The Erraid community usually appreciates the help of volunteers to support us in our daily tasks. We can host a maximum of 2 volunteers at the same time.
From the 31st October we are opening to volunteers. We have a minimum stay of 4 weeks which can be extended up to a maximum stay of 12 weeks. If you wish to stay longer, please let the Work Exchange Focaliser know, so that we can make time for a chat to see how things are going. The Work Exchange Focaliser will check in with the group at the business meeting on Thursdays. If it feels right for you and for the community it is possible to stay for up to 12 weeks but this is dependent on the needs of the community at the time.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, in your first 2 weeks you would be social distancing from the community residents and short term guests (who will also be social distancing). This means that you will have a basic cottage to yourself, and the jobs that you will be supporting with will be outdoors. This includes Gardening, Wood splitting and maintenance.
After your first 2 weeks you will most likely move into a cottage with a resident and maybe another Work Exchange or long term guest, but you would have your own bedroom. We would then also ask you to support with holding cook shifts for the community’s communal meals. You would also be added to the rota for KP (washing up after the communal meal), and possible feeding the chickens. In our initial contact with you we will agree the areas you will be working in.
Here is more detail on what the jobs entail: –
The cook shifts involve preparing food for 10-15 people. You would be the main cook and would have support from someone if needed. You would decide what meal to make with the ingredients we have. If we have a big group then you would get help with cutting vegetables and washing up. The lunch shift is from 10 am to 12.30 and involves making a soup, and preparing a tea break. Dinner shift from 2 pm to 6 pm, full meal. You would be doing anything from 1-4 shifts per week.
Digging, weeding, planting, watering, …
Splitting wood with a hydraulic splitter, making kindling with an axe.
Feeding the chickens, cleaning the byre.
A wide range of different maintenance tasks including: Painting and decorating, basic building maintenance, engineering, plumbing, electrics, woodwork…
When you first arrive, there will be time on Saturday and Sunday to settle in, as well as have an orientation tour of the community buildings and island. In a typical week, you will be expected to work roughly 5 to 6 hours a day for 5 days a week with Sunday and Wednesdays as your days off. Your daily work time will be following the morning meeting from around 10 am to 12.30 pm, and from 2 pm till 5 pm, with tea breaks in the mornings and the afternoons. Afternoon cook shifts finish at 6 pm when dinner is served. The animal rota to feed the chickens consists of 3 days shifts, this could include Sundays and Wednesdays. Saturday, after the first 2 weeks, you will join in with all residents in cleaning our communal areas and then continue work in the afternoon.
You will participate in the community’s morning meetings. In the morning meeting we take some time for reflection, check-in with how we are all feeling, and tune into the tasks for the day. Residents offer out Love in Action tasks, after which guests decide what task they would like to participate in. As you are doing work exchange we may already ask you to do a particular job before or in the meeting. If not, then you can choose from what is offered out, but we would ask you to be flexible to help with what is most needed.
It is important that the work you agreed to do is achieved and if you find due to the pressures and distraction of community life it is not clear then discuss this with the Work Exchange Focaliser.
Community meals include lunches on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, and dinner each night except Wednesday and Sunday. The other meals are do it yourself (DIY), however food is provided for you to cook with as you please. In your first 2 weeks the kitchen in the cottage you will be staying in is very basic.
We hold communal meditations on Sunday and Friday to start and end the week, which you will join in with. There are additional evening meditations at 5 pm on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. You are welcome to join in these additional meditations, however we ask for flexibility to prioritise work, e.g. if you are on a dinner cook shift dinner is expected at 6 pm.
At times there are sociable gatherings on an evening, such as music, games, film nights etc.
Accommodation will be in Community House for your first 2 weeks (and possibly longer), our work exchange accommodation. Community House does not have an indoor toilet, but has a compost toilet outside. There is a shower, and a very basic kitchen, with the only sink in the cottage being in the kitchen. There is no WiFi in the cottage, but are welcome to use the (slow), WiFi in our communal areas. You will have this cottage to yourself. All bed linen and towels are provided.
We have a limited supply of wellington boots, waterproof clothing and warm layers that can be borrowed, however we would recommend that you bring plenty of layers, plenty of socks, a waterproof jacket and trousers, walking/work boots, and any other clothing and footwear that you may need for living on a Scottish island. It is also useful to bring a head torch, as it can get very dark at night, and also a laptop or other device if you wish to access the internet during your stay.
If you would like to join us as a volunteer, please get in touch through email@example.com and tell us a bit more about yourself, what skills you have and what dates you are available. Arrivals and departures are always on a Saturday.