Mandy & Grant

From: New Zealand

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    Account Type

    Couple account

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    Travelling to

    Italy, Portugal, Spain

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    Travel dates

    16/12/2017 - 16/12/2019

  • Badges

    Top Workawayer

  • Description

    Greetings! We are Mandy and Grant Nelson, relishing the second big travel adventure of our lifetime. We left New Zealand and hit the road in Australia in December 2017. We took over a year to drive about 65,000km around the coastline of Australia, spent a month in France, three weeks in Switzerland, ten days sailing around the Greek Islands, three weeks on Crete, a few days in Athens and now we have hit Italy. We will be working in Tuscany and Umbria from the 1st of October until the 10th of November and in Andalucia, Spain, until about the 24th of November. Events back home might allow us to extend our travels but, at this point, we have about three weeks left available to volunteer: from about the 24th of November until the 16th of December 2019.
    Our working background is as founder-owners from 1984 to 2017 of a successful, full-service marketing and ad agency in New Zealand. We are interested in most types of volunteer work as we travel but are looking in particular for marketing or community arts projects. Too young to retire, we are concentrating on making new friends, having a laugh, sharing what we have learned about marketing, advertising and publishing, and acquiring awesome fresh skills as we explore the globe.

  • Type of help

    Babysitting / child care
    Elderly Companion
    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Charity work
    Language practice
    Art project

  • What skills do you have?

    As a couple:
    We have owned six houses and renovated five of them as well as fitted out three offices for our business. We have also designed and planted two extensive gardens. We are both competent cooks, keen on nutritious, real food made from scratch. We are fit and healthy, and keen to help with preparing food; caring for wildlife or pets; caring for old people or kids; helping kids with homework or creating artworks; working on general light indoor or outdoor maintenance; harvesting produce; or manning a market stall or a gallery. Together we can also contribute at an exceptionally high level to a marketing plan or strategy for any small – or big – business.

    Mandy says:
    I am highly experienced in writing, illustration, marketing strategy, and administration. I studied Latin, German, French and English at school, and studied German, Psychology, and English Literature and Linguistics for a year at university before transferring to graphic design. As a writer, I have become skilled in writing marketing, advertising and web site copy; developing creative concepts, marketing strategy and proposals; and naming products. I am renowned for my ability to shape information into a cohesive hierarchy as well as my slightly annoying tendency to try and improve the grammar, style and punctuation of unsuspecting clients. I have become a great proof reader and editor. When I am not being frustratingly logical, I like to write triolets and saucy limericks for friends.

    I have illustrated hundreds of commercial and editorial projects in England and New Zealand, hundreds of life drawings, and four children’s books. My first book, ‘What’s Wrong With Bottoms’ by author Jenny Hessell, made me a joint finalist in the Goodman Fielder Wattie New Zealand Book of the Year in 1987 and got me individually nominated for the Russell Clark Illustration Award.

    I hope Workaway will present me with a chance to connect with a local environmental, art or historic renovation project. I plan to combine Workaway time with remotely managing my real estate and other investments; writing and illustrating a travel blog; writing and illustrating my own children’s book; and discovering new, regional foods.

    Grant says:
    I trained as a graphic designer and have worked in marketing and advertising in the UK and New Zealand. I excel in managing client relationships and project management. In the UK, I worked on accounts for clients Merck, Sharpe and Dome, Dunhill, and VNU Publishers. Working with G&A Creative Agency, I managed accounts for one of New Zealand’s biggest state-owned enterprises as well as many significant tourism-related businesses. I have always had an easy relationship with people and work well in a team.

    From primary school age, I have sailed yachts competitively. I represented Canterbury and New Zealand, individually and as a valued crew member, in several classes of yacht. I hope Workaway might offer me the chance to pass on some of my sailing knowledge to a few kids who would relish the chance to give it a go. As the muscle behind many of our house renovation projects, I might also be the ideal candidate to help a Workaway host renovate an historic longboat, dinghy or similar vessel. Contributing to a local environmental project is also one of my goals. I plan to balance my Workaway time with following my interest in photography, meeting new people, trying new foods and perhaps some local wines as well.

  • Languages spoken

    English; some understanding of French and German

  • Age

    63 & 61

  • Nationality

    New Zealand

  • What else ...

    Mandy says:
    I am pretty keen on hiking through the bush or up a mountain; riding my bicycle; skiing on bluebird days; kayaking on calm waters; learning yoga and exploring art galleries. When I am not being physically active, my greatest pleasure is to immerse myself in a good book. I hold a current New Zealand driver’s licence and a current first aid certificate. I do not smoke. I have never had a brush with the law and have the official document to prove it. I am really interested in wildlife and rather fond of cats.

    Grant says:
    I am not only familiar with New Zealand’s coastal waters but also equally at home in the back country of the South Island where I enjoy taking excellent photographs; kayaking on lakes and rivers; fishing; skiing; or simply hiking up for a view. I am a non-smoker and I hold a current first aid certificate and a police clearance certificate. I also hold a current New Zealand P driver’s licence (I am permitted to drive passengers), and have driven as a tour guide in New Zealand’s rugged South Island.

  • Some more information

    • Smoker

    • Driver's licence

    • Allergies

    • Special dietary requirements