Hello, my name is Helen.
I am looking for some help in the house, with household chores, cleaning and cooking and shopping, some help in the garden, weeding, hedge trimming and lawn mowing, and helping to care for my two cats including cleaning out litter trays, and also depending when you come we may have foster kittens to look after as well.
The house has 6 bedrooms, 3 of them have medium to long term guests, one I keep for guests or friends and family, and one for workaway, so there are usually about 6 people living here. Currently in the house we have Andy and Steve from Birmingham, Vicky is from Somerset and also myself. We all get on pretty well, and often eat dinner together and share the cooking. Otherwise it's a quiet, pretty relaxed and friendly household.
When it's a full house, we usually organise it so that a different person cooks dinner each night and anyone can join in or eat leftovers later, and then one night we just have a DIY night where everyone is doing their own thing. We usually cook things properly from scratch, I prefer not to use pre-prepared food too much. We eat a mixture of traditional british food like stews and roast dinners, and also we like chilli and curries and turkish food and other recipes from round the world. Workaway is great for sharing new recipes. We are not vegetarians, although when we have hosted vegetarians it has been fun to try and create a vegetarian version of things, but if you are vegetarian or vegan you may need to do most of your own cooking, and we'll sort out a shopping plan together. Breakfast and lunch we all organise for ourselves, and you are free to cook what you want from what we have bought for the week, or make sandwiches or salad etc. We'll sort out a weekly shopping list between us, and try and budget sensibly.
About me, I work as a freelance IT consultant and at the moment I am lucky working from home. I am a fairly quiet person but I enjoy getting to know people one on one. I enjoy reading, and cooking, and good conversations, but I'm not a big one for going out to parties, although I enjoy concerts (classical and others), films and theatre. You are welcome to enjoy the night life in Birmingham, but I probably won't come along :)
I have 2 young cats, who are only allowed outside during the day, they are called Pepper and Fudge and they are very curious, playful and friendly. Sometimes we foster little kittens who are going through their injections with the vet before we let them go to new homes.
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
You will easily be able to explore the city, where there is plenty going on. If you like theatre or concerts especially. Outside birmingham there are nearby sights too, such as Stratford on Avon, shakespeares birthplace, or Warwick castle, or maybe you want to explore the cotswolds and see some old villages.You can also get to Malvern, and Worcester easily by train, and these are old english market towns, Malvern has lovely hills nearby for hiking.
We have a couple of climbing enthusiasts staying at the house at the moment who could take you climbing if you are interested, either at some of the local climbing centres in Birmingham or depending on the weather, possibly taking a trip to Wales for some spectacular outdoor climbing.
Let me know if there is anything you are specifically interested in doing and I will help you to organise it or go along with you maybe if I have time. Also there are a number of farmers markets to explore, many of which you can get to by bus or train within a few minutes walk from my home.
Help in the House
If you are happy to help in the house,with cooking, cleaning, ironing, and gardening, that would be wonderful.
Also, if you are good at organising things like sheds, laundry cupboard, tool store and things like that so that we can find things easily when we need them, the under-stairs store cupboard is a work in progress - we need to put up hooks and clips, and work out the best way to store things, which might involve building shelves/cabinet type things to fit the space. We have some good charity furniture shops locally so we may be able to get some old furniture that could be adapted.
Looking after cats
I have 2 young cats who love to be around people and play as well as being fed. They are are only allowed outside during daytime so that means cleaning litter trays.
If you are thinking of coming from March or later in the year and you are interested in gardening, including a vegetable garden please let me know.
The help will be hands on, digging, planting, weeding, getting hedges under control, and maybe harvesting some vegetables. You need to know a little about gardening, how to plant shrubs and other things, and be able to use lawn mower and hedge trimmers etc. I'm looking for people who can work fairly independently, and enjoy the tasks.
I usually have one or two workaway people at a time, although you may be on your own sometimes. If we are particularly busy you may be sharing a room with one other person. You may occasionally need to change rooms during your stay if I have guests and need a specific room, but this doesn't happen often. I can accommodate couples, friends travelling together or single people.
Some research projects such as finding ways to improve the internet access.
We have started a Workaway recipe book, so if you have some family favourite recipes that you would like to include, please bring them along :)
I live in an old Edwardian house in a residential and culturally mixed suburb of Birmingham. The house was built in 1914, and is large, on 3 floors with high ceilings. I have spare rooms available for guests, so depending when you come there may be other helpers to hang out with, or if you are 2 or 3 friends travelling together let me know I may be able to accommodate you.
You would either have your own room, or you might be in a twin room with one other worker. If you are a group of friends or a small family, then we can arrange the Workaway room for 3 people.
There is a bathroom shared between 3 bedrooms with a bath and a shower. The house is 4 minutes walk to the train station where you can get a train to either Birmingham City Centre within 6 minutes or Solihull within 6 minutes.
This is a non-smoking house.
We sometimes cook together as a house, and sometimes people do there own thing. We will discuss with you and decide how best to organise it when we know your plans, but we prefer to share the cooking at least sometimes as it makes a better household atmosphere.
Food and accommodation in exchange for 5 hours work a day with 2 days off per week.
One of the helping days may be on the weekend sometimes, so that I can spend more time with you during the day, as I'm also working. You will need to be fairly independent though, as you may be doing tasks alone much of the time, depending on when you come.
Food will be provided, however you will need to be able to cook for yourself some of the time. I enjoy trying food from different countries, and would love it if you like to cook your favourite recipes.
We will usually eat together in the evening most of the time, and ideally share the cooking between us.
Food will be available to help yourself for breakfast and lunch during the week, and you will be considered one of the family.
Please let me know when applying if you have any strong food preferences, things you particularly like, or things you don't like. We will cook simple healthy food most of the time.
I normally enjoy cooking healthy meals, sometimes british traditional food, and experimenting with recipes from around the world, and buying seasonal produce - I would eventually like to start growing some of my own vegetables, but not there yet as the garden is work in progress :) We can adapt the menu for vegetarians, and I have hosted vegans once as well, which required a little more creativity and planning and help from the workaway people, but was quite interesting and we created some delicious meals. If you let me know in advance any strong preferences or dislikes, I can plan for your visit.
We have 2 young and playful house cats.
If you are interested please contact me and we can discuss further.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
5 hours a day, 5 days a week
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