Loubejac's comités des fêtes heads back to school for Christmas
IT is this time of year when many of us look back over what we have done, what we might have done and maybe what we hope to do in the near future.
If one of these changes is to get involved more within the local community, or to pass on your knowledge to groups and associations here are a few ideas.
On a personal level, one of the best things I have done is get involved with the local comités des fêtes, which saw me help out at a wind-lashed summer fair, join the committee itself and dress up as an English schoolboy, complete with cricket hat and bat, for the children's Christmas show.
Often the same people are always helping out, so a new face or two is sure to lift the spirits of the volunteers at your local comités des fêtes, and it is a great way to improve your French language skills.
Below is a collection of charitable groups that have featured on the site over the years, so you can find out more about each one, and offer a helping hand.
Cancer Support France
This voluntary service offers English-language help and support to both people with cancer and their carers.
The Royal British Legion in France Offers social events across France, and welcomes new members whether ex-service or not, British nationality, French, or any other.
Geoff Thomas Foundation
The former England football international is a regular on the Tour de France and his organisation raises money for leukaemia research.
Offers a confidential listening service to English speakers in France, but is always keen to accept volunteers.
Secours Populaire Français
A national organisation that organises events to raise money in support of children and disadvantaged families.
The Phoenix Association
Based in the Dordogne, this long established animal charity is able to offer advice and often has pets looking for a new home.
Dog Rescue Carcassonne
The SPA animal charity has centres across France, but Rowan Gwillim has gone that step further and is both helping at her local rescue home and using the web to help stray, read more about her work.
A site I've helped set up but which is written by Beryl Brennan on an almost daily occurrence, helps in the rehoming of greyhounds and other dogs from Spain and features links to many associations.
Chats du Quercy
I couldn't leave our feline friends out. Run by Lynn Stone the association specialise in cat welfare, running trap-neuter-return schemes and issuing neutering vouchers around south west France with adoptions throughout France as a whole.
Equine Rescue France
Oh yes and don't forget the help and advice offered by Trina Summerfield, and Jon and Kathryn Dobson for horses and donkeys which have suffered neglect. Beryl visited the team to find out more.
And so over to you, if you currently help a local charity leave a line in the comment form below about its work. And if you complete the website address field this will automatically link to your site.