Category: Community

RNA donates to Age Concern

On Tuesday 26th March representatives of the Royal Naval Association (RNA) visited Age Concern on the Costa Blanca Sur, La Siesta. The reason was to make a donation of €372 to Age Concern’s President, Maureen Payne. The money will go towards helping Age Concern maintain their high level of services, mobility aids and vehicles for the over 50s on the Southern Costa Blanca.
The RNA raises funds by the way of raffles and book sales during their monthly visits to Restaurant Danmark in Torrevieja where they enjoy meeting for a menu del dia. The RNA was formed in 1990 and has a solid membership base of 85. However, they are always looking out for new members and anyone interested in joining need not necessarily be ex-navy. What’s most important is that they maintain the ethos of the association.
The RNA selects three worthy charities on a yearly basis to donate to. Age Concern were delighted when they were chosen in 2019 to receive a donation. The RNA representatives who made the donation on Tuesday included Ian Rowlands, Danny Kay, Rose Kay and Carol Rowlands. They enjoyed meeting the beneficiaries of Age Concern, at the day centre, for their daily coffee morning.
Age Concern would like to thank the members of the RNA for contributing to this donation.

Satellites Direct leads the way for TV services

With its head office in San Miguel, Satellites Direct has been leading TV services on the Costa Blanca for more than ten years and with owner Nigel having more than 30 years experience in the industry customers are in safe and knowledgeable hands.
Satellites Direct covers La Manga to Alicante including Torrevieja, Villamartin, La marina, Quesada and inland to Murcia and Orihuela in the Costa Blanca region and beyond. The company has a 4.8 rating out of 5 ranking on Google and strives to give customers the best deal and good honest service with the best advice.
Offering 350 channels from the UK on the Freesat system with no monthly payments, Satellites Direct can also offer official sky cards for Sky sports and movies, sky receivers , NOW TV boxes, and IPTV systems offering the best English television. Everything is in stock including satellite receivers and cards, satellite dishes, remote controls, mag boxes, LNB´s and additional stock.
The team is fully trained and insured qualified installers offers second-to-none knowledge and service. The company has an excellent reputation and is well regarded as being one of the best for service, installation and customer care in the area. Customers can have confidence in dealing with friendly staff at a local headquarters, where they are welcome to discuss their needs.
So if you are looking for UK TV in Spain whether it be Freesat, SKY, IPTV or are having issues with your TV service then look no further than Satellites Direct in San Miguel.
For further information call 966 723 792 visit: or email: satellites Alternatively call into the office in Calle Ronda Oests 4, San Miguel de Salinas open 10am to 3pm Monday to Friday.

