Work Exchange

The Erraid community often welcomes the help of volunteers to support us in our daily tasks. We can host a maximum of two volunteers at the same time.  We are currently full to Work Exchange bookings.

When places are available, w can offer a minimum stay of 4 weeks which may be extended up to a maximum stay of 12 weeks once you are here.

As a Work Exchange volunteer, you will work more hours than our paying guests and will help us ensure that we complete all the work required in our community.  You will be provided with accommodation.  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:
– COOKING
The cook shifts involve preparing food for everyone, often 10-15 people but sometimes more. 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.
– GARDENING
Digging, weeding, planting, watering, …
– FIREWOOD
Splitting wood with a hydraulic splitter, making kindling with an axe.
– ANIMALS
Feeding the chickens, cleaning the byre.
– MAINTENANCE
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, 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 to 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 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 this difficult due to the pressures and distraction of community life then discuss this with the Work Exchange Focaliser.

Community meals include lunches on Monday, Tuesday & Thursday, and dinner each night except Wednesday and SundayThe other meals are do it yourself (DIY), however food is provided for you to cook with as you please. 

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 in the evening, such as music, games, film nights etc.

Accommodation will be in Community House 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.  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 nightand 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 protected] 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.

Extending your stay

If you wish to stay longer than four weeks you can have a chat with the member responsible for supporting Work Exchange volunteers.  They will take a request to the weekly business meeting and if it feels right for you and for us, then we can extend your stay for up to 12 weeks.