We are looking for one or two volunteers with at least 5 years experience of building maintenance and construction who are happy to work to their own timetable and spend time on their own. We can offer the chance to spend time living a quiet life with lots of time to explore the local area or working on personal projects. 2015 was our first year hosting Workaway volunteers. From their experience we have learnt that volunteers helping us for 4 hours a day also have a lot of time for their own activities. Volunteers staying with us needed their own budget to be able to go out and explore or needed to bring their own projects with them. If you want to be with a family to practise your English, we are probably not the right place for you. If you value the opportunity to spend time on your own with the chance to meet a group of very interesting people, then you I hope you would enjoy it here.
We have volunteered as a family for over 40 years to support a group of neighbours of about 19 people, who are interested in the environment, the arts and music and living next to likeminded people. We are not a business but believe in a quieter and low consumer way of life and in sharing with others who otherwise would not have the opportunity to enjoy such a beautiful place. We are all very busy and volunteers may be working on their own but we love getting together when someone makes an invitation.
We live in number of apartments in a historic house set in its own grounds of about 8ha about 1.5km from the nearest town of 20,000 population. Over the years we have organised many events to welcome others to enjoy the place either for a few hours, for workshops lasting 2 or 3 days or as part of groups coming weekly or monthly. Events have included art classes; art and craft fairs; fundraising meals; opera nights; workshops in the woods; music evenings. We are all interested in the low carbon economy, social justice, the environment and addressing climate change. We don't have any events planned at the moment but there is always the opportunity to give an invite to everyone for a shared meal or music evening.
About half of us have been here for years; the other half stay for a few months at a changepoint in their lives before moving on. Everyone values the ambience of the place and enjoy the quiet, tranquil environment. The grounds include woodland, pasture and a stream. We have a flock of rare breed sheep.
We are all quite busy either working or volunteering elsewhere and don't meet as often as we did. However, there is normally someone around for a quick hello or a longer cup of coffee. If you are travelling, are self motivated, hard working and want somewhere to stay where you can have your own space then this may be for you. If you would prefer to stay with a family to help improve your English and would prefer to spend your work time with someone else, then I think you would prefer another host.
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Everyone living here is getting older and we would welcome help with tasks on our land, with our sheep and in the maintenance of a historic building. We particularly need help with DIY, construction, painting and decorating, general cleaning and gardening and with occasional other tasks such as moving furniture. Previous volunteers have helped with decorating, construction, maintenance including plumbing and looking after the house generally. They have also helped with community workshops and events.
Volunteers would need to be happy living in a rural location and must be experienced in some of the following: construction, DIY, working on a farm, gardening and looking after a big house. Volunteers must be happy to do tasks on their own, take pride in giving high quality, be flexible to respond to unplanned events. Volunteers must have at least 5 years experience of construction or maintaining a building by decorating, plumbing and cleaning.
We suggest that volunteers come for an initial period of 1 week and then the stay can be extended by mutual agreement.
English, basic French, very basic Spanish
Accommodation will vary depending on what is available. We offer 'indoor' camping in an outbuilding and space for camping near the house or away from the house near the stream. We provide a budget for volunteers to do their own shopping and cooking.
We work flexible hours, often have to travel and do not have a fixed routine that allows us to confirm that we are able to meet on a regular basis or share meals. We can offer basic kitchen equipment and bedding. Wifi will be available in certain locations of the farm but may not be accessible 24/7.
We are about 1.5 km from a historic canal town. From the town, there are direct trains to London (about 2.5 hours away) or via local connections to Birmingham, Manchester and the rest of the UK. We are near the Peak District; Alton Towers Theme Park; the Potteries, famous for its ceramics history. We can lend bicycles.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Maximum 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week