All Year: Yes
Area (ha): .2
Category: Accommodation Business
Host ID: 42302
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Last Updated: September 29, 2017
Help to create and support a healthy restaurant and yoga studio to change people’s lives! (in Ontario, Canada)
Hi and welcome to our awesome project to change the world!
I have been traveling and working in the building industry for ten years. I'm a certified industrial millwright, with a lot of experience and schooling in all the trades. I have led different volunteer groups from all over the world to build a university in Korea in 2011. I have continued to work in different countries as I have travelled around the world and all over Canada. I have also lived in Holland for a year and Australia for more than two.
At the beginning of 2015, we had the chance to purchase a building to create a Cafe Veggie restaurant that currently serves our little city with wholesome locally grown food. In the summer of 2015 we converted an old doctors office into a local, health food restaurant with the help of foreign volunteers from all over the world. This health food restaurant is one of our main focuses this year. It's a chance to gain experience and use your talents artistically, through culinary art and sign art. We are new at this and we seem to continually be organically growing with a new need for marketing, signage and new creative recipes needing to be introduced... One of the reasons this project is so important for our city is that there currently isn’t anything available for the public that is healthy in the downtown area. Nothing! We want to be that presence here and fill that need and be the best servants around. After all I do believe there's no higher calling than service. Or as Gandhi puts it “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
WHAT YOU COULD LEARN during this project is mainly dependent on how much you want to put into it. That is how it works in life anyway, right? What you get out of a situation is often dependent on what you put in. We only ask for 5hrs a day for 5 days a week, but there is always another project you could have fun with and use your creative talents to grow. We have an amazing atmosphere and great work environment that I’m sure you could thrive in.
We have a lot of neat projects that we want to start though the length of your stay and your motivation will determine if you are able to tackle a particular project. We ask that you stay a minimum of 1 month to receive the full benefits of our community initiative. If your goal is to stay for two or three months or more there are opportunities to get involved in more of the longer term projects we are starting to run. See the HELP section below for examples of what you could be doing!
In addition to "you" the travelling volunteers, there are also local volunteers that will be working with you that are fluent in English and happy to chat with you. If you are looking to improve your English, this is a great opportunity! We are always looking for couples and long term health nuts, and can accommodate more than one person at a time.
Type of help
Help in the house
Help with Computers / internet
(Can add text here or not? Maybe edit?)
There are always a variety of projects that you can get involved in here at the HEALTHY rabbit! We don’t expect much experience, however for a few projects we need volunteers with relevant experience and skills. If you are keen to learn a new skill, we may be able to help you learn some new skills during your stay! Below are a few examples of what we have done in the past as well as some “live” projects we are looking for help with. This list changes all the time so it may not be up to date, but gives you a flavour of the sort of things you could get involved in!
LONGER TERM STAYS
If you are able to stay longer (3 months minimum), there are some more specific things we could use your help with and sometimes its possible to offer small $ with accommodation/meals. This is dependant on your skills and experience.
CYCLING – Are you a keen cyclist and fancy biking around the local area dropping off healthy food? Starting from June 2017, we are looking for someone to help make sustainable deliveries on an electrically-assisted bicycle. Soon enough you will know your way around Brantford on 3 wheels! We can provide road safety and bicycle competence training but an asset to this would be having a valid drivers license in your own country.
VOLUNTEER LEADER – We have had over 100 volunteers staying in 2016, and could use some help from an experienced person in making sure their experience is as good as it can be! If you are organised, enthusiastic about volunteer engagement and full of good ideas this could be a great way to help us! This additional responsibility includes knowing the great things to do in the area, coming up with great new ideas for what volunteers could help with and organising volunteer events.
START A REGISTERED CHARITY – This is a process with many forms to be filled out and ideas to be developed. There is also a lot of government grants that we could apply. If you have experience of some sort that is related to this we would love to see this come alive. Might require a high level of English skill.
CONSTRUCTION – we have many projects popping up all the time that could be in need of some strength, experience and an eye for precision.
If you’re looking for a great place to stay and help while traveling, then we’d love to hear from you! Our short stays are for the minimum of 1 month. Below are some examples of the help you can get involved with for the time you are with us. Though we have some of these projects available its not always possible to start or continue them as there is a lot of factors to consider that change our day-to-day schedule. Saying that, please come with an open mind and willingness to help in any way. Also let us know if you have specialized skills that could really be a help ?
MARKETING - As the restaurant is just getting up and off its feet we have to let the whole community know about our restaurant. We have outstanding projects for social media, custom shirts, and coupons or flyers. We also have a rabbit suit if you fancy acting like a sports mascot for a day!
