Founder and Owner of TheHagueOnLine
Billy moved to The Hague from London as a strategic planner for a Brazilian mining company 20 years ago. At that time, the expat community was much smaller and, as he started to put down roots, he began organising social networking events centred around local cultural and sporting events. In 2005 he presented the first Feel At Home In the Hague Fair at The Carlton Ambassador Hotel. It was so successful, that the following year he was invited by the Hague Municipality to hold the event in The Hague City Hall. Over time, the Feel at Home Fair has grown into the biggest International Community event in the region, with up to 200 exhibitors and over 4000 visitors. It is unique in being a totally inclusive event which allows non-profit sports clubs and associations to exhibit free of charge and offers very low costs of entry to small businesses. The Fair is supported by the bi-annual Feel At Home Magazine, 10,000 copies of which are distributed free of charge through schools, companies, local shops and sports halls.
Billy is also the founder of TheHagueOnLine.Com, the first internet service to provide local news and events information in English to the International Community of The Hague. His local knowledge and international network is unrivalled, and walking around the City centre with him, you could be forgiven for thinking The Hague is a village, as he is recognised wherever he goes!
Project Manager, Feel at Home in The Hague International Community Fair
Like Billy, Claire has a scientific background, but on graduation she moved in to the advertising and communications industry which was an exciting place in London in the boom-time of the 80s. She moved to Paris in 1990 as an advertising planner and then Director of Studies at Linguarama France and learnt a great deal about overcoming the barriers of communications across languages and cultures.
When she moved to Geneva with two small children in 2000, her focus turned to the voluntary sector in association with both local and international schools, helping newly arrived expat families feel at home in Geneva and “France voisine” through playgroups, language classes and social events.
In 2012 with her move to The Hague, ahead of her husband and with teenage boys, she discovered through the BSN Bassets Rugby Club how important a sports association can be in helping families to integrate into a new international location, meeting locals and travelling to away matches in a team environment. She feels The Feel at Home Fair is a great opportunity to put both local and international sports clubs and associations in touch with the international community and thereby help people feel a sense of belonging in their adopted country.
Coordinator of Seminar and Workshop Programme
Diane Lemieux was born in Quebec and moved to live abroad for the first time at the age of three. That journey continued through 11 countries on five continents during which she collected 4 languages, two passports and several cultural identities. She is a journalist, author of four books including The Mobile Life: a new approach to moving anywhere, and public speaker on issues of global mobility. For more information see her blog: diane-lemieux.com/mobilelife/
Intern, Arts & Culture at the Fair
ACCESS Manager for Sports, Social & Community Group Stands
Marina moved from Russia to the Netherlands 10 months ago, although sometimes she has the feeling that she has already been living in the Netherlands for many years! She is originally from Vladivostok but more recently from Saint-Petersburg. She has previously spent a year abroad, in the USA, when she was just 20 years old.
Marina studied Dutch in Saint-Petersburg, before she arrived and she believes speaking the language is an important part of feeling at home in a country. She has noticed some significant cultural differences compared with her home country, such as the directness of the Dutch and their strict time-keeping! However she appreciates that the local people are very open-minded and sociable with different nationalities, and that they treat everyone as equal.
Her interest in serving the international community is one reason I began volunteering with ACCESS. As information officer she provides guidance, advice and information to help individuals with settling, or living and working in the Netherlands. She enjoys doing it with all my heart and feesl very lucky to have had the opportunity to use her organizational skills with ACCESS during “Welcome to the Hague” information session, the Appelpop 2016 event in Tiel, and now as the manager for Sports, Social and Community groups at “The Feel at Home in The Hague Fair 2017.
In her free time she likes to travel. This year she has been to the Arab Emirates, Germany , Belgium , the Czech Republic and back to Russia. In her spare time in The Hague she enjoys sports activities such as yoga, swimming, and dancing. In summer she loves cycling from Voorburg to Scheveningen. She feels at home here and is happy to have stumbled upon a quality cosmopolitan life in the Hague.
Get in touch
Please use this page to get in touch with us about anything relating to the Feel at Home in The Hague International Community Fair.
For general enquires, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at +31-70-3562202