07 Aug 2022

Looking for an extra pair of hands

Barbara Stallard pictured at her home Danville House
YOUNG PEOPLE from all over Europe are looking to come to Ireland and one family in South Kilkenny has a very positive experience of taking students on placement from Equipeople.

YOUNG PEOPLE from all over Europe are looking to come to Ireland and one family in South Kilkenny has a very positive experience of taking students on placement from Equipeople.

Barbara Stallard runs three businesses from her home at Danville House in Kilkenny. Driving through the main entrance, the surrounds look neat and picturesque with oak trees framing the entrance and daffodils lining the drive. Danville House Estate once was a dairy farm run by Barbara’s husband Dan’s family. But since Barbara and Dan took over, it’s developed into a bustling livery yard, a popular caravan and camping park and a dog kennels.

The restored Georgian house is quiet impressive. It looks stylish yet homely.

The kitchen is the heart of any home and no more so than Barbara’s. It’s lively with people coming and going and cosy too so that you feel you could sit with a dog on your lap and have a natter in the adjoining conservatory. Staying with Barbara at the moment are her three children, two girls Shani (19), Jess (17) and her boy George (14), her brother over from the States and Gina, a German student on placement through Equipeople to give Barbara an extra pair of hands. Like all students that come to help Barbara, Gina lives as part of the family and Barbara treats her like her own. For breakfast and lunch everyone helps themselves and for dinner, Barbara keeps the meals wholesome and nutritious but simple to make such as spaghetti bolognaise or carbonara or she puts some meat her local butchers has

prepared into the oven with a baked potato and Dan’s mum makes delicious apple tarts. It’s obvious that Barbara has an eye for detail around the home and each and every corner tells its own story. Barbara did an interior course a few years back and just loves restoring every aspect of the house.

Around the home it’s evident that Dan’s late father collected antiques and quirky items. In the hall is a huge Venus statue and beside a restored bookcase is an old Spode horse painting.

“Having Gina around is a blessing” Barbara says, “Without her help I would not be able to focuson the management of the businesses and do the things I enjoy doing such as the interiors and spending time with the children”. Barbara says the calibre of students she has got through Equipeople have been fantastic. “They settle in quickly to the role, family and community and are great company to have around too,” she said.

Gina backs up this sentiment as when asked about her experience at Danville House she says “I never imagined I would feel so at home in Ireland and in Stallards especially. I have made some really special friends and will definitely come back. My trip abroad turned out to be so much better than I could have imagined it to be”.

Equipeople provide a supported cultural, educational and personal development experience for young Europeans from diverse agricultural backgrounds. Students live as part of an Irish rural family and improve their English language skills at the same time. Currently, there is an influx of students such as Gina looking to come to Ireland to stay with Irish country host families.

For more information call Erika on 057 8643195 or email or visit

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