Another week, another rescue

What sort of person leaves their horse tied up to a palm tree on the side of the road and simply walks away? We’ll never know because this latest rescue has no microchip or any other forms of identification. The Policia Local in Albatera got in contact with Easy Horse Care Rescue Centre (EHCRC) on the advice of Seprona from a neighbouring town. This in itself is very reassuring as it demonstrates that there is a growing interest amongst the authorities regarding animal welfare and the Rescue Centre is seeing more and more cases of law enforcement being willing to act to save an animal knowing there is somewhere safe for them to be.
Two young Police Officers met Rod Weeding, Co-Founder of EHCRC, at the Albatera police station to complete the necessary paperwork for her to be transported legally to the safety of the Rescue Centre. Then they took him to the location and with their assistance and that of several other helpful bystanders they eventually loaded her into the horse box. Rod said: “It was quite a struggle trying to coax and encourage her with bits of grass and treats to get into the trailer. There were two elderly guys and two young girls who helped and there were several others bystanders who were interested in what was happening. But it still took over an hour to finally get her into the trailer. The Police were fantastic.”
This stunning mare now called Megan is about three years old. She has been seen by the vet Dorothea and at least she is not in foal as that was a worry. Foals are absolutely adorable – but with nearly 120 horses, ponies and donkeys already at EHCRC they really didn’t need any more.
Megan is settling into her new surroundings but it is becoming increasingly clear that she has suffered some traumatic experience or most likely been locked away as she appears to be agoraphobic. Megan seems quite settled and at home in her stable, with her little neighbours, the recently rescued pony mum and baby mule but as soon as she gets out into the open she just appears to totally panic. She is generally terrified of the horses but seems to cope better with the donkeys and miniatures. She just cannot cope with being let off to run free. On her first day out she just bolted and galloped blindly around the fields sending fences flying everywhere. On the next couple of outings it became clear that she did not know how to behave when in the open air. So with regular short walks throughout the day out into the fields, building her confidence with time and patience, is the best way forward. This is not a problem for the Centre as Co-Founder Sue Weeding said: “Time is not an issue, whatever Megan needs Megan will get. Right now we are most concerned with her psychological wellbeing and helping her adapt to a new confident way of living, slowly and patiently is our goal.”
EHCRC are Megan’s custodians now and they will do whatever it takes to build this beautiful girl’s confidence and help her to have a happy healthy life.
EHCRC is a non-profit organisation with no governmental funding. It is thanks to Sue and Rod Weeding and the generosity of all the donators and volunteers that this invaluable service continues. If you would like to become a supporter then check out the website: for all information about donating financially or donating articles such as good quality furniture for the Charity Shops and you’ll find information too on their Open Days on the first Sunday of the month and more.

Amazing prize raffle for charity

Local entertainer and fundraiser Stevie Spit has launched a new grand prize raffle in aid of APANEE, the school for disabled children. However, this is no ordinary prize draw, in fact it is a draw with a real difference.
The first prize in this amazing draw is voucher book with more than €5,000 worth of prizes donated by local businesses and includes meals, clothes, jewellery, beauty, golf and lots more. This voucher book is the first prize with a difference offering the winner all their birthdays and Christmases at once – and if there’s too much for one person then you can always spoil your friends and family.
Second prize is €2,500 worth of artificial grass donated by Eazy Lawns and Real Turf and third prize is a three-day trip to Cordoba donated by David’s Coachtrips SL.
Tickets are priced at €5 each and are available from The Emerald Isle or the Costa Blanca People offices or by calling 603 160 791.
The draw will be made on 7th April at Orihuela Costa Resort during the Big Stars for Little Stars show which will also raise money for APANEE. The school faces closure after 24 years due to cuts in funding and is in desperate need to keep the school open to help the disabled children that reply on its services.
APANEE is a non-for-profit Association of Parents of Students with Special Educational Needs that was born out of a desire to obtain the best conditions of quality of life and the maximum development of the capacities of children who are psychically or physically. The school supplies specific treatments for early childhood care, early stimulation, physiotherapeutic rehabilitation, logopedic rehabilitation, support for social integration and school.

2019 Costa Blanca People Culinary Awards

The nomination forms are in and currently being counted for the 2019 Costa Blanca People Culinary Awards. Once again this year, we received an astounding number of nominations for restaurants on the Costa Blanca.
The 2019 Costa Blanca People Culinary Awards, sponsored by Moneycorp, recognize excellence in the local dining industry, offering restaurateurs a standard to strive for, and diners a gauge by which to choose their eatery.
Managing Director of the Costa Blanca People, Claire Richards, said “The Costa Blanca People Culinary Awards are a huge talking point within the industry and we hope that 2019’s awards continue to be an enjoyable and uplifting community event. The atmosphere is one of support, positivity and of course, healthy competition, and it is a chance for restaurant owners to have a rare night off and be waited on for a change! The finalist restaurants in each category will soon receive a secret visit from one of our judges, posing as an ordinary diner in order for the judging process to be as true to life as possible.”
Claire continued, “We are thrilled to announce that the awards gala is being held at Finca Rebate. After a five year break, we are delighted to return to Rebate – it is a magical place with incredibly high standards of food and service and is the perfect setting for the Culinary Awards.
A three course meal is on offer, followed by entertainment.
If you’d like to be part of the fun, tickets priced at €25 per person are now on sale for the Culinary Awards 2019 Gala Dinner. For reservations, call 966 70 10 60.

