I have been a technology reporter and educator for 25 years, appearing on weekly BBC tech show Click for 14 years. But when the pandemic hit all my freelance work vanished over two weeks. While out for a lockdown walk to ponder my existence, I found a sick, abandoned ferret and took it home to call the RSPCA.
I have long been a partnered twitch gaming streamer and was already thinking I could use streaming as a way to reach my audience more directly while I waited the pandemic out.
But I didn't really want to do gaming. While I waited for the RSPCA to come and collect the ferret I found, I did some research to try and make it more comfortable. In doing this I realised what a wonderful, fun and curious creature the ferret is! It was then that the idea struck me - I would transform the shed (installed by the previous owners to house guineapigs, but for 12 years since I moved in just a home for spiders and junk) into a secure and stimulating enclosure for unwanted ferrets, giving them the love and playfulness they deserve.
It sounds crazy I know, but I used to be a veterinary nurse before taking a role in the media as a kid it was always my dream to work with animals or become a writer.
Now, at the ripe old age of 52, I have achieved both those ambitions by creating FerretTubeTV. The ferrets are a fantastic engagement tool for teaching virtually, which has been such a challenge I see the kids having to cope with during lockdown.
We've already made a collection of social media tips and guides for #SaferInternetDay, organised by charity, Childnet. And our goal is to continue producing guides and tips for people who would like to take up live live-streaming themselves, as we build the channel https://ferrettube.live and document the stories of our adorable residents at the Forever Home for Found Ferrets.
To help you understand the vision, I have made a special video for this entry, which is linked in this page. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed making it.