CONSTRUCTION/TRADE: Our yoga studio is built but needs to be finished off. We are looking for additional hands to help make it a beautiful space! This includes basic painting and decorating that everyone can do, as well as more active involvement if you have trades experience. For example we need a new cement slab installed, a floor installed on top, fully insulated and boarded upstairs and down and some interior decorating. We also are looking to create an amazing bike rack for the public to park their bikes, so if you know how to weld and know mechanics, let us know!
ART PROJECTS: Are you arty in any way? Then we want to hear from you! We want to be a hub for creative cultural exchange in our community. Whether it’s making beautiful chalk art murals, woodworking sculptures or creating handmade bowls and plates, we’d love to provide a channel for your creativity! We are looking for volunteers with skills in pottery (making mugs and bowls), wood work (making signage, paintings and sculptures), landscaping & design (shrubs, a professional design drawn up for a patio and removing old fences and install large and beautiful new ones in select areas!)! If you have any skills in this area we are keen to hear from you!
EVENTS – We love running events for the local community. Something as simple as a conversational language event can enable you to practise your language skills while doing a cultural exchange with locals! Many of our events raise money for charity, and it’s so rewarding to organise an event to support a local cause ?.
There are many many things that we have achieved through the support and teamwork of volunteers. We are very proud of what we have all done together! The below list gives you some understanding of what we have already done, so the kinds of things you could help with in your time here!
CAFE RENOVATION – in 2015, with the help of many volunteers both local and less local, we took a run down old building and turned it into a full functioning healthy and fresh food cafe! There was a whole range of things we did varying from the renovation of the building itself, developing the menu and recipes, creating artwork to hang up, restoring furniture, setting up a website and doing marketing for the big launch!
BRANTFORD RUNNING SERIES – Getting people moving is a really important part of what we are trying to achieve! We have organising a number of fun runs for charity over the past couple of years, and volunteers are a really big part of it from the initial planning to marketing to making sure everything works on the day!
Long-term future plans: Our goal for the future is to create an eco village that is fully sustainable. We want to create affordable housing that brings a higher quality of life with no negative environmental impact.
Besides the knowledge and experience you will get, you get free lodging! Our host building is near the restaurant. We have a volunteer apartment, where the layout is similar to a hostel (with bunk beds & storage space), kitchen, living room and laundry facilities on site. if you are traveling as a couple and are planning on a lengthy stay, we occasionally have a private room for you.
Brantford is just one hour west of Toronto and in a great location to visit and travel to surrounding tourist areas and local hidden treasures. The city is known for the most famous Hockey player Wayne Gretzky who grew up here. It's also where Alexander Graham Bell worked on developing the telephone and it was runner up to be the capital city of Canada but got beat out by Ottawa. We also border one of the largest native reserves in the country and many local walking trails and conservation areas – the waterfalls are a must see!
What else ...
Do you love running? Well this is a great location for some beautiful runs! I’m a ex-triathlete and I am very active and love living a healthy lifestyle. During the summers I direct a variety of charity races 5km 10km and sometimes half marathons. If you love running and fitness I will definitely get you free entry into our races if you’re interested and there is also volunteer positions needed to be filled at the races as well :)
On Mondays, we play in a Frisbee league (summer only) that you're welcome to drop into and also Basketball Wednesday mornings and Volleyball Thursday evenings, if you’re interested (all year). There is a local yoga studio which does multiple classes every day. Until ours is open..!
Additionally, to working with healthy food we are trying to build a yoga studio and there is so much more fun stuff to keep us busy and having fun...!
The building is located less than a 1 km walk from a beautiful river to swim/canoe in, a running/walking/biking path along the river. This path extends hundreds of kms to a lot of the relevant cities surrounding Brantford. A forest nature area is just a five min walk, or a run, great for a chill session. I have four bikes available for use and my family has a beautiful pool across town that on hot summer days will be another option. We are right in the hub of downtown, 5min walk from the greyhound bus station and 15min walk from the train station.
WHAT’S INCLUDED: We cover all your basic needs as far as food, a bed, laundry, and high speed Internet goes. We also have a new and private gym on site that you will be able to use freely and a running group that heads out every Friday at 5:30pm. There are several yoga studios near by and a beautiful river and forest trail just a couple streets over. In the center of downtown, just a short walk, there is an outdoor winter ice rink (sometimes free lessons run by locals are available here too!) and summer splash pad with free outdoor movies on Thursdays and bands out there a few nights a week. You will only need to budget for food when the restaurant isn’t open (one day a week), your days off and for fun activities!
If you’ve made it this far and are excited about the opportunity to work in a great team improving the local community through tasty, healthy food and exercise then check our schedule and drop us a line ?
Schedule for beds available: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10iC_I13ku-mfwA-s6LlBTX9MdDTqORDoRR0lcdJcFdU/edit#gid=0