The Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Hertford British Hospital Charity have created a solidarity initiative, under the high patronage of the British Ambassador to France and the French Ambassador to the United Kingdom, to support the work of the Franco-British Sillery Foundation in the Essonne department which is actively engaged in the fight against the Covid-19 virus.
Since the beginning of the health crisis, the Franco-British Sillery Foundation’s people with disabilities have been involved in the collective effort to combat the effects of the Covid-19 virus in the communities where they are present, at six of their sites in France. The Foundation makes masks, treats linen, provides daily meals to the staff of medical-social establishments, makes oxygen bottle caps for Air Liquide, packages hydro-alcoholic gel and more.
The Franco-British Sillery Foundation is in urgent need of funds to continue its emergency health work, but also to accompany the 800 people and their families that it usually cares for who have a disability and/or are in a situation of exclusion.
The Foundation is in urgent need of funds for :
– personal protective equipment and meals for the mobile first-aid personnel currently based in its facilities
– computers and computer equipment for training staff to continue their work with 200 home-bound trainees with disabilities.
– the acquisition of sewing machines and fabric for its volunteers who make masks
– protective clothing for the Foundation’s staff who support and accompany the fragile population of elderly, handicapped and/or excluded people and the sick who depend on them on a daily basis
– digital teaching material for the 50 disabled people confined in its headquarters in Sillery itself (Epinay-sur- Orge’s Châteaux de Sillery, on the southern outskirts of Paris)
– reinforcement of its staff numbers and replacement of those affected by Covid-19, to ensure the continuity of all vital services and activities.
A shining example of Franco-British co-operation at the most human level
This initiative brings together three institutions in France made up of British and French nationals who share common values of Franco-British cooperation, humanity, ethics and pragmatism and the desire to support those who help others in such a selfless way. The campaign to raise funds and donations in kind for the Franco-British Sillery Foundation is on the GoFundMe website.
Thierry Drilhon, President of the Franco-British Chamber, states “The Chamber wishes to pay tribute to the remarkable work carried out by the Franco-British Sillery Foundation over the past 100 years and especially to the young people who have wished to participate in the collective effort in this exceptional health crisis.”
“At a time of great need, as the Foundation unswervingly struggles to continue its work by uniting its vulnerable youngsters in the fight against Covid-19. The Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Hertford British Hospital Charity have come together to launch an unprecedented initiative to support them. I send them both, and you all who rally to their call, our deepest appreciation. This appeal provides a shining example of Franco-British co-operation at the most human level.” — Geoffrey Cardozo, President of the Fondation Franco-Britannique de Sillery
Michel de Fabiani, President of the Hertford British Hospital Charity, adds “Since its creation in 1871, the Hertford British Hospital Charity has been active in the field of Franco-British health care and it was therefore natural that we should support the Franco-British Foundation of Sillery for its Covid actions and more generally the aid to the disabled.”
www.ffbs-sillery.com The history of the Franco-British Foundation, headquartered at Epinay-sur- Orge’s Châteaux de Sillery, on the southern outskirts of Paris, goes back to the First World War and the British Committee of the French Red Cross located in Knightsbridge. Under the patronage of HM Queen Alexandra and presided over by the energetic Vicomtesse de la Panouse, wife of the then French military attaché in London, the committee coordinated all manner of assistance given to injured French soldiers. The funds supporting this work were donated entirely by English and Scottish contributors. Madame de la Panouse – later made a Dame of the British Empire – would, herself, convey funds, Red Cross parcels, medical and surgical equipment to military hospitals in France, many of them in the front line.