DeLot News

 29 June 2020

What a strange new world we have been inhabiting these last 6 months !  And the year started off so well,  first of all with our AGM on 16 January seeing the election of a new President, Anna Shackleford.  After 3 years at the helm Heather felt it was time to stand down, but will by no means be putting her feet up as far as CSF is concerned – as well as continuing in her role as a trainer, she is also taking on the role as Active Listener Support.  The role of an Active Listener (AL) can be emotionally demanding, and Heather will be looking after the psychological wellbeing of our ALs and providing a confidential ear for any concerns they may have.

 Anna will be ably assisted during her term of office by Vice-President Philippe Mika and Co Vice-President Jo Treanor, along with the existing Bureau, plus new Membership Secretary Rachel Galloway.  In her acceptance speech Anna outlined her thoughts for the year ahead, and at the first Bureau and Council meetings  in January and February respectively, plans were made for a breast cancer discussion group in March, our now legendary Spring market in April, and a series of “CSF at the Caff” sessions to be held initially in Cahors, Gourdon and Prayssac.

At the beginning of March our association was well represented at the CSF National AGM in Limoges by Anna Shackleford, Philippe Mika, Heather Moorhead, and of course our own Pat Lockett wearing her National President hat !  It is always so good to meet up with other associations, to compare and contrast what each do, and there was much lively debate on where CSF is going and how we can improve on the service we offer to those suffering from or affected by cancer.

 And then came Lockdown Day – on 17 March we entered uncharted territory.  Everyone will have used their own coping mechanisms for dealing with the Covid-19 situation, and CSF National swung into action and offered an extended service to lend a sympathetic ear to any Anglophone in France who was suffering adversely from the effects of life under lockdown.  We were of course more than happy to answer the call to arms of this initiative.  Furthermore we are pleased to report that those people we are currently supporting have experienced uninterrupted treatment and procedures for their conditions, so “chapeau” to the French medical facilities here in the Lot and further afield.

Throughout this period Anna has kept members of our association abreast of latest developments by sending out emails detailing the contents of the latest Presidential or Prime Ministerial broadcasts, drawing on the excellent resumés issued by the British Embassy in Paris and adding her own personal messages.

 Naturally all planned events had to be cancelled, but with the aid of technology we had online Bureau and Council meetings as scheduled in April, May and June.  It was wondeful to see all our members online and to realise that the positive and enthusiastic spirit that permeates our association was undimmed, and all are looking forward to a time when we can meet up again in person and resume some kind of normal timetable.  We are tentatively making plans for the Autumn, but so much will depend on the ever-evolving Covid-19 situation, so in the meantime we are set to enjoy the summer within the constraints which the government and common sense dictate.

6 January 2020

How scarey that date looks - but welcome to the second decade of the 21st century!  Before plunging into the new year, a little catch up on the last quarter of 2019.

We were by no means idle - having successfully trained as new Active Listeners,  Letitia Evans and Allison Clark were welcomed to our team by President Heather Moorhead at the November council meeting and duly presented with their certificates and handbooks.

At the June council meeting Heather had introduced her "Where Do We Want To Be?" initiative and as part of this we held the first of a series of discussion groups, this one focussing on prostate cancer.  The all-male event attracted some 13 participants who all appreciated the opportunity to discuss the subject and to find out more about symptoms, diagnostic tests and the various treatment options available.  Some men had already undergone treatment, some had possible symptoms, whilst others had no current symptoms. Following on from the success of this group, we will be holding an all-female one early in the new year, followed by a mixed session later on.

As it is not all work and no play here at DeLot we rounded off the year with our Christmas lunch, held at the newly-renovated La Chartreuse hotel on the bank of the river Lot In Cahors. A great opportunity to meet in an informal setting and enjoy good company and excellent food and wine!

