The Connexion's glossy 2017 calendars have raised €500 each for Cancer Support France and Jardins Ouverts/Open Gardens.
A new calendar for 2018 will be on sale from September. A third charity will benefit from sales, The British Charitable Fund, Paris, which helps British citizens in desperate need of financial support and who fear that Brexit will increase the number of people they need to help.
The 2017 calendar featured 12 images of France as well as information about some of the country’s most attractive places, some quirky French facts and puzzles, plus monthly highlights from festivals and important anniversaries to unmissable regional events.
The calendar cost €12.90 and for each one sold €2 went directly towards the two charities.
Penelope Parkinson, National President of Cancer Support France (CSF), said her association was pleased to receive the generous donation from Connexion. CSF has trained volunteers who give practical help, information and emotional support adapted to the individual needs of Anglophone cancer patients, their carers, families and those closest to them. Mrs Parkinson said the money would be used to help in train voIunteer Active Listeners. “€500 will cover the average costs of four trainees or enable us to send a trainer to an association which does not have its own trainers for the two-day Initial Training Course. The calendar initiative of Connexion is hugely beneficial to us.”
CSF was founded in 2002 in Poitou Charente by Linda Shepherd after she was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer shortly after she moved to France and felt that she needed to talk to someone about her fears and worries in her mother tongue. She has since, sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer herself but has left a legacy of 15 affiliated, but independent associations throughout France and has helped around 2,000 people in the past 15 years.
The Jardins Ouverts/Open Gardens raises money for charity by encouraging garden owners to open up their gardens, big and small, for occasional days and visitors pay €5 for a one-off visit or €10 for a membership card giving them access to any of the gardens for one year. It was started five years ago and there are now over 150 gardens in 28 departments. Last year the association raised a record €23,000 with €12,000 going to A Chacun son Everest which runs courses in the Alps to help children and women who are in remission from cancer but need help restoring their confidence after treatment. Another €4,000 was split between 7 other charities.
Mick Moat, President of Jardins Ouverts/Open Gardens says he is delighted with the “wonderful donation of €500 towards our fund-aising efforts.”
He hopes to use the money to purchase banners to decorate the association’s stands when they appear at plant fairs and shows to help attract new members: “These are essential venues for our future development, particularly throughout the whole of the east of the country where we currently have virtually no gardens at all. I think this is because there are fewer British people living there but my experience tells me that when we have the chance to talk directly with French gardeners they really like the concept. To do this we must talk face-to-face with the French and plant fairs are the ideal place to do this.”