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*** We currently need help from 21st May to 17th June and then from mid August to the end of the year ***
We are a professional couple with 2 lovely friendly and calm horses living on our small holding in the Scottish Borders. We are in the process of setting this up as a facility for ethical, sustainable horse keeping, organic food production for ourselves, and we have a small holiday cottage which we let on Airbnb.
We have 10 acres of land, which includes some very wet areas with natural springs, a newly planted woodland, park land and a large garden which is divided into several areas and includes a polytunnel.
Max has a background in IT strategy and spent most of her career in senior management positions in big companies, involved in programme and project management and business process improvement. Her day job now is horse behaviour and training consultancy, and running our holiday cottage, together with the project that is our place!
Bryan is an expert in business solutions testing. He works full time at home as a consultant for a large IT solutions and service provider. You won't see a lot of him except in the evening and at weekends.
He is also a part time hypnotherapist and loves talking to people about psychology and music.
We have a grand plan to make the place functional, safe, clean, green and handsome, and literally everything we do is with those things in mind. Being green means conserving resources like water, electricity, heating and food and being respectful of insects, animals and plant life.
Our backgrounds are such that we are very organised, and particular about how we want things done, at the same time as being open to suggestions for better ways of doing things.
Personality wise Max is extrovert and direct without being loud and Bryan more introspective and quiet. We both love lively conversation while we work or at dinner, whether that be deep or light hearted.
We've enjoyed the company of some fabulous workawayers, and we’re never more happy than when we have a house full of chattering, laughing, thoughtful people who show how much they enjoy what they are doing and who make an effort to get on with us and each other.
We like openness and honesty, so in that spirit we will say that we prefer to host people who are uncomplaining (about the weather or the work), who never give up trying, even when a job is boring or difficult and who have a strong sense of integrity and take pride in and care deeply about the quality of what they are doing - even if they won't benefit from the results.
We're both very practical and can teach anyone how to do anything that needs doing around the place but we've found it more motivating to do that with people who are really interested and who really care about how well they do something.
If you're interested, we can teach you about horses and horse training but we only do that if you have or plan to keep or work with horses because it's quite time consuming.
We have a BMW GS1200F motorbike and we love motorbike touring. We love being outside in nature, watching wildlife and birds and identifying wild grasses, flowers and fungi.
We’re very kind and caring, but direct people. If you do something we don’t like we will tell you immediately, we’ll be clear about what needs to change, and then we’ll move on and expect you to do the same without resentment.
We will also go out of our way to help you if you have any problems. We trust you to live in and look after our house, we offer you great hospitality, friendship, help and learning.
Before you apply, please read our profile carefully, be honest with yourself, and make sure you are both worthy of our trust, and confident your personality matches what we are asking for.
This is the type of workaway where you live in our house as a guest who we hope will become part of our extended international family.
We try to get to know you, to give you chance to get to know us and to get a feel for whether we think we would be a good fit for each other before you come and live with us.
For that reason, when you apply we will send you a short video explaining more about what to expect and we will ask for a short video from you to explain your motivation to come to stay with us, what you think you have to offer and what you hope to gain from being in our home. We aren't interested in your technical ability to produce a video, we are interested in your resourcefulness. We also like to chat via Whats app for a bit to get to know you, but we won't take long to do this so that we can all make a speedy decision. We prefer it that you don’t apply to us if you are also applying to other places as it is a waste of time for us to go through this process If you already have other irons in the fire. If are interested please contact us with a willingness to make a video answering some questions about yourself. Cheers! Max
Bricolage et projets de construction
S’occuper des animaux
Cuisine/repas pour la famille
We can help with language skills (but you will need a reasonably good standard of English to start with), positive psychology (personal development), and we can teach you practical skills such as horse-care, training, dry stone dyke building and repair, hedge trimming, weeding, planting, construction, fencing, sewing, decorating, woodwork. There would also be opportunities locally for people who want to learn how to use chain saws or other machinery through local colleges.
We nearly always offer to take you somewhere if we are going out either shopping or for leisure. Sometimes we have a day out on the bike on our own but that's mainly because it only seats two :-)
We are one mile from the main road between Carlisle in Cumbria and Edinburgh - the capital of Scotland and about halfway between the two. This is a really good place in the Scottish Borders from which travel both to further north and into England is easy and cheap.
We are also 0.75 miles from the main X95 bus route from Carlisle to Edinburgh and in 25 minutes you can get to Galashiels from which buses run all over the Borders, or to the railway station there that will also take you into the centre of Edinburgh.
So we are a good base from which to go exploring on days off. We are on or close to several long distance walk paths and there is a LOT of opportunity to go hiking and biking from the door or using public transport. We can lend you a bike.
