Join a language club!

Part of OrneLink’s remit is to facilitate social and linguistic exchange between members. Many expat members of the network would like to improve their French; but lessons can be costly, inconvenient and hard to stick at. There are also many French members who would love the opportunity to practice or improve their English.

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OrneLink - one year old!

OrneLink celebrated its first anniversary on Saturday 3rd July, on the lawns of the Hôtel du département in Alençon. 300 people attended an informal and relaxed gathering which was hosted by Alain Lambert, President of Orne Council and originator of this unique initiative. Local councillors, maires and Anglo-French members of the network forged new friendships and made useful contacts.

Click here to see the photo gallery...

The ambiance thrilled to a mix of swing, blues and jazz performed by Jazz Franglais. Children young and old took part in a nature workshop organised by the Ludokiosque association and guests were treated to specially prepared cocktails made from local produce. Mick Connors was on hand to give members who wished a one-to-one guided tour of OrneLink's new website.

Alain Lambert and the team would like to thank everyone who attended for helping to make yet another OrneLink gathering such a success!

Business Networking 'made in Orne'

On Thursday 18th March, OrneLink hosted the first Business Networking event, at the Hôtel du département in Alençon. Around 70 people attended, a broad mix of both Anglophone and French business people: teleworkers, consultants, manufacturers, lawyers, horse-breeders, artists, accountants… There were also representatives from partners such as Orne Développement and local councillors.

Click here to see the photo gallery...

Surprisingly, Networking events are almost unknown in France, in spite of their widespread appeal in the UK and particularly the US. OrneLink’s mission was to introduce the concept of these events to local businesses, highlighting the benefits of networking to find both clients and collaborators but also emphasising the services and skills which are offered by Anglophone businesses in the department. Guests were able to exchange anecdotes or business cards, discuss opportunities or share experiences over a glass of wine in a relaxed and convivial atmosphere.

In his speech, Alain Lambert spoke of his belief in networking, a conviction which was at the heart of his desire to create OrneLink, and subsequently the Cercle des Ornais de Paris. He also spoke about the Council’s project to create 10 teleworking centres across the department in the next three years. Equipped with fibre-optic internet connections, video-conferencing facilities and meeting rooms, these office spaces will be a real advantage to those wishing to balance a quiet life in the country with the need to be in contact with clients and customers in other parts of the country or beyond.

For this first edition, OrneLink invited Alexia Germont, who divides her time between the Orne and London, to give a talk on the differences and difficulties of doing business in a foreign country. Alexia has lived in the UK for nearly 20 years and highlighted some dos and don’ts for those thinking of working in a foreign country – tips as invaluable for people who have come to settle in France as they are for French business thinking of broadening their horizons. Her top tips? Always learn the language and don’t be fooled into thinking that because France and the UK are geographically close, the cultural differences aren’t substantial.

Our thanks to ‘master of ceremonies’ Eric Mas, economic journalist on Normandie FM and Alexia Germont, who travelled from London to be with us.

If you know a French business interested in attending a future Business Networking event, all they have to do is email the OrneLink office (ornelink AT cg61 DOT fr) to be included on our mailing list.

OrneLink Party

Alain Lambert and the OrneLink team would like to extend their warmest thanks to those of you who attended the latest OrneLink Party on Saturday 31st October.

Click here to see the photo gallery...

Over 200 people were at the Hôtel du département that evening. We hope you enjoyed yourselves and made new friends.

President Lambert was very pleased to meet you and to have the chance to speak to you. You can read his message of thanks on his blog.

We would especially like to thank Franck Quinton, head chef of the Manoir du Lys in Bagnoles-de-l'Orne, who delighted us with his delicious pumpkin soup with mushroom mousse; Charles Bataille, artisan chocolatier from Bellême; and Aurélie Lecorps (Passeurs de rêves) who entertained the children with stories, music and art.

The Orne has a twibe

Those of you who tweet will have heard about twibes. They are basically groups of twitter users interested in the same topic - and the Orne has its own twibe at http://twibes.com/twittorne.

It’s easy to join up, all you need is a twitter account. Go to the twibe, click on the green “Join” button and you will be redirected to the sign-in page on twitter. Once signed in you will see that a tweet has automatically been created for you saying “Just joined a twibe. Visit http://twibes.com/twittorne to join”. All you have to do is click “update” and you will be automatically added to the twibe.

Join us at the Orne twibe and start tweeting about the Orne!

Garden Party

Thanks to all of you who attended the first OrneLink Garden Party. We hope you had a lovely time and had the chance to meet interesting people and find out useful information.

As Alain Lambert said in his speech, we hope you will be able to use the network to your advantage and that you will help us to build on these strong beginnings by putting forward your ideas and your needs. This network is for you, so please don’t hesitate to send us your comments.

Videos of Alain Lambert's and Ken Tatham's speeches, plus the interviews we filmed on the day, can be found on the OrneLink TV page.

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