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Support fund is lifeline for Britons in France

The British Charitable Fund offers financial support to British people in France who find themselves without sufficient resources to live on.

Created in 1823 by the British Ambassador Lord Granville in response to the poverty suffered by British migrant workers and their families in Paris it is still as vital today.

Supporters have included Charles Dickens, who, in 1863, gave readings from Little Dombey and The Trial from Pickwick in Paris to raise money; and there was a fundraising ball in 1865, attended by the Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie.

Last year, the fund helped 76 households, a total of 139 people, and gave out €250,000.

Trustee chairwoman Julia Kett said: “We will give money to anyone who really needs it, anywhere in France.

“It is hard to ask for charity and it takes courage to send us an email or pick up the phone. If people contact us it is because they really need help.”

One person helped was a 55-year-old self-employed lorry driver unable to work after a fall. He said: “I would like to express my gratitude for the support the trust has given me over the last two years, a period when, financially, life has been very difficult. Happily things are improving. I can see light at the end of the tunnel.”

One mother of two struggled to make ends meet after her husband left and said: “I was overwhelmed when I opened my mail and found a clothing grant for my children.

‘‘They are in great need – we have been gluing our shoes together for an awfully long time now!”

Help comes in the form of a monthly grant for outgoings such as rent, electricity, food and heating. It usually continues for around 18 months.

Sometimes, for an elderly person it can last the rest of their life. To give a donation or get in touch see the website

The fund is one of three charities to benefit from the sale of the 2018 Connexion Calendar. It will receive €1 from every sale. The calendar costs €12.90 on pre-order until November 1, 2017 (after then it is €15).

You can buy a calendar at the SHOP section of our website or call Nathalie on 06 40 55 71 63.

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