The Borders consists of a number of small towns, each of which is on a river. Each town has it's own character and special things to see and do. They are all easy to reach.
The first thing we want to say is that attitude is the most important thing we need from our volunteers.
If you come with the right attitude we can teach you to do anything! Our experience is that you will find ways to enjoy doing the dullest most boring repetitive tasks for days on end if you have the right mindset.
We need people who care about the quality of what they are doing and want to do the best they can. Being able to work at a good pace is important but not if you cut corners or are slapdash in the interests of speed.
We find that most people with the right attitude are positive, cheerful, sociable (like to chat and spend time with others), energetic, lively, honest and genuine and easy to get to know. They are also resilient, flexible, non-judgmental and uncomplaining.
We really prefer people who are gregarious extroverts over introverts who prefer to be on their own, but there may be times you will be working on your own, so you need to be content in your own company.
In terms of practical skills, then our ideal at the moment would be to find people who either have or would like to get some experience of looking after horses and are happy to lend a hand with any of the various projects on the house, the land and in the garden.
We are also happy to have people with no experience of any of those things but with a genuine interest to learn skills they can use in their own life.
Our current development projects include planting, weeding, compost making, dry stone wall repair, and interior and exterior decorating.
In winter we may do indoor decorating / refurbishment projects if the weather is really bad but mostly we try to be outdoors in all weathers. We really flexible about hours but we will ask a lot of flexibility from you too.
We will discuss your start and finish times and days off with you on arrival and on a day to day basis they may be determined by the weather forecast!
In accordance with the workaway guidance you could expect to help on average about 5 hours a day for 5 days a week but that will vary depending on the weather or the work that needs doing. For instance if we expect to have 2 weeks of hot dry weather we may ask that you work longer hours for those two weeks, for instance to get some windows sanded down and painted or make hay, and then compensate you for that with much more time off when it's raining. That's why we prefer longer staying workers so that we can make those adjustments, and we much prefer people who aren't watching the clock and who can't down tools fast enough as soon as their hours are up.
The weather can vary considerably in Scotland. You need to be really tolerant of both heat and cold and not averse to getting wet. You need to have a good set of waterproofs - jacket and trousers and water proof boots that you do not mind getting mud on. Fashion rainwear is not suitable.
We will involve you in other tasks that are required when you are a guest, such as cooking, baking, laundry and cleaning up after meals and helping to keep your own room and the shared areas of the house clean.
We also offer working student placements for people wishing to learn more about horse behaviour and training where you would receive education in the basics of animal training and practical opportunities to learn how to train horses in exchange for additional hours of help. This does not include riding.
We are really flexible about days off and we try to ensure that helpers get the chance to see the local area and experience the culture, if they want to.
You need to be confident to attempt practical tasks even when you don't have the skills yet. You need to be able to listen carefully and follow simple instructions, have a good go at something and ask for clarification if you aren't sure exactly what to do or want to check you are doing it right.
You are someone who is doing workaway to use your muscles and make new friends and really experience the culture, not just to have somewhere to stay and do a bit of light help while you travel. You want to meet people and get to know them and to get to know the local area.
You are the kind of person who make a big effort to build rapport with people by being actively interested in them and by sharing information about yourself. Your friends would describe you as chatty, open and honest and genuine.
You're someone who finds it easy to actively show gratitude by saying a direct “Thank you” to people for their kindness, their company, their time, the opportunities they offer you, for cooking with or for you, for redirecting you if you're not doing something quite right, for noticing when you do.
You’re a natural volunteer. You don’t stand around doing nothing while someone else is working, or wait to be asked to do something - you offer or you ask what needs doing next. If you don’t know how to do something, you are likely to say “If you show me how you want this done, I reckon I could do that”.
You don’t feel resentment if someone in the team seems to be doing less than you. You don't often find yourself feeling taken for granted.
You will offer to help or even take the lead to make lunch or dinner for everyone and if someone else is cooking, you’ll be first up off your seat or out of your room to offer to help or to clear the table after dinner.
You have broad shoulders (English idiom!) and don’t find yourself feeling criticised, “told off” or micromanaged if you're given feedback that you haven't done something as asked or if you're asked to change how you are doing something. Doing things that are for the horses is a big part of what we do and requires attention to detail and commitment to high standards of quality. Anything else could be fatal for an animal.
When asked to do a task you’re likely to respond with “I’d love to” and a big genuine smile, and you will set about it energetically. You aspire to be able to do things carefully, quickly and efficiently.
A positive enthusiastic attitude to help and play, and a collaborative supportive attitude to other team members will be very much appreciated.
You are interested in nature, wildlife, plants and trees and of course horses.