La Bella Lola wants a divorce

They are perhaps the most emblematic statues in Torrevieja and millions of visitors have been photographed with them over the years. La Bella Lola sits on her seat looking out to the sea on the Paseo de las Rocas, Juan Aparicio searching for her sailor husband to return. Meanwhile on the promenade of the dique de Levante her sister statue waves her husband off with her handkerchief.
The two statues have been part of the scenery for around fifteen years and the name Bella Lola has found itself associated with the wife left behind at port waiting for her husband to return. But now, in the year 2019, she wants a divorce. On the day before international women’s day, the Bella Lola statue could be seen on the dock, not waving her handkerchief, but divorce papers.
In a gesture of defiance at this image of a woman waiting forever, someone had placed in her hand a paper that asked for ‘Los papeles del divorcio’. The paper could be clearly seen bound to her metal handkerchief and must have raised a smile from those meeting the new, liberated Lola on 7th March.
Perhaps there is a message here too. In the Spanish online paper ‘Informacion’ it points out that if you look carefully at the statue the evidence of Lola’s vulnerability is evident. The green on her breasts and bottom has been eroded over the years not, they think, by the elements but by groping human hands. It is an interesting observation whatever you make of it.

Connections from the heart

Hello, my name is Jane Troubridge. I have been living in Spain for 11 years and feel very lucky that my three children and two grandchildren all live close to me in Spain. My husband has a successful business here and we feel truly blessed. However, life has not always been so good, in fact,for many years my life was pretty horrendous. The positive I take from surviving those dark days is the experience and empathy that I am able to share with others.
I am proud to be a volunteer of Help Vega Baja and privileged to be the Co-ordinator of a very special team of compassionate Help Vega Baja volunteers called “The Connections Team.” My family is the most precious thing in my life, closely followed by The Connections Team, whichI consider, my second family.
I was honored to work with the Help Vega Baja committee to introduce a new service to the charity. This wonderful new service aims to provide 24-hour emotional support and guidance to the practical support that Help Vega Baja are, and have been providing to so many peoplefor many years. This service has proven to be immensely successful in helping people take positive steps forward in a times of need, by combining emotional and practical support in a professional and supportive manner. The team currently has 12 carefully trained listeners. Emotional support is available by calling 965021552, 24-hours a day, everyday of the year, or by email at We also welcome people to pop in our meeting places for a cuppa and a chat, these are open Monday- Friday.Times and places advertised on our website.
So, what do we mean by emotional support and how does “Connections” help? We listen to anybody about anything that is troubling them in complete confidence and without judgement. It maybe relationship problems, financial issues, health concerns, anxiety, depression, bereavement, loneliness, abuse, addictions and many more. Actively listening to someone is a very special gift to give someone. If you think about it in today’s society, how often do we truly listen? I admit that, like most of us, when listening to friends and family I often peek at my mobile or load the dishwasher or perhaps think about what to cook for dinner. However, when on a Connections duty, a listener is carefully trained to be totally focused on actively listening to our callers, for those minutes the listener will shut the world out and give 100% commitment to every word spoken. By doing this we are able to give our callers time and space to gently explore their feelings in a safe and supportive environment, enabling them to offload difficult and sometimes overwhelming emotions. Of course, byhaving no emotional connection to our callers, they will feel comfortable to voice any feelings without fear of hurting our feelings. We continue to provide this emotional support for as long as our caller feels they need us to, and where necessary we can give guidance to practical support with our Help Vega Baja Welfare Officer, Help Vega Baja Committee, social workers, British Consulate, charities, organisations and counsellors.
