Are you free? We're looking for help to bring this gracious old building back to life in Poitiers, South West France




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  • Beschreibung


    We, Donna and Keith, your hosts, are an English couple in our mid 50s. We are easy going and share our life with our 2 year old Beagle - Max. We’ve recently taken on 3 abandoned kittens as well: Indie, Tigs and Cleo. We searched for the right house for a couple of years and have now taken on this project which will take years to come to fruition! However we are 'holding the faith' and hoping you are the right person to come and help us and hopefully enjoy yourself along the way! We are working on a renovation of a beautiful old French house with a view to one day being able to live in it! We’re in a small hamlet on the outskirts of a small village, situated on the local river, half hour from Poitiers airport and town, in South West France in an area of outstanding natural beauty. If you love the simple life and nature, this is the place for you as all you can hear are the trees swaying with the wind, the birds singing and you can even hear the trout jumping in the river next to us. The house is a large project, the outbuildings an even bigger project and although we've been able to tame some of the gardens, there's a lot of work to do along the riverbank which one day we hope to actually be able to fully access! Eventually we would like to become self sufficient and live a self sustainable life as much as possible and would appreciate some guidance if that is something you happen to be knowledgeable about, As mentioned, we have a wonderful Beagle dog - his name is Max and he just loves to get involved with everything we do so ideally you would need to like dogs too! We also have 3 rescue kittens - they are about 6 months old now and absolutely adorable (January 2019).

    In short we are looking for help in the house, that being either helping Keith do the renovations, i.e. putting up stud walls, taking old plaster off, replastering etc. etc. Also I'd like help in the house generally getting to clean the place and get things in order (we are over 3 floors). Outside we are getting the outbuildings in some sort of order, that consists of a general tidy up and ensuring floor boards etc. are safe. We are working on the outbuilding roofs as well. On the land, we are looking to get self sufficient as well as tame a very wild area along the river. So as you can tell, a lot of work is required and any of the below skills selected below would really, really be appreciated! We occasionally help our neighbours out with gardening etc., so this may be something we will do during your visit.

    Please note! The house is not yet fully livable though during the winter months we do spend our evenings in the dining room. At present we do not have central heating or a shower in the house (January 2019) so we use our caravan for showering which has running hot water, but going to/from the caravan to the house is a bit chilly during the winter months - so be warned! We have a wood burner in the dining room and a Rayburn in the kitchen but there is no heating in the bedrooms (which is quite normal for France) though we do plan to install radiators in the future. We have now managed to set up 2 bedrooms for guests in the main house - though nowhere near finished I hope you would be able to appreciate how they will look once fully completed. Please note we have a temporary inside toilet (fully flushing) as well as an outside toilet which is handy when working outside.
    We will provide your food - which you can cook yourself or we can cook together. We can discuss the finer details or anything you are unsure of or want to know more about. We really hope you find our project interesting - please do drop us a line.

  • Arten von Arbeit

    Arten von Arbeit

    Handwerkliche Arbeiten
    Sonstige Arbeiten
    Hilfe bei Ökoprojekten
    Sprachen praktizieren

  • Kultureller Austausch und Lernmöglichkeiten

    Kultureller Austausch und Lernmöglichkeiten

    The river is right next to us, so should you like fishing - it's available on your doorstep! It’s quiet and relaxing; all you hear are the sounds of nature - in fact my sister uses the grass area by the river to meditate early mornings when she visits. We don’t have wild parties as it’s an area of tranquility; if you're looking to party, then this may not be the right place for you. Ideal for 2 people travelling together or singles who are happy to occupy themselves......the reason being there is no nightlife in our village and we tend to spend evenings quietly just relaxing or reading. During the cold months we tend to go to bed early ….. we are able to supply hot water bottles!

    We’re in an area of extensive nature trails, so there are lots of walks with directions to guide you. Cycling is also big here and we have bicycles should you wish to use them. We also currently have use of a friend’s kayak which is perfect for exploring the river.

    We have extensive wild life and it’s Ideal for bird watching. At present we have a family of 18 bats residing in one of our outbuildings! Should you like to draw or paint, this is definitely the place for you.

