Past Events

Spring Book Fair 2017

The April book fair was extra special.  We don’t know why but the atmosphere was magical. Attendance was high and it felt like a party with close, good friends. A wonderful Phoenix Fest in beautiful spring sunshine. We thank you all for making this day so memorable.

By 11:30 the car park was full and our visitors had to park in the overspill. The Bergerac SPA had a stand next to our Phoenix stand and 2 dogs were adopted on the spot. A rabbit, found alone on the roadside on the day, was rescued and placed in safety.  It is a good feeling for us to be working so close together.

As usual the catering team did us proud and our guests carried their food outside to enjoy in the sun. All in all it was a huge success with takings that exceeded any previous fair. The gross takings were a staggering 16,121euros – more than 12,500 after expenses. This enables Phoenix to continue its work in rescuing and rehoming animals in need.

Concerns had been raised that the book fair team might be running out of steam after more than 10 years.  Many do not realize the amount of work it takes to organize the fair. The year round weekly book sorting for just one example, that enables us to set out the books by genre, author etc. It is no easy feat yet we are proud of what we offer. However, we are all getting older and it has been suggested that we recruit some younger people to the team so that we can continue.

We would like to share some of the comments expressed on the day:

One lady confided ‘its our life line and one of the most looked out for events of the year.’

At least 15 people put their names on a list, which we distributed throughout the event, to see when and how they could contribute to keep the book fair going. For this the Book team is grateful.

A man who travels from the other side of Brive la Gallairde to our book fair, told us, ‘it is a good chance to top up my library and meet friends.’

A writer of historical non-fiction, confessed to coming to the fair regularly to raid the history section to aid his research.

Read what some of our Facebook followers wrote on our page:

Great day, even if I spent most of the time blocking back tears, first book fair without my faithful lab by my side, fell in love with ‘Bruno’ the dog from the spa adopted by some lovely people. Thank you all for all you do. I’ve put my name down to volunteer for whatever help you need for the next book fair.


 So happy for you! We came for the 9th year in a row all the way from Lyon and wish you continued success! Wish we lived closer and could help as volunteers!


 Congratulations on a fabulous day! Well done and thank you to all of the volunteers x


 Super for the doggies hope they will have a wonderful Life!


 Excellent news about the dogs , great day as usual. We’ve moved to the Vienne but will always be at the book fairs.

T & A C

 We thoroughly enjoyed our day! Thank you


 Super news, it was a great day!


 Well done Phoenix and all your wonderful support team.


 The Phoenix Conseil and the Book Team thank all the people who came to the fair. A special thank you goes to those who contributed towards the 3 lorry loads of books for the September fair and for the animal material and wonderful food for the catering stall.

Thank you all very much. See you in the autumn!

 The Phoenix Book Team

 The Phoenix Book Fair 24th September 2016

book-fair-0916-1The autumn Book Fair was held a bit earlier than usual this year, mainly to avoid the October rains. It was a good move as the weather was glorious. So warm, that the book team wore shorts and summer clothes.

The day dawned beautifully and the early hours of the build-up were ideal for the team to work. The helpers started at 06.30, placing all the books and DVDs in the stands. They arranged tables and chairs and added the final touches to the outside area. This time they didn’t have on their usual head-lamps because of the darkness!

book-fair-0916-4 book-fair-0916-2

By 08.30, cars started to unload their donated books and the catering bar was open, serving coffee, tea and sandwiches. The early birds started searching outside for that one unique item that they were looking for. Some people dashed in, grabbed some books, and ran out again on their way to work! At 09.30, when the Fair opened, there were many people waiting eagerly to start their book search in the large hall; their wish lists in hand.  With the increase in French books we were pleased to welcome more French visitors. By midmorning the two parking areas around the hall were already completely full.

There were a record number of visitors sitting in the sun eating and drinking and soaking up the friendly ambience of the day.

At midday, always the busiest time of the fair, the book team was stretched to the limit, taking in the generously donated books by the boot load and refilling the diminishing boxes of books and DVDs on sale. Members of the catering team did their best to keep the queues as short as possible as people were served the delicious home made goodies.

book-fair-0916-7 book-fair-0916-5

The Phoenix stand was busy, visited by many members and visitors who wanted to learn more about the work we do. Three Phoenix kittens were adopted during the day.

Bergerac SPA also had some interested inquiries for the three dogs they had brought along for adoption.


All in all, it was a wonderful, successful day. We had beautiful sunshine and a great atmosphere. We did well which is good news for all those abandoned animals needing our help. The financial details will be available to all our members at the end of the financial year. For non-members please contact our treasurer, Alan Endres.

A huge thank you to all who supported this event, we look forward to seeing you again at our next Book fair that will be held in the Spring 2017. We shall notify you with plenty of notice on our web site and on FB.  

The Phoenix Book Fair –  April 23rd 2016

The books04166The day of the fair started out fine, but all were aware that rain was predicted.  Determined not to be put out, the Book Fair team and the volunteers-for-the-day turned up to prepare the outside venue for the Fair.  All the outside tables, books and dvds, the catering goodies, doggie bowls, the extra tents and the coffee stand – all were ready, manned and running by 8.30 hours.

