Stapleford is twinned with Villedômer, a small village near Tours in the Loire Valley of France. The Association has been organising twinning activities with Villedômer since 1979. We hold exchange visits for adults and families, going to France one year and welcoming the French to us in the following year. Our young people (aged 11-16) hold a visit every year spending about 4 days in France and 4 in England, doing a range of cultural and fun activities. The Twinning Association organises the visits, raises funds to meet expenses incurred during the French visits to this country, and provides social activities for its members. It is a member of Stapleford Umbrella Association and is run by a small, elected committee.
What are the benefits of membership?
You can take part in the twinning activities and visits. The benefits of staying with a French family, rather than just participating in a family holiday, are considerable. You may learn the practical value of knowing a foreign language, see that people in another country may do things a bit differently but equally well (or sometimes better!), and realise that nationality is no barrier to friendship. We have built up long-term friendships with the families we have visited, who may in turn visit us in England. The French often take us on tours of the châteaux in the Loire or to wine tastings of the local Vouvray or on visits to local towns like Tours. Throughout the year, we organise many social activities such as French film evenings, wine tastings and a Christmas get-together.
Is it expensive to participate?
Membership involves a small annual fee, which includes third party insurance cover for twinning activities. Some of our funding has come from organising social casino games evenings for other groups outside the village, a “100 club” for members, wine and cheese evenings etc. You do not have to live in Stapleford to be a member, and you do not have to speak French to take part in visits to France. Many of our French friends speak English.
When visiting France, our hosts provide everything except the cost of getting there, and when they return, the Association meets the costs of their activities. There is no specific obligation to accommodate French visitors if you visit them, but most people like to do so.
How do I join?
For further details, including current fees, complete the contact form below or telephone 01223 841982