Couple say thanks for supporting armed forces holidays in France

Paulette and Phil Jones at a reception in St Firmin's Church hall, Thurlby, where they celebrated four years of holidays for heroes with the people whose support made it possible. EMN-141124-170552001
Paulette and Phil Jones at a reception in St Firmin's Church hall, Thurlby, where they celebrated four years of holidays for heroes with the people whose support made it possible. EMN-141124-170552001
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A couple celebrated four years of providing free holidays for armed forces staff who suffer combat stress or physical injuries with a party for the people whose support made it possible.

Phil and Paulette Jones live in St Fort sur le Ne in south-west France, but were formerly residents in Elsea Park, Bourne and worshipped at St Firmin’s Church in Thurlby.

Through their project, Joie de Vie, they provide short breaks at their self-catering studio to service personnel who need a break but cannot afford one for a very small charge.

The scheme has had the support of people from Bourne and nearby villages which has helped pay the travel costs of some of the guests who would otherwise not have been able to afford the trip.

On Friday the couple held a party at St Firmin’s Church Hall, to thank the people from Thurlby, Langtoft, Baston, Northorpe and Bourne for their help.

Paulette said: “We celebrated four years of our running Joie de Vie.

“It was a wonderful, uplifting evening as we were delighted to thank our faithful supporters personally.

“Phil and I gave an update about the project and explained how their fund-raising helps us tremendously, as it helps pay for the travel costs of some of our guests.”

Phil, 57, a former RAF pilot and Paulette, 56, moved to France in 2009.

Paulette has since written Another Promised Land, a book about the discovery of their Christian faith, the founding of Joie de Vie, French culture and customs and deep sense of belonging in France.

Royalties from the book go towards providing holidays for people who serve in the military, veterans or those who work closely alongside the Armed Forces.

Phil and Paulette can be contacted by e-mail at philandpaulette@hotmail.co.uk.