Around 09.00 many book lovers had already started buying outside. When the Hall was opened everyone eagerly streamed in looking for their books. The square in front of the Hall was filling up with generous people giving their books and cars looking for parking places.

Catering team04165Book Fair SPA doggies04164Around 13.00 the first lorry was groaning under the weight of all these generously given books – the basis for the next Fair in the Spring!

Book fair people04163Many people rose to the challenge and baked scrumptious delicacies for the catering team to sell. The display of cup cakes, eccles cakes, quiches and pies, lemon drizzles, raisin scones, dutch slaatjes, walnut loaves and lots more was amazing! This support was very much appreciated!

At around 13.00 there wasn’t an empty chair to be found, the Tombola was doing well, also thanks to a wonderful voucher and a huge bear that was generously donated!  Dvds and the cds, the new books and the french books  were all going well. People were eating, drinking, perusing their new book finds and talking to friends.

The SPA stand had taken along three dogs looking for a loving home and they found them! Even a cat was adopted without being seen! That’s the spirit!

Book Fair doggies04162Phoenix signed in quite some new members!

All was well until the heavens opened at 14.00 hours and the rains came down, sending everyone inside or home. Alas for that, the fair ended one hour earlier than planned! 15 cars had to be pulled out of the mud!

However the end result was still wonderful – a stunning 11.500 euro, not including a very generous cheque given, again, by a Campsegret Brit who is a very big animal lover. Thank you Ken!

Book fair dog0416Thank you all coming, buying books, giving us support, giving us books and  and helping us to continue our work helping animals in distress.

Keep your eyes on this space for the date of the next Fair!

The entire Phoenix team



Plant-sale-16 It is nearly 5 years now since a lady I hardly knew , came up to me and asked if I would help her. She explained that she had a wonderful little dog from Phoenix and had raised money for them by selling plants, she grew in her greenhouse, from her home.

She felt she could do more and wanted to take a stall at a Vide Grenier but needed help and moral support. I agreed, and that was the start of Val and Cilla’s  Great Plant Sales.

This year, the weather was kind, the helpers rallied and the people poured in to purchase plants ranging from Hickory trees to purple basil, Bay trees to snowdrop bulbs and of course the famous bacon butties !

Plant-sale-16-2We were honoured by a visit from Sheelagh and Rik, who took time out from their busy schedule to come and support us. They were pleased to have news from happy owners and their adoptees and to  recruit new people willing to adopt and raise money.

742 euros were raised,  despite being in competition with the famous St. Jean de Cole Floralie.

The money will be divided between Phoenix and Twilight.

Many thanks to all who helped in any way.

Cilla Pickett

Cameron’s Cycle Challenge

Cameron FinishIsn’t it grand and awe inspiring to see someone so young, make such a gigantic effort and achieve such a remarkable result – and not for himself, but for others.

Congratulations and well done Cameron. 245€ to date has been donated. I’m sure if the animals could talk they would join us in saying “Thank you Cameron”

Please give your best pal Ben some extra hugs from us all at Phoenix.

The Phoenix Book Fair – 24th October 2015

Book Fair Oct 24 2015 2 The day dawned dark, cold and dreary, as the volunteers made their pre-dawn way to the Halle in Campsegret – putting out tables, chairs, boxes full of books and DVDs, doggie bowls, Christmas cards and road signs, so that the Phoenix Fair could open on time. The weather report had said it would be dry with some sun – that kept everyone going!

By 09.30, a lot of book lovers had already arrived and eagerly went in when the rope was lifted and the Fair declared open! Outside, owners with their cars filled to the brim with donated books were readily helped with lifting the boxes out of boots, trailers and front seats. Around 12.00, the first lorry was groaning under the weight of all these generously given books – the basis for the next Fair in the Spring!

 The Catering people were extremely happy and grateful for the wonderful response given to their call for donated scrumptious delicacies to sell. The display of cup cakes, eccles cakes, quiches and pies, lemon drizzles, raisin scones, dutch slaatjes, walnut loaves and lots more was amazing!  

 The Bergerac SPA was there in full force with information on animal matters, their professional photographer and four adorable, adoptable dogs. One was adopted and another is in the pipeline and should be adopted soon. An abandoned kitten, which was brought along, was whisked away to a good forever home.

 At around 13.00 there wasn’t an empty chair to be found, the Tombola was doing well and the DVDs were flying out of the boxes. People were eating, drinking, perusing their new book finds and talking to friends. In short a perfect Fair day!

 Book Fair Oct 24 2015 1The end result was wonderful – a stunning 12.800 euro, not including a very generous cheque given by a British person who lives in the village and who is a very big animal lover. 

 Thank you all for coming, buying books, being there to support us and for giving us all a lovely day as well!!

The entire Phoenix team


What a great evening!