25 September 2019

So, the long hot summer has finally come to an end, a welcome relief to many, but also a sign that Autumn is with us and for us here at CSF Delot, it is “la rentrée”.  We held our first council meeting after the summer break on 17 September and were pleased to welcome one of our own newly qualified Active Listeners, along with a newly qualified Active Listener from a neighbouring association and also Carol Quinlan, the new national Training Officer.  But before telling you about what lies ahead for us, a little catch up on events just before our summer recess.  As promised, here is Pat Lockett’s account of her trip to Gruissan and beyond in support of this year’s Cycle for Life :

On Wednesday 14th May, an intrepid group of cyclist lined up for the start of this year’s Cycle for Life in Mazamet in the department of the Tarn.

Following months of planning and coordinating, CSF National past president Penny Parkinson had successfully brought everyone together on the right day at the right place and off they set along the scenic Voie Verte de Haut Languedoc, heading south towards Badarieux over two days. Volunteers from CSF Sud de France and CSF Languedoc made sure everyone was well fed and watered enroute.

Barry and I joined them (in support not on bikes!) on Day 3 and as you’ll see from the photographs (in the gallery) endeavoured to be of use. They started at Bezieres and rode in the most awful wind and rain to arrive soaked at Gruissan ready for hot baths and vin chaud rather than a glass of something cool and refreshing.

We met up with Elizabeth and Curtis from New York who were cycling the first three days. They travel over completely at their own expense to participate and raise money for CSF. This year again DE&Lot asked members to support them and you have, to the tune of over 1000 euros. Thank you so much for that.

The centre of Gruissan was the start of Day 4 and the longest day, 6o kms ahead of them, thank goodness it was sunny but still with breeze. DE&Lot secretary Cathy and husband Gus joined us and we made an excellent team of marshals, servers and shifters. Some cyclists struggled a bit but the sense of camaraderie was wonderful and no-one was left behind at any point. We picnicked on the beach part way towards Barcares and found a sheltered spot where the cyclists lingered over lunch…now that’s what cycling in south west France should be about!

Finally Day 5 brought even better weather as the cyclists gathered on a warm and calm morning on Barcares plage for their final 20 km, finishing in the centre of Perpignan, volunteers from Penny’s association, CSF Sud de France, appeared with a host of goodies and the jubilant cyclists enjoyed a little wine, a little cheese and a lot of laughter.

Photographs were taken, certificates presented, speeches of thanks given and away they headed to their transports home shouting…..SEE YOU NEXT YEAR…..oh ‘eck said Penny to me afterwards, better put thinking caps on. The hope is to set the ride in a different part of France……, anyone with an interest in leisure cycling who would be willing to help by offering ideas, planning the ride or offering support during the ride please please do contact me.

Also in May we trained a number of prospective Active Listeners from our area as well as from other associations, and then it was time for our final council meeting on 18 June before taking a well-earned break - although our work supporting our various clients continued throughout the summer of course.  Following the council meeting in June our training session included a presentation by Dr Reix-Augeix, a local médecin traitant, who gave us a fascinating insight into her work treating anglophone cancer patients.  It was invaluable to hear things from a French GP’s point of view.

And so a look to the Autumn - at our June council meeting our president, Heather, introduced the ideas she had previously presented to the bureau which showed a structure for developing the work that CSF does, as national is looking at whether cancer is the only condition we should be supporting.  There had been some discussion as to how to reach people on a more personal level such as coffee mornings along the lines of the Macmillan ones in the UK.  A few of our council member have volunteered to research groups such as book clubs, choirs, quiz groups etc. where anglophones meet so that we can make contact and circulate our information.  Do get in touch if you are a member of such a group and would like us to contact you.  

Finally we’d like to point you to an article from the 2019 Income Tax Guide published by The Connexion newspaper :

22 May 2019

Summer at last seems to be just around the corner and I am sure you are all out in the garden planting the seasonal colour, mowing and generally preparing for the usual outdoor life that comes with living in the Lot.  Summer seemed a long way off when we held our Spring market at the end of April.  A cold wind blew though the outer hall, and those exhibitors snug in the inner hall were the envy of other exhibitors and visitors alike!  But many thanks to the intrepid souls who turned up to support us - the sausage man and our local mobile chippie did a roaring trade, as did our very own Dream Team’s cake and hot drinks stall, nothing like a steaming cuppa to warm the hands and soul!  The day, despite the inclement weather, was deemed a success and a watery sun emerged in time to help with the clearing up!

