Covid stars support thousands to carry on connecting.
The co-founders of a networking membership who group have helped over 30,000 businesses and charities throughout the pandemic, reached their 250th day of free support services yesterday.
KuKu Connect co-founders Stephen Goddard and Philip Brooks-Stephenson have given over £16m worth of support that has kept businesses connecting, and kept Leicestershire laughing every day too.
The KuKu Connect networking group set up a range of innovative free support services which have gained over 10 million hits on social media for the organisations, venues and charities they have been helping to highlight online.
The initiative has gained them admiration all over the county, with a string of awards nominations, including being named the national Best Business Award winner for Outstanding Support during Covid-19.
KuKu’s Covid-19 support services have included the ‘Carry On KuKu’ video-bulletins broadcast over social media. Like a kitsch news show, the bulletins give out daily business tips, events, opportunities, business news and offers to help viewing organisations, which has been refreshing and humorous.
KuKu Business Bites, another daily online video, also features shout-outs for a range of individual businesses, venues and charity appeals recording hundreds of videos from their kitchen, which they turned into a ‘mini-studio’. It has now led to Stephen and Philip becoming Covid stars in their own right, having been called ‘inspirational’, ‘heroes’, and with one viewer saying they were as good as Goggle Box in their unique style and presentation.
Another free service is the hugely popular KuKu Cocktail Hour, a unique networking event, which uses Facebook live to connect businesses and charities out to thousands of new connections.
Stephen and Philip run the Cocktail Hour like a mini show, which keeps people amused whilst they champion a myriad of different types of businesses and charity appeals, all whilst they are dressed in black tie and drinking cocktails. It is quirky and very ‘KuKu’, but has been effective for business, as well as a morale boost; ‘a vital life-line’ said one business owner.
One manufacturing business helped by KuKu raised funds to manufacture PPE materials, and within one week had distributed over 1.5k pieces of PPE to care homes and hospitals, whilst simultaneously setting up a new arm to this business, saving that business from having to close, just one of many heart-warming outcomes of KuKu’s amazing support services.
KuKu hasn't stopped there, not only have they helped independent venues, artisans and tiny community groups, but Stephen and Philip have embraced any organisations, using their platforms to raise awareness and funds for the Poppy Appeal and the NHS Charities.
KuKu’s infectious positivity has reached international audiences in Europe and the USA helping large organisations as well, including the likes of Florida's Disney World, who have been featured in one of the daily shout-out video shows.
With a new YouTube channel and mini-show, which will go onto support more organisations through the pandemic recovery; the first mini-episode features four diamond engagement rings from a local jeweller which total over £300k worth of diamonds.
Like so many, Stephen and Philip’s own business has been devastated by the effects of the pandemic, but they have dedicated themselves voluntarily to helping others. Although a small business themselves, they have made a huge national impact, which many people will remember.