We have decided to postpone opening to Work Exchange until at least 17th October. This is because when we first open again, following the Covid-19 lockdown, it won’t be possible for any guests to be fully part of the community for their first two weeks and you would also be unable to help us with Love in Action tasks. Also, the number of people we will be able to host will be very reduced to enable us to provide accommodation for this period of isolation for all our guests.
If you are looking to volunteer with us after this date feel free to get in contact, but be aware that any date that is organised may be subject to change depending on circumstances beyond our control.
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.
If you are interested in volunteering with us you will be mainly supporting us by cooking, working in our organic gardens, or by helping out with maintenance. It might be possible that your help is needed in other areas as well, such as wood splitting or animals. It will depend on the priorities of the community at the time of your stay. In our initial contact with you we will agree the areas you will be working in. Like everyone in the community you will also be expected to help with the washing up after some of our communal meals.
We are currently looking for help with: –
The cook shifts involve preparing food for 10-15 people in the winter and 15-25 people in the spring and summer. 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 1 shift a day or every other day.
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. 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 weekend, 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 you will already know what Love in Action tasks you will be doing. If it is unclear to you what you will be doing that day, please say in the intention round that you will check in with the Work Exchange Focaliser.
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.
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, finishing a job, cleaning up tools, etc.
At times there are sociable gatherings on an evening, such as music, games, film nights etc.
The initial stay as Work Exchange is a commitment of two 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 3 months but this is dependent on the needs of the community at the time.
Accommodation will be in a your own room in Community House, our work exchange accommodation, or possibly in one of the cottages during the winter. 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 may be sharing with other volunteers which could be male or female. It may be you may have the cottage to yourself, depending on the season and how busy we are with guests. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.