Help Creat international volunteers partnerships

La Giraudiere looking for global partners and international volunteers

One of the projects for 2016 that volunteers and interns can help with is setting up and forming new international partnerships. Contacting associations and organisations from around the globe that operate similar programs to that of La Giraudiere.

We would contact to ask if the organisation would like to strike up a partnership with us, We have several ideas in mind but would also welcome ideas from you and also from the organisation or association,

We will be informing them that we are a non-profit organization / association based in south west France and that each year we open our doors to international volunteers, interns and groups from around the globe who wish to help or learn about France it’s culture, language and way of life in general. That our project presents an ideal oportunity for their participants.

Ideas presently on the table are,

  1. Initially we could propose an exchange of emails and messages making each other aware of our respective organizations, goals and ideas.
  2. Exchanges on social media, likes on Facebook and follows on twitter and other social media.
  3. Preparing a blog entry or webpage about our newly found partner describing the organization and their goals. Similar upon their website describing our association, our goals and opportunities in English and or the language(s) of the new partner.
  4. We would also include their project/program in our quarterly newsletter.

If you think this is something that you would enjoy setting up and or doing then apply to help now at Volunteer or Intern in France

Les Amis De La Giraudiere – France

International volunteers logo

Sidney and Paul last day together at La Giraudiere

Sidney and Paul’s last day together.

Today, Monday the 22nd February 2016, has been a very long day at La Giraudiere. Sidney had his breakfast at 7.00, much earlier than normal. After his breakfast he tried to make it to the door but failed as he has been doing so for the last week.

After clearing up, Sidney spent the morning inside dozing and then waking up and checking on me and then dozing off again and this was how the first part of the morning passed. I telephoned the vets office whom informed me the vet would be passing in the afternoon and not the morning.

Sidney's last Sunday at La Giraudiere

Sidney’s last Sunday at La Giraudiere

For Lunch Sidney had one of his favorite sardines on toast and the same for me. After lunch Sidney let me know he wanted to go out and with my help we made it to the grass just across the road from the gate. He covered up many of his rivals marks stumbling in between but knowing I would get him back on his feet.

At 3.00 the phone went again and it was the secretary from the vet saying the vet would be passing between 4.00 and 5.00, this is going to be the longest hour or two of my life.
It is so difficult not showing Sidney how up set I am about what is planned although I think he knows exactly as he will not let me out of his sight for a moment.

We waited outside of the gites on the grass together with neighbors passing by. Every time I hear a car or vehicle I start to fill up and say to myself I have to stay strong for Sidney.

At 5.20 the vet arrived and by 5.30 Sidney was asleep in my arms and by 5.40 the vet said that Sidney had left us. I knew he had gone as I had my hand on his heart throught out and now it was no longer beating but he was still warm. I gave him his last hugs and I closed his eyes as he had been looking at me throughout.

The vet helped me carry Sidney to his resting place I then asked the vet to leave me alone with Sidney so I could finish what needed to be done. I placed Sidney in his favorite blanket and placed him in the sleeping position he always preferred.

With the sun setting and piercing through the dark clouds above, it starts to rain, only a little, as though the Charente sky is weeping. I feel so empty I have not just lost my dog I have lost my best friend and partner. I finished burying Sidney at 11.00 pausing several times in between.

Sidney a beach lover finds the next best thing

Sidney a beach lover finds the next best thing

La Giraudiere will never seem the same, It feels so empty here at this present time. My sole consolation is Sidney now sleeps with no pain and will remain at La Giraudiere.

For those visiting this blog for the first time; Sidney was a black Labrador who was born on the 1st November 2001 just outside the village of Chaunay which is 10 kilometers north of Ruffec in Charente. His father was from England and his mother was French apparently Sidney was the result of a holiday romance.

His registration name was Sydney Souks but I changed it to Sidney Socks. Apart from 4 weeks of Holidays in Spain and England Sidney passed his life at La Giraudiere in Brossac in the department of Charente France. His main job there was welcoming visitors, volunteers and interns from around the world.


