World of Water volunteer reviews

” Where ideas and understandings can be shared, food for thought can blossom, but where practical skills are demonstrated, seeds for future harvests can be planted.”

At our charity’s Field Centre we share and exchange skills with students from around the World aimed at demonstrating practical ways to:

  • conserve water
  • recycle and reduce water use
  • use water wisely
  • keep the natural water environment clean
  • raise awareness of global water concerns
  • educate others on water use
  • research more efficient use of water

By sharing practical skills and working with volunteers from around the World, we spread our research results back across the whole World of Water through those who come to support our charity’s work.

World of Water volunteer reviews

Emily Goss
From: Australia
“It is never too late to say ‘Thank You'” -Grant

Lovingly I thank Grant and Helen for the time I shared with them late last year. The experience nourished and inspired me. I could not have felt more welcome.

I feel I have gained two incredible mentors and hope to take what I learnt home to Australia and create a space with similar energy and authenticity.

Hope all is great at The Hobb…look forward to an update!

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Claire B
From: United Kingdom
I’ve just come back from a super 2 weeks at the HoBB.
Grant, Helen and Thruppence are brilliant experienced hosts and they make you feel welcome at relaxed right from the start.

Grant enthusiastically bounds around the HoBB like Richard O’Brian in the Crystal Maze – and the constructions are equally as creative & intriguing.

I was given a long list of options for jobs and was always invited to choose what I liked the sound of. In the end I spent most of my time building a miniature stone pixie castle tower for a cheese smoker, which I enjoyed very much. Grant and Helen involve you in all that is going on, and genuinely want you to find the time there fun and enriching. They are very kind people.

It is a beautiful corner of Wales, with the 360° panorama of nearby Knucklas Castle particularly breathtaking.

Helen is an amazing cook! Meal times were always a pleasure and regularly developed into fascinating existential discussions. The kitchen is extremely ordered and labelled so if you do end up cooking it’s easy to find whatever you need.

I am sure I will see you again Grant and Helen and 3p! Thanks for such a lovely stay!

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Lou Lou Xin ting
From: China
I knew Helen and Grant as when i searched host at helpx website, as I didnt have long time in wales,so i havent stay with them,but i could still feel they are so nice couple ,they give me lot advises about helpx,and also they are so sweat and helpful, Its a pity i didnt be helper for u ,but i do love wales,wish could back there again .all the best.

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Lorcan Cook
From: Ireland
Bring them fudge and other items of deliciousness! Don’t worry if you can’t though because they will still give you the warmest of welcomes and share with you their wisdom, experience, stories, cosy rooms, scrumptious food and much more :D

The HoBB has so much to offer those willing to learn and try new things. Here are some of the things I got involved in:
– Learning blacksmithing skills
– Renovating a forge
– Cooking food
– A storytelling meeting
– A singing meeting in a yurt
– A few vibrant folk music nights in local pubs
– Creating a gate latch
– Chainsaw maintenance
– Playing with their fantastic dog
– Concrete mixing
– Concrete carving
– Wood carving
– Exploring the beautiful countryside and more

As with most things, the more you bring to the HoBB, the more you’ll get out of it: An open mind, bags of enthusiasm, wild ideas, smiles and waterproof boots are all fantastic things to pack for your time there.

To sum up, I had a fantastic time with Grand, Helen and 3p (their dog) and I highly recommend them as hosts. I hope that the winds will blow me back their way in the future to learn and laugh with them again.
All the very best to them and you, future friend of the HoBB :D

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Matteo Ceddia
From: Italy
Great hospitality and friendship here! Grant + Helen, you are artists of living! Lateral thinking, inspiring ideas and good vibes :)

I learnt working with concrete, carving concrete. For the first time I watched live a forge working and I hit the metal too! Lots of new words for my English vocabulary. I liked so much music jam sessions and storytelling meeting. Helen cooking skills, Grant storytelling, huge laughing… wow! And lots of Little People.. ops, it was a secret ;)

Thank you to 3P, special creature, a good friend from the Land of White Dogs :)

I feel very good, sincerely THANK YOU!

