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Many hands make light work

19 Feb

I was thinking today about the many people who have stayed here as volunteers. Some stayed for a couple of weeks and many have been able to donate much longer periods of time to the project here. And some have come looking for a new lifestyle and have wanted to test out living in a different way. All have been special in their individual ways.

So thank you to the volunteers who have worked here over the last two years:

Hugues, Sally, Siobhan ,Joseph T , Anna Lena, Andries, Emanuel, Sven, Sarah, Insa, Florina ,Ioana (Jo), Daniel, Pavel, Dorothea, Megan ,Victor, Clemens, Hannes, Aidan, Ilkka, Kasia, Olena, Ellie, Richard, Robert, Kevin, Luis, Nadir, Nicolas, Katherine, Sarah, Simon, Daniel, Alberto, Alberto, Marie, Massai, Sean, Dylan, Michael, Hannah, Nicholas ,Manuela, Christine.

Here are some photos of the volunteer team in action:

We can always do with more help. There is much that remains to be done. So if you know a person (over the age of 18) who would like to spend a minimum of two weeks in the glorious south of France, then send them this link:

www.volunteer-france.com

If you want to know more about how we work with volunteers then see this blog post.

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Here are some of the tasks that need doing:

Raise funds for turbine project
Repair bridge outside rear door to 2nd floor of factory
Clear debris from 3rd, 4th and 5th floors of factory
Rebuild wall by rear of 2nd floor of factory
Repair retaining wall of old track to factory
Fit carpet for training room
Clean all carpets
Make and install sound partition for 1st floor sliding door
Cut 6 bamboo roots from by the river to develop into plants
Empty one composting toilet storage bin
Fix leak in Little House roof
Fix leak in Big House roof
Improve Little House terrace
Improve reception area
Clear up debris from parking area outside factory
Move wardrobe from top floor of old house to first floor factory
Decorate sink in corridor factory second floor
Sort two garages of various personal stuff
Supply and fit door from staircase on 2nd floor
Clearing track of leaves
Strim turning area and move rocks
Wooden steps from 2nd floor – smooth off, rub down and varnish
Replace broken or missing glass panes on river side of 1st and 2nd floors
Remove grass cuttings from 3rd floor terrace
Lay wooden boards on 2nd floor
Fix window by wooden steps on 2nd floor

The Garden Office rises once again

14 Mar

After languishing, in pieces, in one of the garages, the Henley Garden Office that was so much loved by us, and lovingly taken down by all our friends, has finally seen the light of day.

After collecting dust, and neglected, for the last 15 months, we finally had sufficient hands here to put it up again. It’s taken three days and we’ve got to get the roof on, but it’s great to see it again. We can’t wait to occupy it!!

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What a difference a builder can make

14 Sep

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Thanks to Andy (a volunteer who is spending two months here at The Peace Factory) the steps leading up to the Little House have been repaired. We had been concerned about these for ages. Some steps had crumbled away and getting to and from the Little House was quite difficult, especially at night. Andy arrived and within a few days had started work. Fortunately we had a cement mixer, sand and cement still on site. It took him just three days to totally refurbish the steps. Andy is a professional builder from the UK, taking a two month sabbatical. But he has decided to do what he loves doing best – building!

Flushed with success, Andy then teamed up with Nadage, Alex, Sarah and Damien (four more volunteers) to completely re-work the garden between the factory and the Little House.

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Without volunteers, progress would be very slow here. In return for their labour, volunteers receive free accommodation in the Little House. This has six small bedrooms (single bed, table, light and cupboard), plus storage space for suitcases and other possessions. They share the kitchen, living room, bathroom and toilet. Living communally generates a great team spirit. And you get to learn about other people’s cultures (and languages).