All Year: Yes
Category: Accommodation Business
Host ID: 29675
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Last Updated: January 8, 2018
*** Update January:
- At the moment we don't need anybody, one of them is very happy and staying till March at least and the other one till February, probably March, and in March we already have another one interested in replacing him...
Usually we don't select volunteers until we know when the current volunteers are leaving, we know it's not good for planning but it's good for the current volunteers since they don't feel pressure to leave and that is more important for us.
Anyway you can apply any time and if we like your profile we keep in touch and let you know when we have any position available
I am a Teacher and a President of a Education Charity for developing countries, I am living in Birmingham since 2012 but I am originally from Spain.
Since 2015 I am doing a change in my career and I set up a guesthouse which gives me more freedom than full time teaching, and I enjoy meeting people from all over the world.
Your help would be appreciated as well because thanks to you I will have more time for the Charity. The charity provides scholarships to poor students in Central America, paying towards their University and of course you are welcome if you wanna give us a hand as well, most of the charity job is done online.
ABOUT THE GUESTHOUSE - SHARED APARTMENTS:
The guesthouse has 2 floors with 15 double bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 2 kitchens and 2 living rooms distributed in 4 flats (2 on each floor) so it's like a shared apartment where guests rent a room, it is very well located near the city center of Birmingham, UK. All major entertainment, shopping, natural parks and leisure centers are walking distance and in close proximity but we also have 2 bicycles to rent for guests that can be used if they are free if you choose to explore the city on your own or with us. There are endless things to see and discover as it is an open city with so many different aspects of industry and culture mixed into one. Birmingham has 571 parks totaling over 3,500 hectares (14 sq mi) of public open space, more than any other European city.
Usually we have several rooms occupied by medium term students and young professionals from all over the world and we organize barbecues, dinners, nights out together... inviting short term guests if they fancy. The bookings vary in length and sometimes we can get short notice bookings and even varying times of arrival so on some occasions someone would need to stay at home for the arrival and welcoming if I am not there.
ABOUT THE POSITION:
The work is shared with another volunteer so you have to work 3 days and he works the next 3 days, so half of the days you are off and you can travel, etc, Also you can agree the days with the other volunteer so if you agree him you can take holidays, make courses, work in another place...
Primarily the tasks include; daily cleaning, changing Dora and Marvel's (My 2 cats) food and cat litter box, preparation of rooms for guests, welcoming guests on arrival, helping with the online bookings and information and advice for Birmingham. Please note these tasks are a must for every volunteer as its essential for the running of the place and you will need a smartphone with WhatsApp and ideally a laptop or tablet for checking the bookings, etc.
Secondly your practical skills, ideas and DIY abilities will be required (when there is decorating and maintenance), other times your social and language ability (when entertaining and helping international guests communicate) and also Tourism Management knowledge such as online marketing (Channel Managers, Webdesign, SEO/SEM etc) BUT you you don't need to help with that if you don't want/know. Currently most of the work required is in daily cleaning, and room preparations for bookings. Later on we will be focusing on marketing and showing a better image for the place through, social media sites, blog and website and even branding.
Note that the 20-25h per week (3/4 days off per week) are distributed in the following way:
- 11am-2pm: Daily cleaning (Kitchen, Bathrooms, Living room) + Weekly cleaning (Corridor, Stairs, Deeper cleaning of the Living room, etc)
And the other 3/4 hours are not fixed in time so sometimes you have to come back to the hostel to welcome a guest, etc, but the main jobs include the following:
- Preparing the rooms (Not every day, some days there are no guests checking in but some days there are several rooms to be prepared which means, changing bed sheets, cleaning surfaces and vacuum cleaning the carpet, and washing and drying -We have 2 dyers- the sheets)
- Answering emails from the guests, asking them what time they arrive (We don't have reception, etc). This task must be done along the day but you can do it from your smartphone too and we are 2/3 people answering emails...
- Welcoming guests (Sometimes they say they come at a certain time and we have to wait because they are late... Although we have a solution for that. We will explain you)
- Tidying up the dishes from the kitchen before going to bed
UPDATE MAY 2017:
We have a team of interns who can do the online job and welcomings from 2-3pm till 7-8pm and also Manu is usually doing all the welcomings and online job so your job is basically the daily cleaning which is much easier but he can teach you the online job and you are welcome if you wanna do it. It can be very useful for your experience since you can learn how to manage an hospitality business...
If Manu is not here (No plans to leave yet), when you are on duty and there are empty rooms, you have to be awake until midnight just in case somebody books a room but when Manu is here he is doing that unless he has something to do outside.
The help required will be the daily cleaning of the flats, giving Dora and Marvel (Manu's cats) food and changing their cat litter box, help with managing bookings online, help with re-decoration and maintenance work, preparation of rooms for guests, especially short notice bookings, welcoming guests and interacting to build a good experience for them, advising about Birmingham. The daily cleaning should take no more than 1 hour per floor.
The secondary tasks, only if there is enough time, will be helping with ideas to promote, advertise, market the company using social media, website, blogs, optimizing booking system and ads for rooms on airbnb, booking.com etc. Additional languages than English, knowledge of Art & Design, Branding and Marketing is advantages in this secondary jobs.
6-7 hours per day, 3-4 days off per week, is what we are looking for in exchange for accommodation, meeting new people from around the world and an experience to enhance personal character and push yourselves further than before.
IMPORTANT: At the moment we can offer a room that has a single bunk bed for 2 volunteers so note that you would have to share the room but if some day there are free rooms at midnight the volunteers can use them as long as they prepare them the next morning. Usually leaving the personal belongings in the volunteers room and taking just your sheets to the available room.
FOOD FOR HELPER:
Helper will be provided a food budget every week. At the moment we pay 40 pounds per week which if you follow our advise about where to buy according to volunteers it's more than enough but if you don't have enough and you explain us reasonably why you need more we can pay you more, but bring some money in case you desire something special yourself, so you won't need to spend any money really except the transport to get here and entertainment if you choose to go out evenings with us and friends.
In some places it is common to ask the volunteers to pay a deposit on arrival when they sign the volunteering agreement and they commit to notify the departure day with enough time, etc., and if they break the agreement they lose the deposit, but we prefer not to do that just in case the volunteer cannot afford it, but that is why we keep the money for food of the first the month as deposit and we could take away some amount in case the volunteer break the agreement.
With just 20-25 hours per week given for the volunteering you have all the remaining time each day to explore the city, its cultures, hidden gems, its people and its life. How much you learn, experience and take away is totally your choice and your work ethic to strive forward and experience.
Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK with one of the most diverse range of cultures and people and an open city full of natural scenery and modern architecture, including more than 500 parks. With a vast range of entertainment, public places and night life the volunteer will gain from many levels of social, economic, cultural and language diversities.
The role within the hostel will provide opportunities to improve in the English language and many others as we host guests from all over the world. Furthermore the role will provide business knowledge of the service industry including the experience needed to run a hostel or bnb and the necessary skills to maintain one.
The role will also provide opportunities to build business and social connections with guests and people in the UK to further create career paths for the future.