The weather was kind and people entered into the spirit with their masks. Well done the men who turned up in their dinner suits in such hot weather. The ladies fared a little better in their “cool ” finery.

After canapes and champagne, a delicious 6 course meal was served.

ball2 ball3

ball4The best mask was a cockerel, homemade from rubber gloves!!!! Some lost their shirts on the horse racing (not real ones) and others won prizes in the raffle. The evening ended with dancing to that talented musician Rick Pickett.

The sum of 850 euros was raised for Phoenix and a great time was had by all.

Thank you to everybody who helped make this event a huge success!

PHOENIX Plant Sale – held on the 3rd May 2015

plant salePlanted, and tended, with love.

Once again this was a great success and now firmly placed in the Phoenix diary as an annual event. (No pun intended!)

It was held in the barn and grounds of Chez Vignas. All varieties of plants and shrubs were on sale, from the humble cabbage to the exotic banana. The weather, thankfully, was kind for the occasion.

The sale was well attended with people coming from far and wide.  They left, smiling, with armfuls of plants.

Val Ford was on hand to advise and support and Lynda Creegan took the money. They’d hardly time to draw breath as they attended to the customers.  Cilla Pickett catered for the event supplying a delicious array of bacon sarnies, samosas and homemade cakes for the hungry visitors. Nearly 1400 euros was raised.

There was a lot of interest at the Phoenix stand, manned by Sheelagh and Christine. We are happy to tell you that new members were recruited.

Do keep an eye on our calendar of events on our web site. Plans are in hand for an even bigger sale next year. Perhaps we may see you there?

The Phoenix Book Fair held on 23rd May 2015 in Campsegret

Book Fair1The Phoenix Book Fair was held in Campsegret again and it was a wonderful day with lots of people, friends, dogs, goodies to eat and of course many, many good books!

Book Fair2The sun shone abundantly, welcoming everyone to come, find lots of books, sit down with a good cup of coffee or tea, relish a scrumptious cake, enjoy themselves outside and meet friends.

The well known catering team, led by Russie, did their usual magical yummy tour, providing the most delicious buffet of delights! Many people also generously donated lovely cakes, quiches, cup­cakes, breads and scones. It’s as if more and more people come and visit us just for the home­made food: at around 14.30 all the goodies were gone, not a crumb left!

 Book Fair3 Book Fair5 Book Fair6 Book Fair8

Many languages were heard but above all much more French than before, which was a very welcome addition to the crowd. This translated itself in doubling the number of French books sold by Fabienne and Janet.

Book Fair9The new/antiquarian/collectors book stall, manned by Mel, Kate and Penny had extraordinary gems and rare books on display as well as brand new, some not even published, books. They sold very well and had a lot of inquisitive and happy buying visitors.

Book Fair10One lucky doggie, name as yet undecided, was adopted from the SPA stall by two Phoenix members. They said it was the proverbial ‘love at first sight’ and took her home immediately! Life certainly changed for the good for that sweet little tike!

People generously donated lorry loads of books, cds, dvds and various useful items that the book team will be putting their teeth into to sort and prepare for the autumn fair.


Book Fair11 Book Fair12 Book Fair15 Book Fair16

Book Fair26 The Tombola and the Bric A Brac stalls were sorely missed but will be reinstated at the next fair, rest assured!

All in all, it was a wonderful day that resulted in the grand sum of €12,600 being raised – that as usual will all be used for rescuing animals in distress.

Thank you all!


 Book Fair27 Book Fair28

Phoenix March Challenge

March 2015 saw the first ever Phoenix March Challenge take place!

More than forty Phoenix supporters took part, undertaking a wide variety of personal challenges in order to raise funds for Phoenix. Challenges included: Losing weight, giving up alcohol, cycling at least 10km each day, learning 5 French words a day, going to the gym, spending an hour each day on the potager, giving up smoking and many many more.

The total raised is now over 1,000 Euros!

Thank you to Indy, Sue & Mick and Jocelyn for letting us follow your progress along the way and for giving us weekly updates – you all did a fantastic job.

Thank you also to Deborah Smith for coming up with this great idea.

We very much appreciate all the hard work and commitment that went into achieving your goals in order to raise this significant amount of money and will look forward to doing it again next year!

 Jocelyn & Poppy - Ile de Re Sue & Mick France 05.12Indy


Christmas Coffee Morning 14th December 2014

unnamed unnamed-1 unnamed-2 unnamed-3





Congratulations to Kate Grime and her amazing team for raising over 1000 euros (!!) at their Christmas Coffee Morning last Sunday.

A lot of planning, hard work and excellent management meant that it was a busy day for everyone. Lots of people came through the doors which meant that plenty of clothes, books, bric-a-brac and cakes were sold. The raffle and Guess The Weight of the Christmas cake were also well supported.

Most importantly, everyone had a good time.

Grateful thanks to everyone who helped us set up, helped on the day and also to those who stayed and helped with the clearing up and cleaning afterwards. And a very special thank you to everyone who came along and supported the event, and therefore the animals.

