Philip

From: United Kingdom

  • ...

    Account Type

    Individual account

  • ...

    Travelling to

    Bulgaria

  • ...

    Travel dates

    01/02/2013 - 31/12/2020

  • number of facebook friends

    Nº of Facebook friends

    58

  • Badges

    Explorer
    Top Workawayer
    Facebook verified

  • Description

    I AM NOT VOLUNTEERING IN 2019. (I'M HOUSE HUNTING IN BULGARIA!) MAYBE SEE YOU NEXT SUMMER.

    I have volunteered with over 50 hosts around Europe since I started full-time in 2013. I volunteer because I like to learn new things and help people. I am not a tourist, and I don't treat hosts like hotels.

    Recently:
    For the last two winters I have done paid work as a luxury guesthouse gardener/handyman in Saint Tropez. I will be returning there in September 2018. This Summer I visited a cousin in Geneva that I met through my genealogy research, and then went to Paris to collect my Estonian e-Residency.

    Past:
    I lived in the centre of England, in a small city named Derby. I worked with finance computer systems for the National Health Service. Aged 32, I quit my office job and sold all my possessions. Now I own only a backpack of clothes and a laptop computer. I'm the opposite of a hoarder. I used other volunteering websites such as WWOOF and HelpX, but now I prefer Workaway. My route has taken me to England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Spain, Portugal, the Canary Islands, Bulgaria, Greece, and now France.

    Manner:
    My university degree is Artificial Intelligence, so I like to eliminate human labour. For example, my favourite job is to organise cluttered sheds or attics so that things are easy to access, and I dig stairs in hills so that people can walk more easily. I also try to be ethical. I have volunteered at an immigrant community in Granada for three months, and self-funded a month at a Syrian refugee camp in Athens. I prefer to travel by land instead of flying, for environmental reasons.

    Suitability:
    I am mature, respectful, and tidy. I adapt to your lifestyle. I don't smoke or drink alcohol or use drugs. I have no criminal record. I am fit and healthy with no medical problems (except car sickness). I have private global health insurance. I have a sleeping bag and work boots and gloves, but I do not carry a tent in my backpack. Hosts say they like me because I am "uncomplicated".

    Hobbies:
    Some hosts worry that their location is too quiet, or that they are too busy to entertain me, but I am happy to entertain myself. My hobbies include:
    *️ Genealogy research. I like being a detective, finding my DNA cousins: https://www.wikitree.com/genealogy/Mills-Family-Tree-7869
    *️ Updating Google Maps with local places. Google calls me a "Master Trailblazer" because I work in rural locations.
    *️ Moderating a discussion group for 30,000 volunteers and hosts: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OrganicFarmVolunteers/
    *️ Modern strategic board games such as Catan / 7 Wonders / Magic. I like computer games, but board games are more sociable.
    *️ Donating blood. But Spain and France don't accept English blood.
    *️ Calisthenics. I like to protect my body from injury by practising good form.
    *️ Language practise. I use DuoLingo, and Anki flashcards.
    *️ I do NOT enjoy live music. Please don't take me to see local bands or recitals.

    Food:
    I eat everything. I have no allergies. I drink just tap water, no tea or coffee. If I'm preparing my own food then example meals are breakfast muesli, lunch sandwich, and dinner pasta. If you are vegetarian then I am content to join in, I used to be vegan before I started volunteering on farms. I know that hosts love volunteers to cook for them, but honestly I am bad at it, though I am willing to try making some things if you feel like taking a risk, but it may be better to let me chop the vegetables and wash the dishes instead.

    Contacting Me:
    I reply to all messages. I always leave objective feedback about my hosts, to help manage the expectations of future volunteers. My Facebook page contains my recent activity: http://www.facebook.com/philipbroughtonmills

  • Type of help

    Gardening
    Building
    General Maintenance
    Farmstay
    Other
    Help with Eco project
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Helping with Tourists
    Charity work
    Language practice
    Help with Computers / internet
    Teaching

  • What skills do you have?

    Please do not overestimate my competence based on the number of hosts that I have helped. Each host has different jobs, so I have tried most things only one or two times. I am not a professional. Many hosts give me a list of jobs and then trust me to organise my own time, but I am also happy to work as an assistant. If given the choice, I prefer to work early in the morning while the temperature is cool, and finish at lunchtime.

    Garden/Farm Experience:
    *️️️️️️️ mowing lawns, strimming
    *️️️️️️️ weeding, pruning bushes, débroussaillage of trees, safe bonfires
    *️️️️️️️ sowing seeds, transplanting, installing irrigation, mulching
    *️️️️️️️ firewood chopping and stacking
    *️️️️️️️ harvesting vegetables, trimming, weighing/packing veg boxes
    *️️️️️️️ collecting eggs, milking goats and cows by hand

    Renovation Experience:
    *️️️️️️️ painting with brush and roller, varnishing wood
    *️️️️️️️ concreting posts, repointing patios, plastering walls
    *️️️️️️️ trench digging, levelling ground
    *️️️️️️️ high work on ladders/scaffolds/roofs
    *️️️️️️️ straw bale building

    Domestic Experience:
    *️️️️️️️ housesitting pets, plants, and pools
    *️️️️️️️ housekeeping: bed making, bathroom & kitchen cleaning
    *️️️️️️️ furniture assembly
    *️️️️️️️ serving hot drinks, pot washing
    *️️️️️️️ fixing computer problems, spreadsheets

    English-Teaching Experience:
    *️️️️️️️ TESOL certified.
    *️️️️️️️ I speak clearly, without slang.
    *️️️️️️️ Taught immigrants for 3 months, conversation classes for 1 month, and tutored three children aged 8-14.

    I have NO experience of:
    *️️️️️️️ chainsawing - I've not used one yet, but I have watched safety videos.
    *️️️️️️️ plumbing, electricity, tiling
    *️️️️️️️ horses
    *️️️️️️️ driving (I'm a devout pedestrian)
    *️️️️️️️ childcare

  • Languages spoken

    English (native), Español (básico), Français (de base).

  • Age

    39

  • Nationality

    English

  • Some more information

    • Smoker

    • Driver's licence

    • Allergies
      Cars! I become sick very easily on twisting roads.

    • Special dietary requirements

Photos

Profile photo, taken March 2019.
Burning brush in Scotland, 2013.
Insulating a straw-bale house near Madrid, 2013.
Mucking out donkeys in Wales, 2016.
Some simple steps to help ascend this slippery bank.
Crafting statues at a Buddhist temple, 2016.
Cleaning guesthouse in Saint Tropez, 2017.
Protecting veg box crops from frost, 2013.
Plastering (badly) for busy parents in Wales, 2016.
Disorganised shed before tidying...
...and shed after tidying. You can walk around!
Organic farming in Bulgaria, 2015.
Leaf claws ready in Marbella, 2017.
Dogsitting on Greek island, 2016.
A muddy farm near London, 2013.

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