Have a nice Welsh nature and projects!
See you in the “virtual” world ;)
Soon pictures from Ireland and Norway!!
Ciao :)

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Matteo Simone Gliori
From: Italy
…be hosted and help people in their projects is always a honor, sometimes it’ is a privilege.

This place can teach you a new “sense of time”.

definitely reccommended!

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Regina Merk
From: Germany
Dies ist ein Platz voller Überraschungen und Herausforderungen. Nachdem ich keine bestimmtem Vorstellungen hatte, was ich gerne machen wollte und meinte ich helfe bei allem was gerade ansteht, meinte Grant, gut, dann baust du eine Tür für das Pflanzenhaus.
Eine Tür bauen?! Ich war mir da gar nicht sicher ob ich das Könnte, aber Grant war sich sicher.
Als erstes gab es dann eine “Türenführung” über das Grundstück wobei mir die zwei Grundbautechnicken der Türbaukunst erklärt wurden, ich immer skeptisch hinterhergedackelt. Zum Abschluß hat Grant in ein paar Sekunden eine gut aussehende Beispieltür aufs Papier gekritelt. Dann wurde es ernst, ich sollte meine Tür zeichnen – na toll, keine Ahnung, nehmen wir doch gleich das Beispiel. Ich erkläre Grant ich kann nicht auf Knopfdruck kreativ sein. Antwort kann nicht gibt es nicht, ich sollte mich nur darauf konzentrien, welches Merkmal ich der Tür am liebsten geben würde.
Und tata! in weniger als einer Sekunde fällt mir Löwenkopftürklopfer ein. Ich weiß, das ist nicht gerade eine 0,8,15 Zutat und um so überrachter bin ich als Grant sagt, wir haben einen. Jetzt ist die Blokade weg und mir Fällt ein, daß ich unbedingt Fenster in darin haben will. Und siehe da, es gibt 3 ganz perfekt passende als Überbleibsel der Baustelle der Nachbarn. Jetzt ist der Grundstein gelegt und wie machen uns ans Werk. Da wird gemessen, gesägt, gebohrt und geschraubt. Als Handwerkslaie alleine hätte ich meine Idee schwer verwirklichen können, aber Grant ist Profi und arbeitet an meiner Seite mit. Schritt für Schritt nimmt die Tür gestalt an und mir fallen ganz von selbt, weitere Bauelemente ein. Es fühlt sich toll an, im KrativenFluß zu sein. Ich bin stolz wie Oskar auf die Türe und freue mich, daß sich Grant und Helen und villeicht auch weitere besucher daran erfreuen können.
Also wenn Ihr mal im Hobb seit, laßt euch die “berühmte” Tür zeigen.

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Claire and R. Derek
From: United States
Hello fellow travelers!

We just finished our trip here and for those headed that way, you are in for a real special experience. As our first HelpX (a Wwoof alternative) experience, we really were fortunate to land with such great hosts. There were so many nights that we stayed up late talking contemplating solutions to the world, inventing new ones, and learning
loads and loads of just about anything we could think of.

We were at the HoBB which is located in a border town of Wales and England. It’s called the Home of Book Bod, or The HoBB. Let me just say, I’ve learned more here in one day about sustainable methodology,than an entire quarter in a sustainable planning class. It’s a beautiful application of using nature and recycling to create aesthetically pleasing, yet practical homes.

A little about Grant and Helen

Well I already mentioned how wonderful they are, but Grant is a fellow from London. He has an accent that you could mistake him as being someone famous from the BBC. He is quite brilliant, kind, and a character! Really interesting guy. You could converse with him for hours and hours, and we do.

Helen is such a sweet heart. Immediately upon arrival she gave us and in depth history and tour of the local area, stopping by a market too pick up some vegan alternative food. She makes this place feel like a home away from home with her giving nature, fun conversation, and
delicious cooking!

Some topics we talked about:

Sustainability versus perpetual growth. United States and the origins
or consumerism in the world. The importance of keeping hope alive.
Universal consciousness. Dogs.

Some places/events they have take us to:

A shop for vegan items. Dinner at a friends. A story telling group in a pub. A live music group, also in a pub. A tour of Knighton.

