help exchange   Host 29675
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Help Exchange

All Year: Yes
Area (ha):
Persons: 2
Category: Accommodation Business
Host ID: 29675
Country: England

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Last Updated: May 21, 2019


Helpers needed from the beginning of June. Minimum stay 4 weeks. We don't plan too far ahead as all depends on how long the current helpers staying or extending but you can try. Sometimes we know when exactly we will need more helpers. For example one is leaving last week of July as well



I studied Chemistry and I used to work as a Teacher and a President of an Education Charity for developing countries, I am living in Birmingham since 2012 but I am originally from Spain.
In 2015 I did a change in my career and I set up a guesthouse which gave more freedom than full-time teaching, and I enjoy meeting people from all over the world. And now we just opened 2 new properties for holiday lettings.

Right now I am not always in Birmingham so a couple (Anano and Albert) are helping me with the management. They live in one of the rooms at the guesthouse and I live in another room when I am there, but we always keep in touch via Whastapp mainly so the 3 of us will take care if you.


We have 4 properties, 3 vacation rental ones that need to be cleaned only after each booking, and 1 guesthouse(shared apartments).

The guesthouse has 2 floors with 14 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 at some occasions, someone would need to stay at home for the arrival and welcoming if I am not there.


The work is shared with another 3-4 helper

Primarily the tasks include; daily cleaning, 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 helper as it's 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).

Also, I have 2 cats: Simba and Dora, and we need to take care of them as well, changing cat litter every 2-3 days and feeding them everyday.

Note that the 20-25h per week (4/5 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 dryers- 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 to you)
- Tidying up the dishes from the kitchen before going to bed


The help required will be the daily cleaning of the flats, help with managing bookings online, help with re-decoration and maintenance work, preparation of rooms for guests.

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 the 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 someday 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.


Helper will be provided a food budget every week. At the moment we pay 40 pounds per week which if you follow our advice about where to buy according to volunteers it`s more than enough but if you don`t have enough and you explain to us reason 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 for 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 helpers to pay a deposit on arrival when they sign the helpx exchange 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 helper 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 helper break the agreement.


With just 20-25 hours per week is 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 ranges 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 nightlife 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 B&B 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.

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