Sidney summer 2015 passing time with volunteers from USA and Canada

Labrador Volunteer Sidney rests at La Giraudiere

A Labrador is the best friend you could ever have;

Today I have made the desicion that it is time to let Sidney go to sleep so that he can keep his dignity, self respect and stop his pain. Sidney as spent his entire life at La Giraudiere and it is here that he will rest.

Sidney is the longest serving volunteer at La Giraudiere and during his time he as met volunteers and interns from all around the globe. Judges, Doctors, Solicitors, Editors, Writers, politicians, body guards, Japanesse, chinesse, brazilians the list is endless and all he welcomed with a wagging tale.

If anyone who knows Sidney wants to come and say goodbye you have the weekend as it will take me that long to prepare his resting place.

If you want to send a message then please do so or post something on our facebook  at Pauls Facebook page

What occured, Last week Friday, I took Sidney to the vets in Chalais because I wanted to know how it will be when the time comes. The vet was very complimentry on how Sidney was, he further explained that Sidney had reached the good old age of 102 years and that arthritus was normal in Labradors and drugs would help the pain. He prescribed some tablets for his arthritus pain and releived me of a some money saying “let me know how it goes”

The tablets are Previcox 227mg and the dosage prescribed was three quarters of a tablet each day.

Saturday morning, Sidney was a bit subdued and by Sunday he had lost the use of his back legs. By monday he was paralysed at the back but still tried to walk dragging himself with his front paws from his bed so he could say hello.

For the last week, each morning, I help Sidney to go outside by placing a towel under the rear part of his body to support him. If it is Sunny he stays outside watching me and If it is cold and rainy he wants in. This photo is taken today Sidney’s last Sunday at La Giraudiere. He as just had his breakfast and done his visits.

Sidney's last Sunday at La Giraudiere

I feel so privlidged that Sidney spent his life with me, yes it was he that chose me, he is, was and allways will be the best friend I ever had had. I will miss him enourmously.

Sidney has choosen his resting place at La Giraudiere and now slowly I prepare it. It is the spot he most liked, it is where he would look out for Bella or Poppit, two of his favorite girlfriends, both of whom mothered his offspring and sadly also fell asleep for the last time several years ago. The vet is arriving on Monday.



Book now to Volunteer in France 2016

Volunteer in France

You can now book your place to Volunteer in France at La Giraudiere

The ‪#‎volunteers‬ 2016 program starts in April and finishes end of October allready June is booked so if you are thinking of ‪#‎volunteering‬ in ‪#‎France‬ this year at La Giraudiere then get you application in now further info at

France Christmas Holiday at La Giraudiere

Christmas Volunteer in France

This Christmas, La Giraudiere is planning a Christmas market, marché noel in French, plus a traditional Christmas day dinner and a New Years celebration otherwise known as la St Sylvestre. We need volunteers to come along and help make all this happen.

christmas_market_franceThe Christmas market is planned for Saturday the 19th December and this wil lbe the third market that La Giraudiere.

Volunteers are needed to help with the selling and serving of the hot wine, the roasted chestnuts, burgers and frites. We also need volunteers to help with the setting up the tables, stalls etc and there will be the parking to organise.


Christmas Pudding at La Giraudiere

Christmas Day will be a tradional christmas day with Turkey and all the trimmings; Last year we had over 20 come for dinner from the local area. We poarticular aim at people who are on their own and the price for the dinner and the day is a suggested price and those who can aford more are suggested to do so and those who cant well they just cant. So interested in putting something differnet in place this Christmas.

Newy years eve the 31st and yes we will hold a party with a dinner come last year so again volunteers are needed to help with this dinner and celebrations.


You can read more about the the program and how you can help and find the application form by visiting Christmas Holiday Volunteering and prices start from 22€ per day all in – incredible.

Scottish volunteer helps clear French jungle

Scottish volunteer helps clear French jungle

19-year-old Kirsty Harper from Scotland decided to spend her summer holiday volunteering at La Giraudiere in France for six weeks.