Thanks also to Nicola Dolman from the PR team for advertising this event.

Robby’s Sponsored Dog Walk 22nd November 2014

To all those who sponsored the Phoenix Dogwalk in memory of Robby.

Please excuse us for not contacting you individually but the response to this event has again been overwhelming! Over 120 people have sponsored and the total raised will top €3000. The walk took place on November 22nd in beautiful, sunny weather along the banks of the Dordogne and, as planned, the team, with a happy bunch of 4-legged companions, walked the allotted 13km ….. some a little faster than others! We wish you could have been with us… and Robby too.

Our very sincere thanks for the part you played in making the event such a success. Many thanks for believing in us and with the money raised, we can help even more unfortunate animals.

We do so appreciate your support for our work.

unnamed-2 unnamed-4 unnamed unnamed-7 unnamed-9 unnamed-3



















The Great Phoenix Book Fair, 18th October 2014

A few centuries ago, Desideruis Erasmus said, “When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.”

It seems not much has changed since then, except that you can buy books, clothes AND food at the twice-yearly Great Phoenix Book Fair!








Saturday 18th October was the latest chapter in the tale of these events. It’s the 13th year of Phoenix, a number that is unlucky for some, but not for us, as the sun shone brilliantly all day. There wasn’t a chair left and all enjoyed a convivial day looking for winter reading, real english scones and much else to munch, seeing friends and browsing for new goodies or, for some, seeking new four-legged companions for life.

15582305565_ee3b3d1e67_zIt was an early start mind you, with most of the volunteers rising well before sunrise to make their way to Campsegret to begin stacking, lifting, displaying, food-prepping and completing all the many last-minute tasks involved in holding south west France’s biggest Anglo-French fundraising event. Saying that, French and English were not the only languages spoken on the day. Phoenix attracts an international crowd!








It’s no easy feat either. The team works all round the year, and join together with a surge of energy a few days before and a few days after the book fair.

Two lorry-loads of books, DVDs and CDS were donated on the day! Thank you for these and for all the presents donated for the tombola and bric-a-brac.

15396684620_08fafee8ca_zIt wasn’t just books, DVDs, bric-a-brac and other goodies that found new owners. We were joined again this time by the SPA of Bergerac. With them, they brought along Mouche, Pepette, Twiggy and Shabby, all of whom were looking for homes. By the end of the day, Mouche had been adopted, Pepette was taken into Phoenix foster care and Twiggy and Shabby are booked to go to Holland with Lady’s Rescue dogs in a few weeks’ time. Thank you to SPA volunteer and photographer, Mélanie, for taking photos of us and our dogs. We look forward to receiving your beautiful portraits.








unnamed-15The icing on the cake was our most amazing catering team. They really do the most professional job, never phased by the continual queue of hungry people, ready to eat their beautiful and mouth-watering displays of cakes and savouries.

Thankfully, a lost wallet didn’t find a new home. It was reunited that evening with its worried owner who by pure luck, lived close-by to one of our volunteers.

15395663359_f216260c4d_zPhoenix’s Rik & Sheelagh Johnson sported our new Phoenix t-shirts, a new addition to our fundraising offerings, and plenty of orders were taken for Phoenix t-shirts and bags. More info on these will be published soon!

All in all, another super day, with credit to every single volunteer and supporter who came along and helped us achieve an enormous total of 14,208 euros, a sum which makes a significant but much needed dent in our annual running costs, enabling us to continue to rescue and re-home the animals so greatly in need. That is what it is all about, and on behalf of those without a voice, thank you.

15396209358_b40336b1f0_zA new chapter for Phoenix will open in 2015. If you hadn’t noticed the posters on the day, the Great Phoenix Book Fair is on the move! The next one will be on 25th April 2015 at the Salle Louis Delluc in Bergerac. This venue has easier parking, more room for even more books and activities and an open-air food court. We look forward to seeing you then!

Grouch Marx said it well:

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”


Fundraising Music & Picnic Day, Riberac, 17th August 2014

We have videos of this day. If anyone would like us to send you the files, please email Jane on

The Picnic and Music held at Chez Vignas on 17th August was a great success. The weather was perfect, people poured in through the gates, set up their tables and chairs and were entertained by no less than 14 talented musicians.
People were met by Jane, Helen, Laura and Philip, along with Laura’s 4 lovely dogs. Many other hard working volunteers manned the car parking, Val and Hester ran a plant and craft stall and sold raffle tickets. The team from Bertric Buree Church provided delicious refreshments throughout the day.
Dan Jones started the concert with his wonderful classical guitar playing, followed by Rick Pickett playing some rock, then Dan again joined by a very talented French guitarist, Christophe Bisscot. Fingerscrossed,guitar and harp, played lovely baroque and folk and were joined by Cindy Sutton. A real treat. Cindy and Graeme, Broken Biscuits, were wonderful as usual as was Simon Lane who came all the way from Duras.
The final act was Blues band Storm Warning who kindly agreed to perform, while on tour here from the UK.
The evening ended with a BBQ.- Slight hiccup when the BBQ caught on fire and cremated a load ofsausages!!! But all were fed in the end. Total of almost 1600 euros was raised and split between Phoenix and the Chaplaincy of Aquitaine.
Many thanks to everyone for their help and support.

