Janey and Andrew Carr and their son Laud, 10, live in a bach at Bethells Beach, West Auckland, with four cats, four chickens and two dogs. The Carrs are co-founders of Swathe.me, a direct support platform. JANEY/ The first time I came to Bethells I thought, wow this place is like going 20 years back in time. We waited for a year for a property to come up. No one around here sells. This one came up and we were just in there.
This is a bach. Originally it was a weekend place for us. We were renting in town and then our landlord sold and we thought, why don’t we go and live at Bethells? We’ve never looked back.
We don’t need a big house. If you have a big house you have a lot more stuff. You don’t need all that crap. We gave a lot to charity. A lot. I don’t miss any of it.
This is perfect for us. It’s right by the beach, north-facing, it has another little bach on it that provides income. It’s so close to town but it’s in the middle of nowhere.
Laud is an only child and all the surrounding neighbours have kids his age and they just run back and forth like we did when we were kids. The internet connection’s not that good and it forces you off the grid.
Swathe.me started because we had a friend who was diagnosed with cancer and we didn’t know how to help. We wanted to bridge the gap between people who need help but don’t like asking and those who want to help but don’t know how.
So the person makes a list of what they need. It could be walking the dog, making meals – all the things you can’t do when your life gets turned upside down.
And instead of saying “what can I do?” you can give someone exactly what they need.