    Our neighbours are both French and English and all with good humour, so if you wanted to practice either your English or French, this is a good place to be. We are more than willing to pick you up and drop you back to Poitiers airport.
    We have a small network of friends, they are all fabulous and living their dream and we'd be happy to introduce you to new people and ventures where we can.

  • Arbeit


    Primarily, we are looking for volunteers to help with the work which will mostly be outdoors, physical and hopefully rewarding.

    Inside the house we will be removing the old plaster and re-plastering almost all the walls, getting them ready for final decoration. Putting in new plumbing, putting up stud walls. Stripping wallpaper.

    We have a rather large kitchen space that is completely devoid of any units so we are looking to design a kitchen - it is such a large space that at the moment I've no idea what to do with it, so somebody with a keen eye for design would be most welcome.

    Another large part of the project is the rebuilding of a very long dry stone wall which we managed to get started on, but which is currently awaiting some TLC to get it sorted! We hear there are some experts out there that do this work - not really expecting to find somebody with these skills but hey ho, you never know!

    We have a vast amount of garden ‘wilderness’ that needs taming, so anybody green fingered and willing to get stuck in would also be appreciated.

    Additionally, there will be general maintenance of the house and land to attend to as well as helping Donna in the house getting things in the right place and giving it a general clean up.

    Hopefully you are a dog lover and would be happy to take Max on the occasional walk; he will be your friend forever!

    I suppose main requirements of Workaways are 1) willing to get their hands dirty and be able to help with manual work 2) somebody with some ‘green’ knowledge if at all possible as our veggie patch is large though at present (January 2019) without any planting 3) most importantly a Workaway who is hard working, self motivated and trustworthy!

    Obviously, we appreciate that you may only be able to tick a couple of the above boxes, so to speak; we are not expecting one Workaway to do all of the above....unless of course you happen to be WonderWoman or SuperMan!

  • Gesprochene Sprachen

    Gesprochene Sprachen


  • Unterkunft


    Accommodation is in either a caravan (summer only) or one of 2 bedrooms in the main house. At present there are no bathing/showering facilities in the house so the caravan bathroom is for us all. We do have in inside toilet and a rather posh outside loo with sink. For the summer months, the caravan has an outdoor living area with table and chairs, microwave and is linked up to the electricity which we are happy for you to share. In colder weather we tend to sit in the dining room in the house where we've managed to get the log burner installed and which is lovely and cosy and where we often eat and have people over every now and again. It's a nice space which you are welcome to share with us.
    If you would prefer to camp, we also have a tent or you may wish to bring your own. We have an excellent open area overlooking the river, protected by the trees and can also provide you with a portaloo........ There is also a washing machine and fridge freezer in the main house, which you are welcome to use. Apologies we cannot accept smokers, simply as I suffer quite badly with asthma. We are happy to share a glass of wine or two with you, but again please bear in mind this is not a 'party' area so no loud or excessive music please.
    As your hosts we will provide all your meals, which hopefully we will share together, unless you prefer your own company. The working week is usually organised from Monday to Friday with all evenings and weekends free. However if you prefer to work one day during the weekend and have a day off during the week for any reason, we can work that out too.

  • Was noch ...

    Was noch ...

    Beside the nature walks and cycling, we are also fairly close to a large swimming lake, which has very reasonably priced tele water ski facilities, along with toilets and refreshments and we’d be happy to drop you off and collect you.
    We are about half hour from the airport and the main town of Poitiers which is beautiful and well worth a visit. Again we’d be happy to take you and collect you later in the day as long as the visits are planned into our working day. As previously mentioned you are welcome to use our bicycles.
    We are between two towns, about 10km each way which you could either cycle to or again we could drop you. Or you may just find you are happy pottering about the property which you are also welcome to do.

    We also travel between London and Poitier on a regular basis, so travel may be able to be arranged either way.

  • Kapazität - wie viele Workawayer maximal

    Kapazität - wie viele Workawayer maximal

    mehr als zwei

  • ...


    Maximum 5 hours a day 5 days a week

Gastgeber Ref-Nr.: 578193973335