All about Twinning …
Town twinning is an agreement of goodwill made between two towns of similar size and character in two different countries. They sign a charter to foster friendship and goodwill between their two communities. There is a strong tradition of twinning between the countries of mainland Europe and it is becoming increasingly popular in Britain. This supports the aims of the Treaty of Rome which declares a determination to “lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe.” Reciprocal two-way visits foster personal friendships and mutual understanding. By visiting a twin town, staying with a family and discussing things of mutual interest, we discover what we have in common and learn to understand and enjoy our differences – such as French cooking!
Who are we twinned with?
We signed a twinning charter with the small spa town of Contrexéville in 1992. It is in a region of low mountains called the Vosges, a rural area which shares many features with Radnorshire. It has a lively community with a thriving arts and recreation centre. Its economy is boosted by tourism and the sale of its bottled mineral water. Its manufacturing base comprises small and medium enterprises in and around the town. Contrexéville was itself twinned with the German spa town of Bad Rappenau, near Heidelberg and in 2001 a formal twinning charter was signed between Llandrindod Wells and Bad Rappenau.
What are the aims of the Association?
The Association recognises the need to open up the twinning so that it is accessible to all sectors of our community. It is up to local groups wishing to make links abroad to contact the Twinning Association. The Twinning Association would then endeavour to find a compatible group in our twin towns. These are some of the areas in which we would like to see exchange visits being arranged in these areas:
- education, training, and work experience
- culture, music and the arts
- sport and recreation
- business and tourism development
- social visits
We particularly wish to support exchanges involving young people.
Do I need to know the language?
It is not essential to speak the language of the country you visit. If necessary, efforts are made to accommodate you in a home where at least one family member speaks English. However, it is never too late to learn! Why not take an evening class?
How is the Association run?
The Twinning Association is an independent organisation and relies on the energy and enthusiasm of local residents to make the programme work. A small committee of volunteers runs the twinning programme and keeps in regular contact with our counterparts in Contrexéville and Bad Rappenau. The committee is supported by a number of working groups dealing with matters such as fundraising, publicity, and hospitality.
How is twinning funded?
The Association’s activities are regularly supported by Llandrindod Wells Town Council. We have also successfully obtained grants from Powys County Council and the European Commission for specific projects. However, we rely heavily on the efforts of our fundraising working group. After covering our running costs, our priority for funding is to meet the cost of receiving visiting groups. We rely on local families to provide hospitality, but additional funds are needed for the receptions and social gatherings which we arrange while visitors are here. These events provide excellent opportunities for visitors and local people to meet. The Association does not fund the costs of groups travelling abroad, but can often assist with funding applications to other organisations. In particular, all funding bids to Llandrindod Wells Town Council, Powys County Council or the European Commission need to be submitted through the Association.
How can I get involved?
There are no limits to the extent to which the twinning programme can be developed for the benefit of our community. It is up to local residents and groups to put forward ideas, so that the programme can reflect the needs and wishes of the community. If you can offer your help on a regular or seasonal basis, for example by helping with fundraising or by putting up visitors in your home, this will help to enlarge and expand our twinning links. This provides opportunities to get involved with your local community and with the French and German visitors. Opportunities will then arise for visiting Contrexéville and Bad Rappenau at the cost of a bus ticket and some presents for your host family.
Please contact the Chairman for further information : email firstname.lastname@example.org – ( +44 (0) 1597 851427