Exchange Visits with St Martin. The main object of our association is to promote
and foster friendship and understanding between the two communities by encouraging
visits of groups and individuals within the respective communities. To this end,
our main activity is the annual alternating 'Exchange Visit' organised with St Martin.
i.e. One year, we organise a coach trip for our members to travel across to France
for a weekend during the summer and be hosted and entertained by our friends in St
Martin. The following year, they come over to Sussex and are hosted by us. These
visits are the 'full' weekends - ie. we travel over by coach on the Friday and come
back on Monday, giving a clear 2-day stay.
Mini Weekends. More recently, at different times of the year, we have arranged additional,
shorter visits for smaller groups, with the travelling usually being done on a car-share
basis. These 'mini-weekends' are usually arranged around a walking/ cycling activity
taking place on the Saturday, and travelling back on the Sunday.
Over the years, of course, established friendships have built up with our French
counterparts, and several of our members make additional, privately arranged visits
to one another.
Local Functions. Throughout the year, apart from the French visits, we organise various
functions in the local area. These are done with the aim of providing a social calendar
for our members to meet up for a range of interesting and social activities. These
functions are, at the same time, a means of fund-raising. This is an essential part
of our operation, as we have to be able to cover the cost of entertaining our French
guests for their visits to us. Also, as non-members are very welcome to join us for
most of these functions it is an ideal way for them to 'sample' us, and our activities,
without any commitment to join.