Some jobs we’ve undertook:

Transplanting a vine. Planting about 1000 daffodil bulbs. Starting to
build a stone and concrete wall. Fitting floorboards. Loading the
dishwasher. Building a concrete foundation

Talk about inspiration for a sustainable and self-sufficient
lifestyle…we’ve learned so much in 8 days here. And at the end of the day, we go to sleep with our tummies stuffed with the latest delicious meal and our minds stuffed with the latest stimulating discussion.
We had such a great time that we would like to keep in touch. It has been such a wonderful experience with such great hosts that we are planning on hosting one day as well.

Thank you Grant and Helen and 3Pence, we wish you all the best.

With love,
Clairek (Claire and Derek the Horizontalist)

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David Volpe
From: Spain
Acabo de pasar un mes entero en the hobb y la experiencia ha sido muy bonita y gratificante. Grant tiene un gran sentido del humor, mucha energía y sabiduría y paciencia para enseñarte a trabajar con herramientas las cuales yo nunca había usado en mi vida. Mientras trabajas, no te olvides de compartir conversaciones con él de cualquier asunto, naturaleza, construcción, comida, ….Le gusta compartir conocimientos, seguir aprendiendo y oir anécdotas o chistes de tu país de origen.
Por otra parte Helen siempre estará preocupándose por cocinar comidas de tu agrado y que tu estadía sea cómoda.
Es un lugar relajante, donde yo, que siempre estoy mirando la hora, ni me he acordado de usar el reloj en todo este tiempo.
Ah, y si te gustan los perros, Threepence es un encanto. Una preciosa Bóxer blanca que siempre quiere jugar.
Sólo puedo decir: ¡¡¡muchas gracias!!!!

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Andy Melhuish
From: United Kingdom
Can’t believe I’m only just now leaving a review! And I promised you a whole blog post too…

Had a luscious time here with Grant and Helen and 3P. Grant and I took on the roof of the latest Bod and had it watertight before the snow and rain. It was a tremendously edifying and satisfying to be part of the project, which so many others have and will continue to contribute to. Excellent food courtesy of Helen, and many many pleasant conversations!

See you again, I hope!

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Dom Busher
From: United Kingdom
Go here, open your mind, take a deep breath and enjoy! Beautiful minds and souls. It’s high time I visit again. Loving kindness, thinking and feeling are all encouraged! Creativity is key.

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Regina Merk
From: Germany
helen and grant are perfect hosts. they are charming, funny, welcoming, smart, intersting and creativ people.
the accomandation is like in a bed and breakfirst, helen takes well care of your stomache and grant takes care that your work is not boring. you can choose in what you are interested to do and if you have no experience grant is very good at explainations.
and they have the frendliest and happiest dog i ever met.
you feel more as a friend or guest then a helpexchanger.
there is a lot to laugh and a lot to talk about. very insperativ and highly recommanded, go for it and take the cahnge to learn on every level.
thank you very much for two to short weeks in your place, regina.

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Titania Veda
From: Indonesia
For a person that needed both physical and mental stimulation, I found both here. The place is simply a paradise tucked behind the Welsh hills with spectacular views. But more than that are Grant and Helen who made me laugh from dawn to dusk every day. Within the first few days I was helping Grant finish up a rustic doggie gate that was started by Sergio, another helpxer, and drawing up a blueprint of the dog kennel. For this city girl, every day was a different experience and I learnt something new every single time, from how to rasp and chisel wood to what type of saws to use and how to sharpen the blades of a chainsaw. I’ve never had a more patient and knowledgeable teacher than Grant. Helen’s cooking was creme de la creme, made from scratch, including her famous elderflower drinks. And the watercress for her salads were picked fresh from the garden. Both Grant and Helen were the warmest people I had ever met, and so full of life and wisdom. All in all, I left with little pockets of wisdom that I could carry with me. And I couldn’t have asked for more than that.

