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Marianne (22 years old)

Volunteer, training course worksite, Lille, 2021

"The training course at the Citadelle of Lille allowed me to learn how to cut different stones and to try brick masonry, a material that is quite rare in my region of origin. The theoretical courses and time of reflection on the spot are also anopportunity to learn to identify typologies of the built, but also disorders, which will particualry be of use to me as I am in a course of restoration of the built. This internship met my expectations by bringing me a lot of knowledge and especially technical skills. Finally, two important ingredients have helped make this a unique moment : an excellent atmosphere and an exceptional working environment !”


Tristan (19 years old)

Volunteer, training course worksite, Lille, 2021

"The Lille construction site allowed me to glimpse, for two weeks, the world of construction and restoration through various practical workshops. These various workshops, each with their own specificities, gave me a brief overview of the different trades that come into play when carrying out such a project. I particularly appreciated the stone cutting workshop for it showed us in the most obvious way and in a relatively short time what we were able to achieve with our hands.

I chose this site for two main reasons : the first one is the ranking of the citadel as as a French Historical Monument, the second one is its low accessibility to the public.

As an architecture student, this project met my expectations because I discovered how heritage is restored, an area in which I want to continue my studies.”


Naïs (17 years old)

Volunteer, training course worksite, Lille, 2021

"Personally, I loved this course, we were able to learn a lot more than I would have thought, whether it be the masonry, the cutting/laying of stone, or even the operation and the reality of a worksite, not to mention the courses of Mr Poncelet! The setting of the site is super cool, the Citadelle is really beautiful and I find rewarding to be with the military servicemen. The atmosphere was really great, and the outings/visits were nice. For my part, it met my expectations and even beyond !”


Phou (54 years old)

Volunteer, training course worksite, Lille, 2021

"1) The human adventure is more interesting than the historical aspect because I work at the citadel.

2) The fact of discovering the ammunition brings an interesting interest for you with the arrival of the bomb squad; these are good moments lived.

3) Congratulations to you executives and trainees for taking your time to help renovate a small part of the citadel. 

4) 2 weeks is too short given that we lose the first day and the last day of departure.  A third week would be a plus, with a real weekend off for interns.  

In conclusion : I am 100% delighted with this internship among this team of executives and interns.  100% happy to meet you and look forward to seeing you again in another context.  No regrets and excellent human and historical adventure. Everything is perfect for me.”


Océane (19 years old)

Volunteer, training course worksite, Lille, 2021

"I discovered the association through a friend, as we had a mandatory internship to do for our architecture license. I chose this course especially because the citadel of Lille is a listed historical monument so it requires the intervention of an Architect of Buildings of France. I thought it would be interesting to meet an architect "for real" (other than our teachers...). In addition, the monument itself seemed to be very interesting. And I had never been farther north than Paris, it was an opportunity !

I really enjoyed the construction site which perfectly met my expectations (and even exceeded them), I would have signed immediately for another week! From a technical and practical point of view, the various achievements were very interesting and I learned a lot. Also from a historical point of view I find that integrating the story and explanation of the history of the monument is important. It motivated me even more to participate in its renovation. The specific context of the site (military compound not accessible) was also instructive in that members were approached and questioned about their profession and what they thought about their workplace (some of them even live here). And finally I also really enjoyed the social aspect of the course : I was a bit afraid about this I confess, I am a person who mostly stays away from people. But it didn’t happen like that at all on the construction site (and good !), we all hung on very well (except for a few little hiccups) and I think we were all disappointed to leave after two weeks. Living and working together for two weeks allowed us to make new acquaintances and exchange between people from different backgrounds (or not), different ages, etc... The supervisors were also really great !"


Aurélie (17 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Le Bec-Hellouin, 2021

"Arrived by chance at the volunteers worksite in the Abbey of Le Bec-Hellouin in search of discoveries, I was not disappointed ! I was able to learn some basis of masonry and monument restoration. In company of my sledgehammer and then my trowel, I got acquainted with stones and mortar but also with this monument, its history and architecture. At the same time, there were great meetings with the volunteers, the supervisors and sometimes even the residents of the abbey! We had a great time on the construction site and during free time !"


Clémentine (25 years old)

Civic service volunteer, 2020-2021

"A civic service with C.H.A.M association is… a little lime, sand and water for the mortar, a few strokes of sledgehammer and moil, two or three brief moments of ache, without forgetting the brushing, with a good dose of humour and joyful encounters added to it all ! Also and above all, it means spending time with passionate and exciting professionals, a versatile team whose careers are truly inspiring !

After my studies in architecture, I was looking for a "meaningful" experience, complementary to my training. These 8 months within the association have given me the opportunity to discover concretely the field of built heritage, from a human and technical point of view. Having both a foot in the field and another in the office where studies and restoration projects are organized, the diversity of missions (communication, creation of teaching materials, reports and site management, stone-cutting courses, etc.) has always been a vector of learning, of learning, with a great freedom of action !"


Armande (34 years old)

Volunteer, training course worksite, Le Bec-Hellouin, 2020

"Just like a water spring in the forest, the silence of the workshop is only filled with the steady clatter of the cisors shaping the stone. As I am standing on front of my stone, shaping it is the only thing I am focused on. During the worksite CHAM's staff taught me techniques and movements I fully dedicated to for two weeks. Such an experience is irreplaceable ! Physical effort and mastering the gestures despite tiredness and anxiety are part of the game. 

I would like to thank Thomas, Aurélie and Célia who shared with us their knowledge and sense of devotion for the restoration of the Saint Nicolas tower, as well as my worksite mates for their stimulating company !"