Cilla Pickett

10525889_889023167791979_2816511634380476183_n 10425027_889025464458416_5758180623968003630_n 10580150_889024331125196_7414045989705604297_n 16075_889024137791882_3180102174809311597_n 16075_889024137791882_3180102174809311597_n 10606426_889025184458444_8876817204256899685_n







Foire A Tout, Eymet, 15th August 2014

Write-up and photos by Mary-Anne Boudreau:



“Despite, thick, gooey mud, wet grass, a downpour at noon, that sent most potential customers scurrying home, we managed to make 340 euros for Phoenix.


Here are some photos that I took in the morning before the deluge! Note the swollen river and muddy path thanks to the torrential rain the night before.










A real switch from the scorching sunshine and temps in the mid 30s last year.








It was a long day, only made possible because of the great help from a few stalwarts. Thanks to Sally, Sue, Chris, Linda and dogs Ellie and Elsa.”


Dogs Rock! Music Festival, 8th June, 2014

Dogs Rock! Oh yes they did!

10455322_501237830008838_4438664746056155023_nThank you everyone for a wonderful day on Sunday. Sometimes, where there is a will and a way and a joint belief in what we stand for, everything just comes together perfectly, and despite it being an event with numerous parties involved (Phoenix, Twilight, our hosts, Stu and Helene and the amazing musicians) everything worked like clockwork and everyone had a smile on their face. Even the dogs!








It was a hot day, but a perfect day for lounging on picnic blankets and deck chairs.

unnamed-6The musicians very generously gave their time and their effort and it was appreciated by all.

Richard Johnson (Phoenix) and Leeanne Whitley (Twilight) gave stirring speeches on the work that their organisations carry out, and it made the day even more meaningful.


10462480_501236300008991_4814081319521557996_nThanks to the generosity of those who attended, and those who didn’t, the total funds raised through entry fees, raffle and tombola were over 1200 euros, to be split between Phoenix and Twilight. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this, whether it be those who donated prizes or bought tickets.

A special mention to Phoenix’s Louise Elsom, who organised the Phoenix side of things and who worked very hard to secure some very nice raffle prizes and of course, to Stu and Helene, for hosting us all.

We are hoping for a Dogs Rock II next year so please, watch this space!


Phoenix Clothing Sale, 17th May, 2014

Congratulations to Anna Dean and team, who had a really successful day yesterday at the clothing sale. They raised a whopping total of 557.80 euros.

Here is Anna’s take on the day:
“The day of the sale dawned bright and cloudless and stayed warm and sunny throughout the day. All my volunteers were early and cheerful as people started to come in. I’m pretty sure at least one of them went bankrupt as they kept buying things!

The morning was busy as people came in and out. We gained two new members and a potential foster career. We were so busy we forgot to eat, so when a lovely local family gave us a tray of free fish and chips we couldn’t have been more grateful!

The afternoon was slow and mostly spent eating custard creams especially imported for the occasion.

As this was my first event I was very nervous and stressed and if anything went even a little bit wrong I’d panic. But I’ve learned that fundraising for Phoenix is like climbing a huge mountain, there are people at the bottom to motivate you and cheer you on, and around every bend and at the top of every steep part there’s someone there to pull you up and onwards and generally help you on the way.

A special thanks to all my hardworking collection points who worked miracles, my transporters for putting in their time, my volunteers for their enthusiasm and muscle and finally all those who made the trip to make the day a success.”

Home-grown Plant & Vegetable Sale, 11th May, 2014

10308297_828517397175890_6056091549549668979_nWow, what a great day it was! Congratulations to Val Ford, Cilla Pickett and Laura Jones who raised 325 euros today for Phoenix by selling home-grown plants and vegetables. Val has been planning this day for months, and she and Cilla have been working really hard growing the plants and veg.

Laura, one of our new Phoenix Reps, very capably managed the Phoenix stand and we’re so glad their efforts have paid off.

Not only that, we think we may have found a new Foster Carer, as well as a couple of potential adopters!

It’s days like this that make Phoenix what it is. It’s a team effort and we are so grateful.


The Great Phoenix Book Fair, 26th April 2014

Groucho Marx once said:

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend…”

It seems that he was quite on track, especially when it comes to you, as you (and your dogs) supported us so well this past Saturday that our Great Phoenix Book Fair was a spring record-breaker for the takings.








14075353893_f07c85b996_zQuite incredible really, given that we had not just one, but two wash-outs! Luckily the team remembered to bring towels with them to dry out the 400 chairs! Possibly weather-related, or possibly coincidentally, people arrived in 2 huge waves, one at around 10am and one at around midday.


Such a shame that the weather was not kinder to us, as the book team works extremely hard all year round, and we are so reliant on these fundraising days in order to meet our huge veterinary bills and other costs. However, we think you all know how important the day is to us, and that’s why, regardless of the rain, you came anyway, and we thank you very much for that!