Our awareness raising event in Gourdon was another matter - a chilly but sunny market day and a prime spot for our colourful stand boded well. But alas, most of the passers-by did just that and we were not exactly inundated with requests for information.  However the team - Heather, our president, Philippe, our Active Listener / client co-ordinator and Anna, one of the vice-presidents - remained cheerful and we hope that our presence seeped into the consciousness of the visitors to the market.  As a result of the low level of interest we reluctantly decided to cancel the proposed follow-up workshop on what CSF does, but plan to hold one at another location later in the year ....

Pat Lockett, national president, popped down to Gruissan from 17 - 20 May to support the Cycle for Life ride and we will be publishing her article on how it all went along with some super photos on here later.

18 April 2019

Easter is fast approaching and the first quarter of this year has flown by!  We held our AGM on 17 January which was well attended and the Bureau team remained unchanged. On 21 February our Council meeting was followed by a presentation by Jill Warne-Cleave, founder of the Lot of Baking cake club.  Jill explained how they had set up the Cake Club Fundraising FaceBook page on which they hold regular auctions of items such as glossy cookery and coffee table books, toys and miscellaneous items.  All proceeds are donated to our association, so we were pleased to meet some of the members of the cake club and have a chat over lunch.

The highlight of the year so far was the national AGM on 13 March which we were once again proud to host, especially as our own Pat Lockett assumed the mantle of National President!  A pre-AGM dinner at the Bistro de Lisa in Cahors gave delegates a chance to mingle, renew old friendships and get acquainted with new faces.  The Hotel Terminus was the excellent venue for the AGM, which was ably chaired by our President, Heather Moorhead, and outgoing National President Penny Parkinson gave an informative review of the year, whilst Pat Lockett’s report was entitled “Looking to the Future” and gave us all food for thought. Have a look at the photos in our Gallery to get a flavour of the event.

The next couple of months will be busy, with our Spring market on 27 April, awareness raising event at Gourdon market on 4 May and follow-up open meeting on 22 May to explain in more detail the work of CSF and our association. We hope you will pop back later to read how it all went.

10 February 2019

We expect you’ve noticed that we have been busy adding content to our web page, and hope you’ll drop in often to see what’s going on in our association - we will be updating regularly so there will always be something new to read. Do spread the word to anyone you know who is touched by cancer, or who is interested in our work, to come and dip into our site from time to time. We also have a FaceBook page for those of you who use it - find us by searching for Cancer Support France – Dordogne Est et Lot.

Before embarking on 2019 we thought we’d give you a brief rundown on CSF DELot activities in 2018 so that you get an idea of how our year is filled. You can read about the various events in more detail in the DELot newsletters on our site, and will find photos in the Gallery.

January – AGM at our HQ in Salviac
February – the first of 5 annual council meetings held at our “other” HQ in Lavercantière. Council meetings are followed by training afternoons so that our Active Listeners can hone their skills
March – second council meeting and training session
Hosted the national AGM in Cahors - what an honour!
April – Spring market at Lavercantière
May – our very own Pat Lockett (national trainer and national vice-president) attended a reception in Nice hosted by HRH Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall, joining Penny Parkinson, national president and Angela Anderson, president of CSF Alpes-Maritime.
We sponsored a couple from New York in the national Cycle for Life and they raised in excess of €1600,00
June – third council meeting & training
Awareness-raising event in Montcuq market; we will be repeating this exercise at other markets in the Lot this year…
July and August – “quiet” months to recharge batteries, although some members still beavering away on projects in the background
September – fourth council meeting & training
October – Autumn market at Prayssac
November – fifth council meeting & training
December – “What Do We Do?” open day in Salviac: information sharing on the work of CSF DELot plus seasonal refreshments
Presentation of cheque to La Ligue Contre le Cancer in Gourdon from monies raised at the Autumn market
CSF DELot Christmas lunch at L’O à La Bouche, Cahors – a splendid end to the year!