Clara (18 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Le Lude, 2020

"I wanted to participate to a C.H.A.M worksite because of my curiosity about historical monuments. I can say that I was absolutely not disappointed by this experience! According to me, these three weeks as a volunteer on the Lude worksite were extremely rewarding. I have learned how to use a concrete mixer, remove and apply plaster. Moreover, we have participated to some “theory explanations” in order to complete our knowledge in architectural vocabulary.


I also can say that this experience offered me the occasion to make me some great friends that I have planned to see in Paris. I loved the weekend activities and the things that we used to do on the evening after diner.


I highly recommend C.H.A.M worksites, it is a great experience on several levels."


Clothilde (21 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksites, Liré and Le Lude, 2020

"I participated to two worksites this summer with C.H.A.M. The first one was in the small town of Liré, and the second one was near the Lude castle. I did theses worksites because of my studies (I have to do an internship to pass my year). This experience allowed me to discover many techniques used to restore historical monuments such as removing old plaster. I have to admit that doing this worksite also allowed to meet many incredible people, to participate to some cool activities on the week-end and to laugh a lot with my new friends!


I can conclude by saying that participate to a C.H.A.M worksite was totally a beautiful life experience for me!"


Agathe (16 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksites, Liré, 2018, 2019, 2020, Le Bec-Hellouin 2020

« I took part in the worksite of Liré in 2018, 2019 and 2020 and it was probably the coolest thing of my summers. The atmosphere was incredible and the people were just lovely ! As to the worksite itself, what an experience ! »


inès (19 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Montépilloy, 2019

"Montépilloy worksite was a very enriching experience for me, both on a technical and human points of view. I spend a lot of time on my computer so I discovered the association on the Internet ; I was looking for a nice occupation for August and I already had volunteering actions for heritage in mind so I ended up finding CHAM association. I was allured right away by the easyness of the subscription. On all other sites I had searched the form was unclear whereas it is all well explained on CHAM website.


While I had no experience of collective life and camping I surprisingly enjoyed this way of life. I have met nice persons during the stay, some of them I am still in touch with today.

For all these good things I will not hesitate to go to another worksite as soon as I get the occasion, with the same staff if it is possible !"


Victor (23 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Montépilloy, 2019

« A very enriching experience on the cultural and social points of view ; everything went well with a unified team and very pedagogic staff members. I recommend this experience. »


élora (19 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Montépilloy, 2019

« Montépilloy worksite was a first for me given the unbelievable experience it is ; it will certainly not be my last worksite with the CHAM ! I knew nothing about construction or restoration techniques on medieval buildings so I went there with a slight apprehension but the staff team stopped my doubts right away. Indeed they were always present and patient to explain us how to do and we learnt a lot of things ; it made me want to keep participating to heritage conservation in the future ! Besides, community life went very well and we had great times during the activities on weekends or evenings after the worksite. This experience also allowed to stay in touch with people I met there and whom I really love now. Thanks a lot to the association for it allowed me to live a very enriching experience, n both technical and human aspects. »


ULRIC (28 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Liré and Le Bec-Hellouin, 2019

« This summer I participated to my two first volunteers worksites, in Liré and Le Bec-Hellouin. They were very different worksites so they were very enriching to me. In Liré I discovered how to wihdraw joints and how to make a coating with natural lime, to restore the castle's little chapel as it used to be done. I also learnt measurement surveying on a façade and masonry on a law wall. In Le Bec-Hellouin I discovered covering techniques on a small building of the abbey and reproduced some activities from Liré in a different context. Working for medieval heritage restoration is very rewarding, we fell we are doing something useful and lasting. Besides, I really enjoyed respecting old techniques as far as possible. Moreover, teamworking makes all activities very lively. Camp life is nice, we cook and wash the dishes (less funny!) together, we play games and make visits on free time. You musn't be incomfortable with heat on the worksite and you should also have a good sleeping bag to resist cold nights..but it is part of the experience ! Anyway, I don't regret it. »


Armonie (17 years old)

Volunteer, volunteers worksite, Liré, 2019

« I participated to Liré volunteers worksite and I really enjoyed the experience. I can hardly find anything negative with a wonderful ambience that was present from the moment I arrived and during my two weeks, without getting any weaker along the worksite. I have been welcomed with big smiles righ away and it was easy for me to fit in. I liked the autonomy and independence we are given during the stay, both on the worksite and on the camp. What I remember of the stay is that it is an experience that is to be done and done again...if you are ready to give it all on the worksite of course. As to the staff, it is good, it was extraordinary indeed. They were funny (really very funny) and they really showed and transmitted to us their passion for heritage and good work. But they were also there for us to help us when needed. Conclusion it was AWESOME (completely objectively of course). »


Clémence (19 ans)

Bénévole, chantier de bénévoles, Lille, 2018

This experience has been very enriching ! I learnt about different professions : stone cutting, masonry... It was very gratifying to participate to the restoration of a historical monument. 

The staff was very nice. They taught me a lot about the citadel's history and about their jobs. It was a real human and professional experience ! Thanks again to C.H.A.M for making me discover the world of historical restoration.


Dominic (26 ans)

Bénévole, chantier de bénévoles, Lille, 2018

The worksite was simply great, very instructive. It gives a real practical experience in restoration and a good look into conservation issues. It is an irreplaceable experience including in the field of art history. Proposing a practical training course is particularly attractive as it lacks in many formations. 


émilien (18 ans)

Bénévole, chantier de bénévoles, Albas, 2018

From the9th to the 27th of July I participated to the "Historical Monuments" worksite of Albas (Occitanie region). It was my first participation with this association and I don't regret it. In a pleasant place and with a limited but united group... an unforgettable time ! I had already participated to worksites with other associations and I can confirm that it is a formative time. 

Whether you are keen on history or just want to volunteer, I would advise to anyone who is motivated to participate to a worksite. 

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