Autumn book sale in Paris for SOS Help

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THE English language helpline service, SOS Help, is holding a fund raising event in Paris next month.

The book sale takes place on Sunday 11 October at Orrick Law Offices, 31 avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, 75016 Paris from noon until 4pm, where books of every type will be available, with paperbacks costing only €1 and hardcover books costing €2.

And between 1.30pm and 2.30pm, Janina Rossiter will be reading children's stories, so bring your kids along for storytime while you shop. Janina is the author and illustrator of the Tovi the Penguin series of children's books.

If you have books to donate then stop by on the day of the sale or contact SOS Help via email to donate larger quantities in advance.

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Lance Armstrong makes tour return for charity

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has made a low-key return to the Tour de France roads.

There were no fans, only dozens of journalists at a supermarket car park in southern France to see the 43-year-old cancer survivor join a charity ride which follows the route of this year's race.

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Armstrong, who was stripped of the seven Tour titles he won from 1999-2005 after admitting to doping following years of denials, is taking part in the One Day Ahead charity event.

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Médecins du Monde in Nepal to offer medical help, and also launches appeal

THE French humanitarian organisation, Médecins du Monde, has been offering support in Nepal after the devastating earthquake over the weekend.

They already had a team in the area offering advice on health and child care, but this team has been expanded with the arrival of 12 extra staff including doctors and nurses.

Médecins du Monde says that it has sent around 20 tonnes of equipment to help in medical situations and in disaster relief.

And has also as launched a fund raising campaign for people to help in support of the Nepalese people.

Officials say more than 3,300 people are now known to have died, including 3,218 in Nepal making it the nation's deadliest disaster in more than 80 years.

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Get on your bikes to help Cancer Support France

CANCER Support France groups in the south of France are joining together to organise a 240km fun cycle ride along the Canal du Midi, a UNESCO heritage site and one of the most scenic routes in Europe.

This is the first time CSF groups have collaborated in this way and the biggest event ever organised by CSF in France.

The goal is to raise awareness and funds to support the network of associations helping English speaking cancer sufferers (and their families) living in France.

On the 7 June, cyclists of all ages will set off from the Pont-Jumeaux in the beautiful pink city of Toulouse. Riders will pass the mystical fortified town of Carcassonne and the picturesque village of Homps, ending in the Mediterranean port of Marseillan on 11th June.

The ride is spread over five stages travelling through three departments of France - each stage of the five-day journey being approximately 50 km.

This is a fun event not a race, and each day will include the option of a convivial lunch stop plus plenty of camaraderie along the way. Participants can cover the full five days whilst others can drop in to do one or more.

CSF volunteers will be helping with transport between end points, and a full participant pack is available offering help with planning overnight accommodation and transport back to the start points.

Further information, and a registration form are available at

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Support service, SOS Help, wants to hear from willing volunteers

Sos-help-buttonIF you have 'volunteer some of my time' as one of your resolutions for the coming year, then the English language confidential helpline service SOS Help wants to hear from you.

Now in its 40th year of operation, the Paris based organisation answered around 4,400 calls in the past 12 months and is looking to attract more volunteers to help with calls as well as fund raising.

SOS Help is hosting a number of information sessions next month that will offer people the chance to learn more about how to spend a few hours on the help line.

The sessions will be held on Thursday 8 January, Wednesday 14 January and Tuesday 20 January, 2015, at 7pm at the American Church, 65 Quai d'Orsay, 75007 Paris.

And if you want to talk over current problems or issues you can call SOS Help on 01 46 21 46 46 from 3pm to 11pm daily

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Volunteer appeal from military charity SSAFA in France

SsafaTHE military charity SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) has an office based in south west France, that provides practical, financial and emotional support whenever anyone turns to them for help.

Here branch secretary, Lesley Blake, writes about the charity's work and how you can help the organisation through volunteering some of your time:

Did you know that SSAFA (formerly Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families Association) is the oldest UK military charity? It is true - we have been helping both in-service and ex-service personnel and their families since 1885.

