Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS - In­ter­view/ Emily Simp­son Pho­to­graph/ Chris McKeen

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.

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