We are looking for friendly people to help us in our rural canalside bungalow in the middle of England (in Staffordshire). If you are interested in improving your English, I used to work as a teacher and also tutored lots of foreign students, so I enjoy helping people develop their language skills. As we are retired and at home most of the time, there will be plenty of opportunities for helpers to talk with us, although Workaways have attached self contained accommodation (in a 'Granny annexe'), so that helpers can have their own space as well. We usually book for about a month at a time.
The canal beside us is the Trent and Mersey Canal and we have an inflatable kayak and bicycles which Workaways may use.
Cooking / shopping
Help in the house
We regularly invite our Workaways to accompany us to various village activities such as History Society, Produce Guild, Women's Institute, coffee mornings and Church events in order to meet local people and chat to them. These various groups have always been very welcoming. The local Rambling Group has particularly enjoyed them joining their monthly walk. Julie is a retired primary school teacher and also tutored foreign students.
We are in our seventies, and although my husband, Peter, is relatively fit, unfortunately, I, Julie, have been seriously ill and am still recovering from an extended stay in hospital 5 years ago. We need general help around the house and garden to lessen the load on Peter. Tasks include such things as helping with gardening, food preparation, cleaning, walking our dog (Amber), and feeding the birds and swans.
We usually work in the mornings, eat a cooked lunch together and then, after the washing up Workaways are free for the afternoon and in the evening are welcome to come and chat to me if they wish.
Accommodation is in a self-contained cottage, attached to the main house, with its own bedroom (2 single beds), bathroom and TV/living room. NON-SMOKERS ONLY.
We are situated in a beautiful rural area, with lovely views over the Trent and Mersey Canal, the River Trent and across to Cannock Chase, a designated area of outstanding natural beauty. The canal runs at the bottom of our garden and we have an inflatable kayak available for the use of helpers.
There are some lovely nearby walks, both alongside the canal and at the nearby Wildlife Lakes. As the latter would suggest, the area is a haven for birds and we have a number of bird feeders strategically positioned, so you can watch all manner of birds from the comfort of our bungalow.
The county town of Stafford is 8 miles away and it can be reached by a local bus, which stops less than 1km away from our home. The nearest railway station is Rugeley Trent Valley which has a direct line to London. We normally give Workaways a lift to and from the station.
We are also just around the corner from an interesting collection of historic buildings, that now houses a number of craft & antique shops. The well known National Trust stately home, Shugborough Hall, is a couple of miles away, as is the lovely canal location of Tixall Wide. There are a number of picturesque villages in the area, complete with traditional English pubs and a few canal side cafés.
You would also have the opportunity to learn about a part of Britain that few people know – that of the canals. At present we have our own narrowboat, moored at the bottom of the garden and are part of a friendly local boating community. Although we cannot boat ourselves now and at present have our boat for sale, we often have friends mooring at the bottom of our garden on their boats and have small social events, so, in the summer months, you are likely to have the chance to meet people living on their narrow boats and also going for a ride on one and through a lock so you can see how they work.
The most convenient airport to us for arrival in England is Birmingham International airport, which is an easy train Journey to Rugeley Trent Valley station and us. The alternative is by train from Euston Station in London and train to Rugeley Trent Valley where we will collect you.
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
5 hours per day 5 days a week