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Sergio Morales Camino
From: Spain
I stayed here for two weeks in the middle of June. I´m proud of being the first Spanish Helper to visit this magical place. If you are looking for inspiration, this should be definitely one of your best choices.
Grant will make you think in a different way -I´m afraid I´m not going to find somebody capable to turn a breakfast conversation into such an inspiring experience!-. Although I´m neither an experienced builder nor carpenter, Grant taught me the basics of these fine arts with infinite patience, giving me a taste of a lot of the tasks: mixing concrete, building a stone wall, a brick wall, setting a slab, building a gate, fixing some woods on the roof of one of the sheds…But he has his own method, using recycled materials in an artistic and nature friendly approach. Sorry for bending so many nails!
You will have the chance to develope your own ideas. You will be encouraged to develope your own ideas!
In many ways, they have given me tools to use in my personal life.
Helen will take care of you and you will enjoy some of the most delicious dishes you have ever tried. She is an outstanding cook. Thanks for the pink rice, the lamb and the hare!!! And thank you for driving me to Beacon, where it blows the freshest air in the English-Welsh Border.
Both of them helped me a lot to improve my poor English. My notebook has now memorable pages of expressions and new vocabulary.
The place is simply beautiful, the accomodation is fantastic and the garden around the house is full of life. (I promise I saw both the plants and the insects doing really weird things! Will it be the magic of the HoBB?)
Dioch, thank you very much, muchas gracias Grant and Helen!
I will be back to see the Kudo and the Forge and the Flying Bridge finished!

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Alastair Brayne
From: United Kingdom
I cannot say enough nice things about this place. Helen and Grant are both superb folk and will give of their energy in a way that is so rare to find these days.

The place is beautiful, the food is great, the chats brilliant and the madness infectious. I’ll be going back. No question. And I’ll be taking this place forward in my heart too. A gem.

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Kiersten Broderick
From: Australia
I stayed with Grant and Helen for two weeks in February and was not only given great food and accommodation, but also learnt new skills, learnt about history and life in the area and was shown some very interesting places in both Wales and England.

I greatly enjoyed the conversations around the table and in front of the fire at night. This experience was not only a great way to see a part of the UK but also challenged my ideas and thinking.

I hope to go back and visit Grant and Helen sometime.

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Russ Sherry
From: United Kingdom
I stayed recently with Helen and Grant and enjoyed my week with them.

Grant and I worked together on a water tank, constructing a small sheep pen and sieving soil and stones.

Cooking was done by Helen and all our meals were very tasty and nutritious — exceptional in fact!

Both Grant and Helen are very interesting people and we had many great conversations over the dinner table. The whole place is bubbling over with original thinking and ideas.

I shall be contacting them both again soon to arrange a return visit.

I can recommend this placement wholeheartedly.

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An infinitely large THANK YOU for all the thoughtful and energetic support goes out to all our volunteers across the whole World of Water.

A special ‘thank you’ to Tracey Blunn, John C. Jones and also the Late, but never forgotten, Jill Kirby who was our first Secretary and became a founding Trustee when World of Water received its Registered UK Charitable Status in 1986.

Thank you to WoW Committees and volunteers, past and present:

Leila Ali & Robert Bartlett; Diana Beecroft; Caroline Bird; Chris Blake; Richard Broadhead; Anthony Casey; Will Clarke; Sudesh Cole; Jacqueline George & Alison Gordon; Andrew Hare; Heiki;  Phuoe Huynh; Joanne Jeffries; Richard Jones; Duma Langton;  Lindsay Milner; Jon ‘Mitch’ Mitchell; Judith Mwenje; Riadh; Carl Reynolds; Aileen Robbins; Dave and Linda Southall; Julia Steed; Adrian Stubbing MICS; Mathew Swoffer; Mike Talbot; Marie Thomas; Dave Tillotson; Graham White; Heather Wren.

