Dear Members and Friends

After acting as President and Client Support Coordinator, since the foundation of CSFPG in 2015, Tim and Pippa Forster stepped down from their roles at the recent AGM. On behalf of you all I would like to thank them for their tremendous dedication and contribution to CSFPG.

I am currently trying to make the transition from Treasurer to President without reverting to too many numbers. Also elected as members of the Bureau at the AGM held on 07 September were:

Martin Benjamin – Vice President;         David Larter – Treasurer;         Meryl Duckhouse – Secretary

The vital role of Client Support Coordinator has been taken over by Sue Critchley who previously served as Pippa’s deputy. She will be working with our team of Active Listeners to maintain the level of support our Clients have come to expect. Geoff Pople, Kathleen Bacon and Liz Sinnot will continue as members of the Council to help give a broader input on behalf of Clients and Active Listeners.

Following Tim’s letter of April 15th and the gradual lifting of confinement from May 11th, our Active Listeners have gradually resumed direct contact with our Clients while minimizing the risk to both Clients and themselves. Unfortunately, the crisis has caused considerable disruption to normal cancer treatment and diagnosis procedures. This can be extremely stressful for both patients and their families. Hopefully, this will return to normal although the recent spike in Covid infections could again cause disruption if it results in a surge in demand for hospital beds.

As the recent jump in infections has shown, we are far from the end of the crisis and CSFPG remains open to assist Anglophone residents and visitors in coping with the crisis – be it an issue with understanding how to deal with the medical system, not only for cancer, or for help with the effects of loneliness and isolation. If you, or someone you know needs help, please call our Helpline at 04 58 66 81 18 58.

The other dramatic effect on the Association has been the inability to hold any sort of social or fund-raising events. The AGM was delayed by 6 months and was finally held using Zoom. Just as we were beginning to think it might be possible to hold small, socially distanced, get-togethers, the new spike has put these ideas back on hold.

Although the inability to meet with Clients for several months has dramatically reduced our short term expenditures, they are beginning to increase with the resumption of face-to-face contact and hospital visits. Similarly, the lack of fund-raising events has reduced our income. Due to the generosity of donations made by members at the time of membership renewals, and other substantial bequests/donations, we are still financially sound. The one source of fund-raising that has been open to us during the summer has been the Vide-Grenier’ stall run by Deidre “Diz” White and Marianne VanDruten which has continued to be a major source of funds for us – our thanks to Diz and Marianne!

One fund-raising event that we are starting is to publish a recipe book entitled “Our Favourite Recipes” and it should be available before the beginning of November at a price of €15 – just in time for the holidays! We will send out ordering details closer to the publication date.

One administrative change that we have adopted is to consolidate all membership renewals to April 1st They are currently split between April and September. Those members who would have been asked to renew during September will now receive their renewal notices for payment on April 1st 2021. Members joining after 1st September in any year will not be asked to renew their membership the following April but will receive a year’s grace. Membership at the time of the AGM was 53 and now stands at 60.

Thank you for your continued interest and support. Please do not hesitate to contact myself or a member of council if you have any questions or need help.

Take care and stay safe in these difficult times.

Graham Means, President