The cakes and savouries were so good this year that they were a complete sell-out (not a wash-out!), not a single cup cake was left. This year, take-away boxes were on the tick-list to ensure that nothing went un-sold. Thank you to everyone who baked and donated the goodies to us, and to the team who work very, very hard to provide the excellent spread.

14055797884_833a73a1d3_zMost popular prizes for the tombola were two Harrods bears, and there was stiff competition in ticket buying to win them!

This year, for the first time, Bergerac SPA had a stand, and we especially thank the very talented Mélanie, who took professional-standard photos of you and your dogs in return for donations to Phoenix.

Glory was adopted on the day. (photo by Mélanie)

Glory was adopted on the day. (photo by Mélanie)



And one lucky Gordon Setter, Glory, who had come along for the ride, was promptly adopted.


Richard Johnson, Phoenix President with adoptee, Mollie.



The curious story of the day (there is always one!) was that two stray poodles fortuitously chose our Phoenix event to turn up at. If that’s not luck, then we don’t know what is, although it could perhaps have been the lure of the sausage rolls! A quick microchip scan, courtesy of the SPA representatives, meant that they were reunited with their owner!

The “aftermath” in clearing and shifting is still on-going, and not only the tables that are collapsed back into their respective storage places, the volunteer team is too!










And on goes the sorting of books until the next book fair which will take place on 18th October.

Thank you again to everyone involved, to everyone on the team, way too numerous to mention, and to everyone who came to support us.


Puppy Party! 1st December, 2013



What a day! Linda and Phill Archer from Cozy Cats & Dogs boarding kennels, in Villebois Lavalette, organised a puppy party! This was a dual purpose event.


Firstly, it is a safe and secure way to socialise young puppies with people and dogs.

Secondly, all of the proceeds went to Phoenix. Each participant was asked to make a donation in return for the party and tea and cakes.

Linda and Phill went out of their way to ensure it was a success. They made home-made toys for the puppies to play with, and brought out the agility tunnel, which the puppies loved zooming through to play hide-and-seek.

pp4 pp5





And then it was a lucky dip for puppy prizes. Each lucky pup went home with a pressie!



The humans also had a great time. It was a chance to socialise and chat and also to eat the lovely cakes that people had made. Noteworthy were the “pup cakes” made by Jackie Rice.


An enormous thank you to Linda and Phill, whose effort we really do appreciate, but also to the owners and puppies who took part and generously donated. A total of 116 euros was raised! This will help is to save even more dogs and puppies in the future.


Christmas Coffee Morning – Saturday 9th November, 2013



Kate Grime and team set about to re-create their success of earlier this year by holding another coffee morning in aid of Phoenix.







After a complicated start, exacerbated by a sudden change of venue (over-booking of a Salle des Fêtes!), it all came right in the end. The wonderful team of helpers worked really hard before the event, and as you can see from these photos, put on a great offering.



Cleverly, there was an area set aside for children, who could be amused by Trish in creating their own Christmas cards while the mums browsed the second hand clothes rails, and stopped for a coffee and cake.


The total raised on the day was, incredibly, over 1000 euros! Kate and team obviously have the formula just right, as everyone had a great time and so many animals may be helped as a result.

Well done and thank you to Kate and team, and also to everybody who came along on the day to support Phoenix.

Pandy’s Autumn Sponsored Dog Walk – Saturday 16th November, 2013

Thank you to everyone who took part and sponsored this event. The response has been overwhelming. Over 150 people have sponsored and the total raised will approach €4500!

Dog walkThe walk took place in beautiful sunny weather. The nucleus walk was along the banks of the Dordogne and, as planned, the team, with a motley bunch of 4-legged companions, walked the allotted 13km ….. some a liitle faster than others! Jenny Marshall’s team walked in Pompadour, a distance of 7km.















We wish you could have been with us… and Pandy too.


And just for fun, here is a photo of THE first ever Phoenix sponsored dog walk. That’s Richard (Johnson, our President) on the right with none other than…Pandy!!




Coffee Morning – Saturday 9th November, 2013

Thank you to Phoenix adopter and Member, Deborah Smith, who organised this event on behalf of Phoenix and Macmillan Cancer Support. Here is her feedback:

cakes“Dear all

What can I say – I had fantastic support today for my cake & coffee / Bring & Buy sale.
I have some wonderful friends who helped out with generous donations, beautiful cake baking and coffee making.
We made a fantastic 400 euros for Macmillan Cancer Support and the Phoenix Association – France – 200 euros each – just wonderful!


Thank you also to all those who donated, even though they couldn’t make it, very much appreciated.


all the best

Deb xx”


The Great Phoenix Book Fair – Saturday 26th October, 2013

The fairies must have sprinkled their stardust on Campsegret for us again on 26th October, 2013, as we had a really outstanding and record-breaking day.









