spotlight on RHC Jane Thurlow

Aug 26, 2017

In a recent newsletter we mentioned that there are Regional Host Contacts (RHCs) around the country; that is a network of experienced, knowledgeable WWOOF members who are available to support hosts to engage positively with WWOOFers and provide a good quality experience.

As an occasional feature we will be providing pen portraits of some of these individuals. In this edition it is the turn of Jane Thurlow. She looks after South Yorkshire and Derbyshire. We had a chat with her and asked her to tell us all about being an RHC. Here’s what she said:

What first attracted you to WWOOF?

I was a member back in the late 70s with good intentions to go WWOOFing, but then managed to get my first allotment and working full time meant I never actually went WWOOFing. Fast forward about 20 years and I found I knew the local regional co-ordinator and invited her to talk to an organic group I had set up. At the end of her talk she suggested that I could become a host. It had never occurred to us that we could do this as although we had a large garden and allotment, we didn’t have a farm. But we thought about it and signed up as hosts. At that time most of the WWOOFers were from the UK doing weekends. We haven’t looked back since and over the years must have hosted hundreds of WWOOFers from a wide range of nationalities.

What advice would you give anyone thinking about becoming an RHC?

Being an RHC isn’t too onerous – in my case just being available to any host in my area who has a particular query or problem and arranging the occasional get-together is most of the job.

Tell us about a memorable moment for you as an RHC

That must be when I arranged a get together at the Pennine Community in Wakefield. It was particularly good to have hosts AND WWOOFers from the area there. We had a lovely lunch, tour of the site and some time working together. It was a great opportunity to encourage those who had joined but not yet WWOOFed to take the plunge. They could see that us hosts could be quite friendly!

If you would like to connect more with hosts in your area becoming an RHC might fit the bill! Anyone over the age of 18, has some experience of hosting or WWOOFing in the UK, likes meeting new people, is happy using the phone and emails as key methods of communication and doesn’t mind keeping basic records is welcome to apply. The ability and time to visit hosts would also be helpful – but is not essential. Get in touch using info@wwoof.org.uk.

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