Help needed

Hello peeps wondering if any of you guys can help,I have just bought a barn and am going to convert it into six gites and am doing it on a shoe string so I am looking for some help does anyone know of any websites that offer free help/workers…obviously I will feed and board anyone who comes I am in the dordogne…any pointers much appreciated…


I have come upon this discussion rather late in the day , but I have looked at the Workaway site and it is international, looks as though it is a viable option....but like you when I've mentioned it to friends feloow expats over here they have all told me 'computer says no !..', yet if you look at the site there are people over here asking for help and people prepared to give it....

I think particularly with ongoing restoration projects, there is an emphasis on picking up skills and sharing skills.....maybe the education part of it allows it to be accepted. Presumably if it was illegal the French wouldn't grant it a license to operate....?

I would be really interested to hear if you have solved the problem and whether you have used any of these organisations ?

Arrrgh why must I keep repeating myself its not the set of 12 years a slave come and stay beautiful part of france do as much or little any bi helps they give me a bit of a hand and I give them happy memories…if you struggle with that …tough…

Good luck with it all, Steve…Id love my son to do it, and believe he, and many others, would too! :)

Hello Steve,

My eldest daughter has had several assignments with including placements with French hosts, and has had a fantastic time. It is very popular with younsters back-packing their way around Europe or even the world, as you can see if you take a look at the site. However, as they say, you get what you pay for. Even if the majority of people registered on the site are prepared to work hard and get their hands dirty, you could well end up with someone who doesn't even know how to hang their own washing on the line.

As for the thorny issue of free, slave labour in France, this is perfectly legal if covered by a 'convention de stage'. If you have your own company, you could maybe look ino this option.

The abovementioned daughter has experience of this also during her Bac Pro in agriculture and believe me, she has worked many more hours than a workaway and has had far worse living/sleeping conditions.

You are very welcome.

As I said earlier today on another thread, I can't be doing with rudeness and that includes comments which are basically akin to walking into someone's shop and saying loudly "I don't like anything in here" rather than just leaving quietly.

Steve, I think it is a brilliant idea.

I have a son in his 20s who I am sure would benefit greatly from an opportunity to do something useful, and learn skills such as team work and responsibility in a beautiful part of the world.France has a long history of community support labour, whether it be picking grapes or strawberries. I will certainly mention it to him. do you have dates in mind? I imagine that going through the sites mentioned would be a good idea for insurance reasons.

Please don't mind the trolls, I think most people would understand that your not advertising for slaves, and after all they would be free to leave! you might find yourself inundated with offers...there is a growing community of people offering their time and or their places for free in exchange for experiences... and a chance to learn.

Thanks cathrine …sometimes its like swimming in treacle…


I'm a little shocked by your attitude Geoff! As a mum of three teenagers I'd be delighted if they did something like this! And as a teacher of uni age students, I find that lots of them do this type of thing during the holidays and get a lot out of it, up to and including improving their English!

Right, that's enough exclamation marks! I shall go and be shocked elsewhere.

For gods sake I am not some Alabama cotton farm owner I am not a slave driver i am looking for some people who will also benefit from seeing a beautiful part of France that they would not normally be able to afford the would be well looked after …days out, free food and wine the use of a car of which I will make sure is all legal before I get berated with people telling me to do so …they would do as much or as little as they wished and could make the stay as long or as short as they wish …so for the last time if you are not giving me actual advice which is all I have asked for in my post please go find something else to make coments on…sheez…

In that case watch out for abus de biens sociaux, using your own company to do work for yourself or your personal benefit (rather than work for a client for which you charge & declare tax etc) is also a délit...

That's why the French have laws against travail dissimulé.

Seconded, I would only do it for shares/equity in the business. Charity work would be different and legal.

Please just remember that things like electrical work needs to be properly signed off, my hubby did much of the wiring for our barn but we got our builders electrician to complete the installation and certify it all, for our kitchen.

There are international sites where people who are travelling like to do just that. Getting around to interesting places, eating well and lobbing in to some of the work that needs doing. Generally younger people, but it can be a cool, fun way to get around. My son is really happy in Switzerland doing this right now :slight_smile:

Look at and - plenty of people are happy to get around Europe and the world like this. My son is working in Switzerland via HelpX right now! Good luck!

James i thought I had worded it in a non threatening manner…I accept that you have taken down my comment but I would also ask what about the first sarky remark that was made in reference to my request…after all its what started this little handbags at five paces …

I've had really good experiences with wwoofers for over 15 years - travellers who work for food, board and knowledge. It used to be only for organic farms, but that's been relaxed a bit recently. Hosts and workers are registered, all above board :)

Good luck!

Thanks Karen.