Because we have horses, we need people who can do the tasks they are given both quickly and thoroughly because attention to detail is important, whether that's being careful to make sure each horse gets the right food, that the stables are clean, ensuring gates and doors are closed or that tools and equipment are put away.
You are either vegan or intend to eat entirely plant based while you are with us.
If you have a previous injury, or any condition that could be made worse by repetitive tasks using your hands, arms, back and legs, such as lifting, carrying, sweeping, sanding down woodwork or working on your knees, or bending up and down a lot, then please let us know in advance and we can decide if we can work around that. We don't want to cause you injury or aggravate a pre-existing condition!
If you have had issues with your emotional or mental health in the past or recently, and/or are currently receiving therapy or are on medication for anxiety or depression or any other mental health concern, please talk to us about that openly before you come.
Please don't apply if you take recreational drugs or you smoke or use a vape. We don't permit any of these on the property, and we prefer not to be around people who smell of smoke.
Cet hôte propose un échange linguistique
I can speak French and a bit of German! Happy to help people improve their English but not from scratch - so you need to be of a good standard already (able to initiate and actively participate in conversation) and looking to be even better! We find that this only works if you are confident and outgoing and chatty - it doesn't work if you are quiet, introverted or shy in our experience.
Sometimes you will have your own room but usually you will share an en-suite room. The rooms are large and the house is modern, well insulated and warm.
Food is provided for 3 meals a day while eating at home, and you would pay for yourself if we invite you to eat out with us.
Breakfast is DIY and sometimes lunch is shared or DIY depending on whether we are in the house. Since we all use the house and have to eat, we all share the work of preparing and cooking food and washing up, loading and emptying the dishwasher, emptying rubbish and recycling, and house cleaning. Cooking, cleaning and washing up time is part of living with us as part of the family and in addition to your "official" hours of help time.
That might mean that we all share the food prep and washing up some days or that you are asked to cook for everyone on one day and have others cook for you on another.
Come prepared to take the lead on preparing food and making meals sometimes. We have lots of recipe books for those who need to broaden their repertoire of dishes. If you're nervous about that we will get you to help someone else who is more confident :-)
We tend to eat our evening meal quite late by normal Uk standards - often we don't eat until 9.00pm. That isn't something we can be flexible about due to the pattern of our work day, and if it concerns you please don't apply.
We eat plant based food. You will be able to come with me to the shops to buy any additional food you want such as chocolate, snacks and so on at your own expense. We enjoy wine and beer and we can get drinks for helpers when we go shopping for which they would need to pay for themselves. A glass or two of wine or a couple of beers is our limit. We do not allow excessive drinking and we have a strict no-smokers and no drugs policy.
What we tend to do is to involve helpers in food shopping so they can influence the choices of meals.
For breakfast you can choose from home made bread, bagels, cereal / muesli and fruit. Lunch tends to be things like soup and bread, salad and vegan sausage wraps, beans on toast. Evening meals tend to be pasta, rice, curries, vegetable stir fry, that kind of thing. We use wine in our cooking a fair amount, and we also like a lot of garlic but the food is not too spicy. If you are willing to try new foods and recipes you will like it here. Provided you eat more or less anything plant based, you will enjoy the food. If you are gluten-intolerant, on a low-carb diet, or dislike or are allergic to several different foods, we are not for you. We try to eat organic produce but we prioritise local over organic.
We do not have a TV and since the purpose of workaway is cultural exchange then we prefer volunteers who want to join in with social activities. We like to play Scrabble, dice games, join in village social events, go to the cinema or theatre together when they are open, and to sit and talk in the evenings. If you are more likely to be found behind a laptop screen, or to be on your phone on social media we are not for you.
In order to encourage cultural exchange and pro-social behaviour with us and our other helpers and guests we do not allow the use of mobile phones at the dinner table or while helping. For one thing your phone can get damaged! If you're doing a task on your own though, then it's fine to listen to a podcast or music on your phone or to borrow a radio.
Consider a stay with us as an opportunity to detox from social media or phone addiction!
We are about a mile from the A7 midway between Hawick and Selkirk in the Scottish Borders. It's easy to get here by train from Edinburgh to Galashiels, or by bus. The bus stop is about a mile from the house and we will collect you from the bus stop on arrival. We are happy to give helpers lifts to places locally on their days off. There are leisure centres, cinemas, cycling, hiking opportunities and loads of interesting historical sites.
Accès Internet limité
Nous avons des animaux
Nous sommes fumeurs
We have good Internet Access available all the time.
We do have flat ground where a vehicle could be parked. But for us the point of workaway is to have workers live with us as part of the family, sharing meals and leisure time. So while we could accommodate a vehicle we wouldn't really want to host workers who want to live separately. But if you are happy to sleep in your van and then socialise and eat with us in the house then that's great!
4-5 hours a day 5 days a week
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