SSAFA is based in the UK, however there are branches in several parts of the world, including Germany, Cyprus and also here in France.

SSAFA France, based in Castillones, Lot et Garonne, covers the whole of France and our aim is to assist former members of UK Forces who have settled in France and now face financial hardship, often through circumstances beyond their control.

Our dedicated volunteer caseworkers help over 100 families each year throughout France; however there is a continuing and growing need for assistance, which in turn leads to a need for more caseworkers.

There is special urgency for more caseworkers in the following areas :

Northern France - Brittany, Le Mans area, Nord Pas Calais, Picardie, Seine Maritime and Ville-dieu des Poles

Central France - Angoulême , Auxerre, Bourges/Nevers, Chalais, Clermont-Ferrand, Poitiers

South Western/Southern France - Bergerac, Castillones areas

Do you have some spare time and would you be willing to help us to help others? Professional training is given during a residential course in London and reasonable travel expenses are paid. It is not necessary for you to have social working experience or a military background.

We would be very pleased to hear from you if you feel that you would be able to assist us. For more information, please contact me at

Kindly also contact us at or phone 0033 (0)5 53 24 92 38 if you are a former member of HM forces in need of assistance from SSAFA France.

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French lottery winner to give away 50 million euros

French lottery winner to give away 50 million euros (via AFP)

Amid all the gloom over a stagnating economy, serial scandals and a surge in support for the far-right, France finally had a good news story to celebrate on Friday. A man who scooped more than 72 million euros on the Euro Millions lottery has decided…

Continue reading "French lottery winner to give away 50 million euros" »

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Restos du Coeur set to help more than a million people this winter

Restos coeur appealSADLY it looks like the charity, Les Restos du Coeur, will set an unwanted record this winter and help over a million people.

Last year the charity helped 960,000 people, but for winter 2013-14 they expect to break through the symbolic figure of one million people requiring their assistance.

Les Restos du Coeur has seen a 40% increase in the number of people it has helped since the start of the economic crisis.

Related: Work from the heart of Restaurants du Cœur

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The Great Phoenix Book Fair gets set to open its doors

Big-book-taille-A4-EN-JPEG-176x250MORE than 18,000 well-sorted and recent books, CDs and DVDs will be available at the Great Phoenix Book Fair, taking place in the Dordogne later this month.

Hosted by the Phoenix animal charity, all items will be €1 a piece, with the popular crime and non-fiction sections bigger than before and even a good assortment of French books will be on offer for those who wish to improve their language skills.

For the first time, brand new, high quality books will be available for a steal at €2.50 each.

As if many thousands of books, CDs and DVDs isn’t enough, there will also be stalls with our famous Tombola, family puzzles and games, bric-a-brac, specialist antiquarian and children’s books and lots more.

Delicious home-made €1 savouries, tasty cakes, scones and other assorted goodies, along with hot and cold drinks will once again make it an unforgettable 'British' day in France.

So come and make a day of it, browse, meet new people, join friends, have lunch and enjoy yourself.

And most importantly, you’ll be supporting Phoenix Association to help care and re-home animals in need.

The Great Phoenix Book Fair, Saturday 26 October, Salle Municipale, 24140 Camsegret – on the N21 between Bergerac and Perigueux – doors open from 9.30am to 3.00pm.

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Royal British Legion in France prepares for poppy appeal

British-legion-franceBRITISH Legion Poppies will be on sale from the 26 October until 11 November, with the money raised used to help those service personnel and their families who are in need.

There are a number of Royal British Legion groups in France who are able to provide practical care, advice and support to serving, and retired members, of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families.

The numbers in need inevitably rise as the involvement of UK military increases.

Service men and women who have served in more recent campaigns such as Afghanistan, Northern Ireland, Aden, Borneo, Malaya, Suez, Korea, Falklands and Gulf Wars swell the numbers and continue to need the help and support that the Royal British Legion gives.

British Legion groups in France stretch from Paris to Nice; Bordeaux to Lyon and if you would like to help and can you give an hour or so of your time they would be very glad of your services.

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