We all had very early starts and there were some anxious volunteers, driving in the dark and rain to get to Campsegret for the 7am roll call, hoping that the weather wasn’t set in for the day. However, as soon as the flurry of assembling cakes, laying out tables and chairs, and much lugging of books began, the sun slowly rose over us and stayed out all day.

The temperature reached the mid 20s, not bad for the end of October! It wasn’t just the temperates that rose though, the money tins and collection boxes filled quickly and the satisfying clink of coins must have been heard for miles around. You were all kindly bringing your full Loose Change At Home boxes to us – thankfully, we had coin counters on stand-by!

Book7The selection of books is phenomenal. If you haven’t been to a Phoenix Book Fair, you can’t imagine it. Row after row after row of books, from bestsellers and brand new books, to books on arts & crafts, to crime, to French books to gardening – they are all there.


To balance the exit of the books whizzing off the shelves came in even more. We hired an extra lorry this time to transport the newly donated books back to the book storage barn.










We are famous for our cakes and savouries. The catering team, of course, did not let us down! Thank you to everyone who made edibles for us to sell. Strangely, we ran out of cakes before the end; that’s unusual, so we must have had more visitors this time.

Book 15


The other stalls, such as tombola and bric-a-brac, DVDs and Kids’ Corner did exceptionally well and the feeling was really positive at the close of play. Everyone who volunteers is in it for the animals and we all went home happy that we had done our best for them.




As ever, it was a delight to see so many Phoenix dogs, all waggy-taled and flourishing in their new homes. To the lovely man who adopted three of our cats in need earlier this year, thank you for coming to see us and for showing us photos of them, all grown up and happy. This truly does motivate us through the year!


G2Our star of the show this time was Gide, the 5 year-old Cavalier King Charles X Blue Roan Cocker. Please get your hankies at the ready, as poor Gide was found straying, unidentified, and with a badly injured back leg and a cut on his head. Clearly the victim of an accident, he was taken to vet’s in Bergerac. The staff at the vet’s found him so adorable that they kept him for 5 weeks, hoping to find him a new home, alas in vain. Cutting a long story short, Gide was given an outing to the book sale and ended up going home with one of our new Foster Carers. Maybe a little earlier than we had all imagined, but in this case, we are happy to let fate take its course.

You can find more details about Gide on our Dogs for Adoption page.

The customers all departed, but it wasn’t the end. The hard work really takes place both before and after the sale. 20,000 or so books have to be sorted, hauled and displayed and then the remainder taken back to the storage barn. When everyone else staggers home, bags groaning, the team carries on into the evening and again for the next couple of days to sort and store the books and to clear up the venue.


However, the one thing that motivates us all is to know it’s worth it for the animals; and so it was! The total raised was more than we had dare imagine. You have to be a Phoenix Member to be privy, as the results will be announced in the next Members’ newsletter, but given we are fighting against enormous vets’ bills at present, it’s a great relief and certainly something to celebrate.

A big “chapeau” to the indefatigable Book Fair Team and to everyone involved, too numerous to mention individually.



And thank you to everyone who came along to buy books, to donate, to say hello, to give us words of support and encouragement. We are on a high, which will last for many months until the next book sale in May. Please watch this space for dates!


Lizzie Hughes’ Half Marathon – Sunday 13th October, 2013

Lizzie ready to go



Congratulations to Lizzie who completed the Limoges half marathon on Sunday 13th October in a very fast time of 1 hour, 42 minutes. Lizzie kindly ran it on behalf of Phoenix so that all the sponsorship money can go directly towards the animals in need.









Lizzie herself in a Phoenix adopter. Here she is with Cassie, whom she adopted this year. Cassie was found on the streets as a stray.

Phoenix continually needs to raise funds to cover its enormous veterinary bills and re-homing costs. We can only rescue as many animals, such as Cassie, as our funds will allow.

Therefore, whether it’s a little or a lot, please sponsor Lizzie to show her and the animals your support. You can do this in 2 ways:

1. Send a cheque, with an explanatory note, payable to Association Phoenix, to Roger Farrow, Les Jabauds, 24380, Vergt.

2. Sponsor online using the “donate” button on the home page here.
Please make sure you complete the “Add special instructions to seller” field on the payment form with “Lizzie’s Half Marathon” so that our Treasurer can allocate the funds to Lizzie.


Phoenix Book & Plant Sale – Eymet, 15th August 2013

book and plant sale 5 aug 13


The day was very hot and sunny but that didn’t deter the many Phoenix supporters as well as visitors new to us, from coming along to buy their summer reading as well as herbaceous plants and shrubs for their summer borders.


Mary-Anne Boudreau brought around 700 good quality paperbacks, sales of which together with donations, totalled an excellent 472 euros.  Elli Downer raised and nurtured 100 plants for the event, all of which were sold, adding 136 euros to the day’s takings.  We were very pleased with the total of 608 euros, a very respectable sum given that our stall was one amongst 200 others !


phoenix display boards aug 13


It was good to see Phoenix members and supporters and also many people new to Phoenix.  We took the opportunity of publicising our work in the rescue of animals, and were delighted to recruit two new members.




