A surprise cameo to cheer team members during an online meeting has been the catalyst for a shy donkey to become Aqueous Digital’s latest recruit.
Bertie, a miniature Mediterranean breed, received a boost to his confidence after being appointed as official mascot for the digital marketing agency.
However, his impression on staff that have worked from home since the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak was such that he will also become the company’s head of turf management.
“Bertie’s arrival has boosted the team’s spirits,” said Paula Berry, customer relationship manager at Aqueous.
“We loved seeing the smiles on everybody’s faces when he appeared during one of our Zoom calls for the first time to celebrate our senior digital marketing analyst’s birthday.
“He said afterwards it was the best present he’s ever had!
“One of the directors at Aqueous suggested then that we adopt Bertie as our mascot and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Inspired by a post on social media that featured a llama in the United States being hired to join a Zoom call, Julia Blazer spotted an opportunity.
The founder of Good Day Out, an initiative that provides educational and fun ways for people to engage with animals and the countryside from its base in the Brecon Beacons, decided to make her mini donkeys available to brighten online gatherings between work colleagues or family members.
Bertie, who turns 10 on his next birthday, was dressed to impress for his appointment with Aqueous.
He was on message while sporting the agency’s #SearchNeverSleeps hashtag before a swift wardrobe change to show off a personalised birthday greeting.
“It’s great to receive support at what is a challenging moment for us,” said Julia.
“We’ve not been able to welcome visitors because of the pandemic but, with animals to look after and feed, mothballing the business simply wasn’t an option.”
A donation from every booking is made to Good Day Out’s ‘Treats for the NHS’ fund, which will provide discounts for health and care workers to visit to the Welsh retreat when it is safe to do so.
The animals there have been wearing protective equipment of their own too following a recent delivery of fly masks.
Paula added: “We’re made up to support both Bertie, through Good Day Out, and the NHS for everything it has done – and continues to do – to combat Covid-19.
“Our names are very much on the list as well to meet our new mascot when the time is right.”
To find out more about Good Day Out, including a list of animals for hire to appear in a virtual meeting, visit www.gooddayout.co.uk