We are an English family who bought a derelict farmhouse in the middle of Ireland 14 years ago, on nearly three acres of very overgrown land. While we now have the house habitable, Ireland's recession has made things financially difficult and there is a LOT left to do that we haven't had time or money to take on. I am currently studying a Creative Writing course as the final part of my degree, and my husband works as an electrician an hour away. Our time is mostly spent on earning enough money to pay the bills, while the garden gets more and more overgrown! We have a 15 year old daughter who is currently homeschooling, and a son who has left home and just finished uni in the UK. We sometimes have horses or ponies - we are just beginning to foster rescue ponies, and always have dogs - one of our own and usually a foster dog too, and a heap of cats. We fell in love with this property as it is surrounded by big, old trees and has so much potential. It felt like the house of our dreams, but needs more work to get it there!
On the land is a collection of falling-apart outbuildings, with what we optimistically still describe as 'potential'. We have a poly tunnel, and several fruit trees and bushes. The help I am looking for is predominantly in the garden, and anyone able to cut wood (use an axe or a chainsaw) will be strongly considered as we need to have some trees felled, which will then need chopping for firewood. I am also open to have help with cooking and my daughter's education, particularly in learning whatever language and culture our workaways bring. We LOVE to spend time talking to our workaways about their homes and cultures, and I have recently completed a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course, so need to get some experience in helping people learn English.
We have 2 spare bedrooms, but only one bathroom, with a bath and no shower. There is plenty of camping space either. However, due to our restricted bathroom facilities I feel we could really only offer short term accommodation and to only one or 2 people at a time, but we are pretty flexible and open to suggestions - there may be someone out there who can offer something we didn't know we needed!!
I would also be more than happy to accommodate someone with a similar age child to my own, who would enjoy our space and her company, while the parent helped out. In return, we can offer meals, basic accommodation either in the house or as camping (tent can be provided), and a mix of company, exploring the surrounding area, use of my ceramics workspace (a very basic shed, but I have equipment including a kiln) ... again, we can be pretty flexible and are open to hearing what volunteers would be looking for in return for helping us out.
This year, as well as specifically seeking anyone with wood chopping skills, we would love to learn Norwegian or continue to improve our French.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
I have recently completed a Teaching English as a Foreign Language course, and am willing to put time into helping anyone with their English skills. We are also happy to show you around the area, visit some local places of interest with you, and help you to find other people to stay with in other areas of Ireland. Some of our best Workaway experience so far has included two French workaways taking my daughter with them on a trip to County Donegal to stay with some friends of ours - they got to see Donegal, and my daughter got a chance to travel more independently than being driven around by her parents! Because of our home school network, we have contacts all over the country who are often willing to give accomodation to our workaways if they wish to explore Ireland further than the Midlands.
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
Whilst Gardening and wood chopping are the priorities we are looking for, we are open to offers of any help, and willing to hear what anyone can offer! We'd love someone to share some cooking too. Because I am homeschooling my daughter, I am also open to hearing from anyone who may also have a skill, language or culture that may interest her and further her education of the world. If you feel you have something to offer, we are open to hearing from you.
We can either offer a spare bedroom, in our family home, or a tent (in good weather, we have great space to camp, and are happy to have campfires on the land, etc)
We do only have one toilet and only a bath not a shower.
We are in a fairly rural part of Ireland, but within walking distance of the village. There is very limited public transport in Ireland generally, but we are a 10 minute drive to the nearest train station, making Dublin and Sligo easily accessible. I am happy to give lifts to the station or the nearest town, etc. We have bikes here, and the countryside is beautiful. There are lakes within a few minutes drive, so fishing and other water activities may be possible to someone who has the equipment.
I would prefer non-smoking volunteers. We are well used to catering to vegetarian and/or gluten free diets, so don't worry if you have dietary requirements - we can usually cope with it!
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week