID were felt far and wide, by both businesses and individuals. We felt compelled to help, so we pulled together and created this initiative to provide support in anyway we could.

During the campaign we were able to help over 50 people, whether it was providing support to find a new job, or funding their education. Here you can find out everything there is to know about our mission to help out, and a little bit more about those who volunteered their support.


The pandemic turned people’s careers upside down, which is why we launched a scholarship programme as part of The Big Help Out.

Our scholarship programme was open to anyone who was furloughed or made redundant because of the pandemic – regardless of current level of education, age or subject they were interested in.

We’re proud to announce that we awarded 11 part scholarships, and one fully-funded scholarship which helped students who were struggling to finance their studies.

Hear from the students we were able to provide scholarships for in our recent blog article.

FREE career coaching sessions

We partnered up with employability skills coach and certified trainer, Laura, who offered free career coaching sessions as part of The Big Help Out.

Laura helped over 50 people with a range of career related challenges – whether they were stuck in a career rut and looking for some impartial advice, or felt they needed guidance on skills for a certain career path. She says “I got in contact with about 50 people in the end. I spoke to everyone from students finishing their A Levels, to people who had been out of work for some time through choice or due to the pandemic. The careers they were looking at varied from architects and engineering giants to beauticians and school teachers.

“Doing this project was a great opportunity for me as well as the people I helped. It was amazing to have a platform to give back and OSC have reaffirmed to me that you get back what you put in.”

You can contact Laura about her career coaching services direct on lorsmac89@hotmail.com or via her LinkedIn page.

FREE career guidance via Zoom!

We know that people struggle to sell their skills and experience to employers when looking for a new job. Be it in a CV, LinkedIn profile or in a job interview, it is a challenge many people face which is why we teamed up with Career Professional, Maria to offer free services to people as part of The Big Help Out.

Maria runs Clear from the Crowd, a business that offers advice and support for people looking for their next job, and during the pandemic she was able to help dozens of people.

Maria commented: “During the campaign I found that the majority of people were looking to change their careers and, therefore, studying to support that. I’ve found the experience of ‘helping out’ to be both interesting and rewarding. I’ve met some very dedicated people, and I hope I’ve been able to make a positive difference for them with their career journey.”

We encourage you to contact Maria for any career related advice via her website.

FREE mindfulness resources

Mindfulness Coach, Emma, who runs Project Awesome Life, offered a number of FREE resources as part of The Big Help Out which are still available for download below:

  • Emma’s ‘Wheel of life’ goal setting exercise is an opportunity to pause from rushing through life and reflect on where you are at currently, where you would like to be, and what areas you would like to focus on improving. Download the worksheet for free.
  • If you’ve always wanted to try meditation but not quite sure where to start, Emma’s video will guide you through a very short meditation to help you tune into your attention, breath and focus. It’s less than 5 minutes long, so you can even do it at your desk!
  • It’s Emma’s mission to ensure you make the most of your life and that means at some point you have to stop settling and making do, you have to at least look at what other path you could take that might just have you start living that awesome life. If you’re stuck in a career rut, we’ve got a free worksheet for you to download, that asks some difficult but important questions and is the first step to finding out how you could live a happier life. Dig deep!
  • We’ve all got an inner critic, watch the short video to understand yours and find out how to separate yourself from that voice.

If you’d like to work on your mindset, practice mindfulness and start living an awesome life feeling fun, happier and more content, check out Emma’s brand new mindfulness course – 52 mindfulness and mindset videos, downloads and meditations for just £27.

Supporting your mental health

We also offered mental health support and guidance as part of The Big Help Out, as we know COVID-19 impacted people’s mental health as much as it did physical health. With a donation to Mind we shared resources including ‘How to be mentally healthy at work’ and ‘The Mind guide to seeking help for a mental health problem’.

We also have a number of articles on our website that may help you, particularly if you’re currently studying:

If you’re struggling, please speak to someone, whether it’s a friend, a family member, your GP or a charity such as Mind.

Tech pack giveaway

We wanted to make sure that nothing was holding people back when it came to enrolling on a course and achieving their career goals.

Which is why we launched a competition where one lucky person won a free tech pack including a wireless printer, an Amazon Echo speaker, wireless headphones and a Spotify voucher! Everything they needed to get ahead on their studying journey.

Just another way we could help out during this time.

Surprising our students with golden tickets

We also surprised three lucky students with golden tickets in their study packs between Monday 18th and Friday 22nd January, to brighten up their ‘Blue Monday’.

Each golden ticket contained a £50 Amazon voucher!

Are you looking for career support and guidance?
Our career kickstart scheme is here to help! At Open Study College we’re invested in your future, so take advantage of our range of FREE resources and support to help you find your dream job.

Find out more about OSC

Interested in studying with us?