Member experience: kind Home Base Holidays members help find London accommodation for daughter
‘During this summer (remember it?!) our daughter, Jo, a student at York University, was offered an internship with the fantastic opportunity for work experience to help her career prospects. With only two weeks’ notice that she would be based in London, and with the Olympic games looming, panic set in when we started to search for accommodation in the Canary Wharf area for four weeks in July/August! Having been quoted thousands of pounds for a room not large enough to swing a cat in and miles away from the office, I contacted several London Home Base Holidays members with an unconventional request of accommodation for her within a family home, in exchange for some time either with us, or the promise of some owed time at our place.
Within days, the replies began to come in. Some apologies from people who couldn’t help but wished us well with our quest, but one fantastic lady, another Mum, who understood the dilemma we were in. She was able to accommodate our daughter for her first two weeks, which was great. A few days later, we had another reply from a lady who, although she hadn’t got the ideal conditions, had a friend who might be able to help us out for a very small fee. If this wasn’t suitable, she offered her sofa! Her friend's accommodation was suitable and we very promptly sorted things out. It was an exhausting process – bad enough not seeing your children for months, but to then have them sort out some hard to come by work experience only to be unable to afford to live anywhere suitable, what a difficult situation!
Jo was able to complete her period of work, thanks to the kindness of some Home Base Holidays members and their friends. She had a fantastic time as the house guest of two families. The first lady and her son have recently spent a week in our home whilst we were away, so we have been able to re-pay a bit of their kindness, although I will always be indebted to these people.
I don’t think I could quite believe the kindness of people and the willingness to try to help. Jo has made lifelong friends (as I’m sure we will when we eventually meet) and it’s great to think that in this suspicious world that sometimes seems full of bad things happening, there are lots of good things too. People do still care and try to help one another out in their time of need.
When I talk to my friends about how all of this came to be, they can’t believe my luck. I must say neither can I! I would recommend that if other people were able to help in this way, go for it. Ask for help, because there are some wonderful people out there. We are human beings and meant to be sociable and you just never know when you might need a favour.
Thank you Home Base Holidays; I’m so pleased I’m a member’. - Clare Child
See Clare’s home for exchange on the edge of the beautiful Lake District.