top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Charity shop in French village is lifeline

Charity shops are not often part of town or village life in France, but the one in Beauville, Lot-et-Garonne has celebrated giving away more than €50,000 in five years.

Run by the Bon Coeur Association, which is made up mostly of British volunteers, its president, Charles Miskin, said they split money raised about 50/50 between human and animal good causes, mostly local.

“Among about 30 others, we have given to Cancer Support France, a refuge for battered women near Agen, a donkey refuge, an association training guide dogs for the blind and we have recently given €500 to our mairie towards a water fountain.”

Open five days a week in a village with just 580 inhabitants, it is welcomed as part of a small group of shops which help to keep the community alive. The shop owners offer it rent free as they are happy to have it used year-round for charity.

Manned by volunteers, it sells books, 90% of which are in English, clothes, jewellery and household items.

Mr Miskin said: “We try to keep open all year round and there is a constant flow of customers. The donations we receive help us keep a good turnover of goods, and we try to pass on excess to other good causes.”

Bon Coeur ( also organises three big events a year: a 10,000+ book sale on May 1, a Franco-British Pétanque match on July 14 and they run a bar and sell picnics for an annual Shakespeare play by a touring London theatre company.

Volunteers also help at other events and Mr Miskin said he was keen to help groups across France as the idea works anywhere.

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France