And thank you to the following for their help and support since our launch :

Alexandra Theatre (Birmingham,UK) * Andry Montgomery Group (J.Southam) * Arlington Mill Museum & The Lord Ashdown Charitable Settlement * Aston University in Birmingham * Tracey Avery * The Bass Museum of Brewing * The Late Alex Behrendt * Bibury Trout Farm (C.I.Peters) * Steve Biddle * BHBN (Linda Gotch) * Birmingham and Midland Institute * Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Art Gallery * Birmingham College of Food and Tourism (Michael Godard) * Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery,UK (Museum Education Dept.) * Birmingham Nature Centre * Birmingham Central Library (Anne Everall) * Birmingham Voluntary Bureau (BVB) * Ellis Birt * Boulton and Paul * British Broadcasting Corporation * Prof. Niall Bromage * BRMB(Radio) * Canon (UK) Ltd (Simon Elwell) * Casa Pupo (London) * Conchological Society of Gt. Britain and Ireland * The Conservation Foundation * Craig Denston (Masks) * Richard Digance *  The Donside Paper Company, Aberdeen * Dunbarton Museum and Library (Helen Dyson) * Beryl Cornish * European Community * Fleur Easom (Sculpt) * Earth Centre, Conisborough * European Aquaculture Society * Ewos (U.K) * F.G.F. (Aston) * Fishing News Books Ltd. (Vivien M. Heighway) * Frank Forest * Foster Brothers * Rowena Garratt * Janet Grifffiths * Jasco’s (Sound and Light) Ltd  * Prof. John Guillebaud * Paul Hales * Hawkins and Manwaring * John Heaton Animations * Helensburgh Museum * Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry * J. Hewit & Sons Ltd. * Highland Water Gardens * Hippodrome Theatre, Birmingham * Brian Hosgood * The Late Lee Hudson * Martin Hulse * IBM (Paul Appleford) * Institute of Fisheries Management * Interbuild Exhibitions * ISTEL, Redditch * Ken Jackson * J.Sharp (Jasco’s Sound and Light Ltd.) * John C. Jones * Keighley Museum and Art Gallery * Kenning Vehicle Hire * Louise Kourris * Dr. Peter Landless * Rustie Lee (BBC Radio WM) * The Late M.H.Lloyd, B’ham Fish Market * Lloyds Bank * Llwybr/Pathway * Louis Draplin Ltd.(Printers) * Sue Lyons * Margaret Tregoning (Florists) * MacFarlane Laboratories * Kiko Matsuzuki (Mikimoto Pearl Museum) * Prof. Alan Matty * Metronews * Midland Glass Gallery * Dr. Derek Mills, Dept. Forestry & Natural Resources * Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries (J.W.Ramster) * Jonathan (Mitch) Mitchell * Monsanto Co.(London) * Graham Nall * National Aquarium, Washington, USA (Craig Phillips) * National Farmers Union * Natural History Museum (London) Zoology Dept. (Mr.Wheeler) * John Needle * Newhay Fisheries Ltd.(Dr. Martin Jaffa) * New Zealand High Commission (London) * Norsenet * James Oribine/Fish Masks * Oxfam * Pembroke Fish Farms * The Post Office * Powys County Council * Priory Hospital, Bimingham (Dr. Nigel Smith) * Project Dynamo (Welsh Development Agency) * Rank Xerox (M.Bradley) * Rea Valley Conservation Group * The Late Miss Mary Richards * Peter Smith Associates * Sqdr. Ldr. Peters * Stephen Smith Public Relations * Rackhams (B.Stellard) * Rugby Library and Art Gallery * Ian Sandy Entertainments * Science Museum, London (Joe Roome) * Sevem Trent Water,UK. * Shell Film Library * Smith and Sons (Birmingham) * South African Consul, (London) * John Southam Exhibitions *  South West Wales Tourist Authority * Antonia Spowers * Paul Stanley * Stephen’s Plastics * Stoke-on-Trent City Museum and Art Gallery * J.& W. Stuart (Scotland) * John Taylor (BBC) * Phillipa Townsend * Sietske van der Veen * J.Vickerstaffs * Warwickshire Museum * Watermill Trout Farm (Martin Hallam) * Wednesbury Art Gallery and Museum * Western Australia Consul, (London) * West Midlands Area Museum Service (Jocelyn Orchard) * Whirligig Theatre Company (David Wood) * White Rose Pharmaceuticals * Jenny Wilkes (BBC Radio WM) * Kay C. Wilton (Costumes) * John Wincott * Woodlands Hospital (Mrs. Beckett) * The Worshipful Company of Fishmongers * Youngs Seafoods (P.S.Lackington)