Kirsty arrived from her home town of Bridge of Weir, just west of Glasgow, in late July, and stayed until the begining of September. She tried her hand at everything that LG offers its volunteers. She started with cleaning but decided it wasn’t for her; she then dabbled a bit in IT – again, this just wasn’t Kirsty. After several other projects she finally found her calling when she was asked to join the jungle clearing team. Perhaps it was her Duke of Edinburgh experience that attracted her to this intrepid endeavour.

She also helped put together the Saturday Night Fever event on the 5th Setember. As well as setting the stage for the evening she helped to run the bar with Tibor.

We’re extremely grateful to Kirsty for all the help she’s given us, and we hope to see her again soon!

From Paul thank you for the card and the chocolate and take great care.

Scottish volunteer in France

Kirsty, aided by Giulia from Italy, prepares the guitar stall for Saturday night fever.

Saturday Night Fever


Volunteers at La Giraudière have spent the last few weeks coming up with a music event, which will be held on the first Saturday of each month. Not only does the evening offer its guests music from a range of local artists, guests who have reserved tickets will also receive a main course, a dessert and ¼ of a bottle of wine.

Music Night- Final Copy 007 2

Flyer for Saturday Night Fever, Created by Kirsty

After establishing the main ideas for the event, some of the volunteers, including Kirsty and Georgia, got to work with the planning and marketing of the event. Posters and flyers detailing the evening’s events were produced and distributed, the event was promoted on various local websites and our social networking sites were updated, so that our followers were aware of the exciting new event After just two weeks of promotion, we are thrilled to say that tickets to our musical soirée in September have now sold out.

La Giraudière’s inaugural musical soirée is now just a few days away, and the volunteers have been hard at work, getting La Giraudière ready for the big event. Kirsty, Giulia, Riccardo and Fei have been giving the Gite a deep clean, stocking the bar and arranging tables in the Old House, Newcomers Ewert and Ki have been helping out in the garden, repairing the picnic tables and creating decorations for the exterior, and Georgia has been helping with the logistics of the event. But the work doesn’t stop there. Over the coming days, there is still much to do, including decorations, signs, and cooking enough Irish stew to feed an army!

Georgia, promoting the event

Georgia, promoting the event

With a good menu and some talented artists coming to play, we are looking forward to what should be a fun and very enjoyable evening. For those who have missed out on purchasing tickets for this month’s event, keep your eyes peels for news of our next musical soirée to be held on Saturday 3rd October!

Paul, having delivered the tables for the event

Paul and Riccardo spent the morning ferrying tables to LG.

Fei, Helping to clean the Gite

Giulia and Kirsty, painting stools for the musicians

The dining area

The dining area

Ewert and Ki, helping to make lanterns

Ewert and Ki, making lanterns for the garden

Fei from USA on her second day

Just a few days ago a new, american volunteer arrived at La Giraudière. Her name is Fei and she lives in Portland, USA.

Fei came to France for a family wedding in Nice but then decided to come help out with our volunteers’ project at La Giraudière after that. She is very skilled at gardening because she is used to taking care of big vegetable and flower garden at home.

Fei is preparing a new appartement for use

Fei is preparing a new appartement for use

She would like to meet new people, share experiences and stories with others and most of all bring happiness to people’s lives.

Hope you enjoy your stay and Friday French lessons Fei!

Flowers at La Giraudiere in August

Flowers at LG during August


Sharon’s first european experience

Sharon is a new volunteer from Australia. She came from Tasmania to experience Europe for the first time. Her first stop was Paris and then La Giraudière.Sharon during her first working day

She is participating in our project for just one week and will help us with the cooking and maintenanceof the household. After this volunteering experience she will travel to the Pyrenees for a challenging hike.

She is a very communicative and active person, so she will have no problems learning French. Sharon would love to contribute in a community based environment, share ideas and learn from others.

Enjoy your stay in France!Communal dinner at LG

Dagmar from UK joined our team

Last week Dagmar also arrived from the United Kingdom. She lives in the south coast of Britain near Bournemouth, works as a supervisor at a school and enjoys juggling!Dagmar from UK is gardening
She would like to improve her conversational and written French whilst exploring the countryside of southwest France.Dagmar and Mark take care of garden
Dagmar is both hardworking and willing to learn new skills. During the next two weeks she will help us with the gardening and maintenance of the house.