n its sixth year, the YunoJuno Freelancer Awards Ceremony (or the Sweet FA’s as we affectionately call it) has been a highlight of our calendar year. We started the event because we saw a vacuum in how freelancers were recognised or celebrated — especially when they play such a pivotal role in so many of the creative and tech projects they are employed on. For so many organisations, whether the motivation for hiring a freelancer is strategic or commercially, they have become a company’s secret sauce.
But in thinking about this year’s event, we couldn’t ignore the incredible turbulence that COVID-19 has brought on so many people across the world. The pandemic has been, and continues to be, the biggest threat to global economies and way of life in a generation. And doing the Sweet FAs as usual felt a little deficient. In short, I think we can do better.
Throughout the last year, as we have all come to terms with the pandemic, the one thing that has resonated with me, is the generosity, selflessness and resilience of others.
An inherent kindness coupled with inner steel being displayed in so many people from all walks of life.
Be that helping an elderly neighbour receive groceries when they were unable to leave their house, to free online art classes. Joe Wicks is single handedly responsible for halting the other terrible disease threatening the world right now — the early-onset-paunch.
So when thinking about the freelancer awards this year, I thought it was a moment to rethink who we celebrate.
Every year our awards are centred around the individual freelance disciplines on the YunoJuno marketplace — Designer of the Year, Developer of the Year, Strategist of the Year and so on for another 12 categories.
This year, we are going to change this. This year, we want to celebrate freelancers who have done something to help their fellow human/s in the time of COVID.
Whether it be a food drop, or raising awareness to the issues facing the self employed during the governments economic initiatives, or helping with a website so that your local business could stay alive during lockdown. Whatever generous/selfless/innovative thing a freelancer has done in this year of years, we want to recognise and celebrate them.
If a freelancer did something in service to another, these acts deserve this year’s gong. The awards (and life as we once knew it) I’m confident will resume next year. But this year, this feels right.
And regardless of whether there’s an event on this year or not, it won’t stop us celebrating freelancers, and putting the 2020 trophies in their hands!
If you know nothing about the Freelancer Awards, watch what went down in a pre-COVID 2019 below. 6000 votes and 750 people packed Shoreditch town for one epic night.
In 2020, let's make kindness win.