Many of you will have encountered Holly Cross in your dealings with the WWOOF UK team. She’s been a WWOOFer, is now a host and her work with us puts her in the forefront of our interaction with members. We asked her to reflect on her first year and a recent introduction to our website.
It’s been almost exactly a year since I started working for WWOOF UK as Personnel and Organisational Administrator. I’m incredibly proud to be an employee of such an inspirational organisation, and have had plenty of work to do as the charity became the direct employers of the staff, as I took on the job of making sure we were safe and fairly employed.
Whilst it might not seem obvious from the job title, one of the most important parts of my role within the charity is to respond to feedback from WWOOFers and hosts who might have experienced problems during their WWOOF exchanges. I’m always glad to do anything I can to make everyone’s WWOOF experience fantastic; this can be anything from reminding a WWOOFer who has not shown up with a host about WWOOF’s ethos of mutual respect, to chatting to a host about how to improve standards if their WWOOFer accommodation is not quite as described on their host profile. We’re always really glad to hear from you about your experiences – in fact, it is only really through members’ feedback that we can get the full picture of what’s happening out there in the world of WWOOF in the UK.
As a way of increasing the support we can give to our members, we have recently made a Safeguarding area on our website. The page includes information and links which might help if you’re thinking about WWOOFing or hosting with kids or vulnerable adults in your care, or if you think you could be vulnerable yourself. This is all intended to empower you to have a great time wherever or however you WWOOF, and whoever you are. You can navigate to the Safeguarding page using the Resources drop down on our main website menu.
It’s going to be really interesting for me to look back in another year to see how many more people are connecting with each other, and with the land, through WWOOF, and what small part I might have played in making sure the exchanges that go on are of the best quality they can possibly be. As I always say, when signing off from e-mails or when I say goodbye after a chat over the phone with a member – happy WWOOFing!