Amongst the biggest purchasers for the plants were Belgian and Dutch couples who were astonished to find English herbaceous plants in south west France!


book and plant sale 8 aug 13


Thank goodness one of our volunteers brought a gazebo along, all the helpers – and the plants – followed it’s shade throughout the day and there’s no doubt that it also encouraged our customers to linger for longer whilst finding more to tempt  them !



We were very pleased to meet Julie Goatham, President and Wendy Ralph, Events, from the Dordogne Ladies Club International, who presented Sheelagh and Rik Johnson, founders of Association Phoenix, with a very generous cheque for €1500.

This  large amount was raised by DLCI members after Phoenix was chosen as one of the local charities to benefit from their support in 2013.  A very BIG thank you to all the members for their fantastic fundraising work.

A big THANK YOU to all who came to purchase books and plants and to those who very generously donated their paperbacks  – we estimate that around 200 were also donated on the day including some from other stallholders !  Many thanks to our wonderful volunteers, Jenny, Christine, Ian, Theresa, Sussie and Julie, for their invaluable assistance, thank you for helping to make a success of the day.

Visitor comments :

  • ‘Saw the advertising and decided to find your stall, so happy I did, excellent choice of books and plants’
  • ‘Hadn’t expected such a large number of quality books’
  • Did not expect to find a selection of lovely English herbaceous plants in the middle of Eymet !’
  • ‘Interesting titles and lots of choice’
  • ‘Recently published books at only 1 euro each – a bargain !’
  • ‘It’s good to be able to buy books in my home town.’


Supper Under The Stars – 20th June 2013

Phoenix would like to extend a massive thank you to Cilla Pickett and her friends and family who organised the Supper Under The Stars (or in the end, as the weather dictated, Supper in the Salle des Fêtes!).

Cilla organised this event entirely using her own initiative, for her love of animals, and we are very grateful. Here are Cilla’s words about the event:

_DSC7180LR“Since arriving in France 2 years ago, I have become increasingly aware of the good and much needed work of Phoenix. I decided that I would like to raise some money for them and having been to an event last year where we ate and listened to music outside in a lovely garden decorated with fairy lights and candles, I decided that this would be what I would do.
To maximise profit, I decided to use my garden. My husband, Rick, would provide the music and I would also cook the food so that we would be paying out as little as possible. I chose mid-summer as I had organised a number of parties at that time in the UK and had always had good weather (and we are in the Dordogne after all!!).

40 would be a good number, I thought, and if it were to rain we could just about squeeze them into the house. Not being sure how many of my friends would be able to come, I went public on the DVN and as numbers began to creep up, I got carried away by the amount of money we might raise and just couldn’t say no. I did, however, see sense as numbers headed towards 66 and I started a waiting list. .


Two weeks to go and the long-range forecast did not look good. It always changes, we assured ourselves, but as time crept on, my vision of stars and candles faded and I started arranging to borrow gazebos and umbrellas.


Days of endless rain followed; we couldn’t cut the grass or tidy the garden and 2 days before the event, I could no longer stand the image of people cold and wet or squashed like sardines in my house so I decided I had to find a nice Salle des Fêtes…..

_DSC7149LR……more easily said than done because no one wanted to hire out on a Thursday when they had bookings for the weekend as it meant more cleaning! It took from 11am to 9.30pm on day before the event to convince the Mayor of Douchapt that I would leave it as I found it!!!


With cloths, flowers, candles and some brilliant helpers, we transformed the Salle and as the rain continued to fall, I knew I had done the right thing.

We served bubbly and nibbles as people arrived and Rick played background music on the piano. Melon and Parma ham were followed by boeuf bourguignon , cheese and biscuits and a selection of puds.


After supper, Rick changed and got on the guitar with some more lively rock and pop and most people were up on the floor. During the evening there was a raffle with some brilliant prizes. Someone who was not able to come on the night offered to get some prizes and she came up with about 10, mainly meals for 2 in restaurants in and around Aubeterre. .







I would like to give thanks to the following people:

Rick for the Music,

Gill, Linda, Merv and Howard for help and support from the start and on the evening,

Clare White – Tickets and money,

Jackie, Sue, Nikki and her sister, who helped on the day,

Helen Griffith for the raffle prizes,

Janet de Bathe – Raffle prize, flowers and crocks,

Lynda and Dermot – Help with the food and raffle prize,

Jean-Luc for arranging the Salle,

and all the other people who helped beforehand and on the night. Despite having to pay for the Salle we raised a very large sum of money for Phoenix and a good night was had by all.



Phoenix Coffee Morning, St Méard de Gurçon

Kate Grime, who organised this event says, “A huge thank-you to all my friends who put so much work into the event, the sorting, ironing, the setting up, the sale itself and the dreaded clearing up afterwards
thanks to; Lynda, Joan and Jeremy, Marie, Lynn and Diana and of course all the wonderful people that donated their things to us.”

cmorn (2) .


cmorn (6).