Over the coming months we are going to be discussing specific issues within the community that we feel the Help Vega Baja Connection volunteerscan help with. The first being loneliness, which is an increasing concern for the expat community. Many people find themselves alone in Spain due to bereavement of a loved one, often with all their other family members and friends in the UK. Sometimes their carefully chosen home in asemi-rural situation enjoyed with a loved one, can leave them feeling isolated, trapped and lonelywhen their loved one has gone.Not wishing to burden their families living so many miles away, these feelings can become despairing.People caring for a loved one 24 hours a day can feel alone with little, if anytime, to socialise with friends or offload the difficulties they face every day.
Some people may feel alone with a problem, they may have many people around them but unable to share their difficult feelings with these people and therefore also feel isolated with distressing emotions. Couples can also feel isolated and lonely perhaps on urbanisations that feel empty in the winter months or unable to get out and about due to physical difficulties, not able to join in activities or socialise. Added to this, is the language barrier.Imagine for a moment someone living alone and not even being able to talk to someone at their local shops, pharmacy, perhaps not voicing anything or understanding any conversation for days on end, not being able to share even the smallest of worries which is a natural thing for us all to do.Connections listeners alsoprovide emotional support with the “Keep in Touch Scheme”.We will telephone people on the scheme who sometimes feel lonely or isolated,on agreed days for a chat. This is a very important part of our service, providing our community with a friendly voice and listening ear as this may be the onlytime they have had an opportunity to chat in days. Chatting through day to day worries can prevent these feelings from escalating and building layer upon layer of distress, which may lead to overwhelming emotions of despair or suicidal thoughts.
In addition to Connections and the Keep in Touch Scheme, Help Vega Baja are proud to announce their new Befriending Service. This new service provides a volunteer to go along and sit with someone, have a chat over a cup of teaand maybe more importantly, provide a carer with a few hours to themselves whilst their loved one has someone to keep them company. Our volunteers also visit people who are lonely and perhaps unable to leave their home through physical disability and therefore have little, if any, interaction with others. We are also happy to visit people who are residing in a nursing home. Many elderly people have limited Spanish, and nursing homes which are predominantly Spanish, can at times be quite isolating. The new Befriending Service and the Welfare team,, which also provide visits and offer advice, work well with the Connections Team and provides well rounded support for people in our community.
Being a listener is one of the best skills I have learnt, I am blessed to be volunteering with such kind and wonderfully warm people and to becontributing to the amazing work of such a successful charity.I find my role immensely rewarding, I often hear the words“thank you for listening”.
If you would like to find out more about HELP Vega Baja, visit their webpage at or their active Facebook page. Anyone interested in learning how to become a listener can contact Jane via the HELP Vega Baja San Miguel Centre on 966 723 733 or 865 661 497

Alzheimer’s charity event

The 6th walk in aid of AFA (Asociación de Alzhéimer de Familiares y Amigos de Torrevieja) will be held on Sunday 7th April. The walk or run will begin at 10am and Councillor Carmen Morate hopes that as many people as possible will join in. ‘It has been extraordinary how many businesses have given their support to the event. We expect the public will do the same,’ she said at the press conference.
The walk is being coordinated by Trudy Páez and one of the main sponsors this year is Torrevieja hospital. Because of this, the title of the event has changed a little. This year it will be known as ‘VI Carrera/Marcha Solidaria AFA Torrevieja Salud’ to acknowledge the support being provided.
‘Throughout the six years of the event we are always looking to make improvements,’ explained the councillor. ‘The majority of the money collected will go this year to the centre itself. Every day those working there support the rehabilitation and stimulation of those suffering from Alzheimers.’
In spite of some changes, many aspects of the walk/ run will be the same as in previous years. It is a 4km route for those who wish to walk or, alternatively, you can complete a four or eight km run. The start and finish line is outside the Casino in Torrevieja and it costs 10 euros to take part. You can register at the association headquarters in la Avenida de la Estación 1, in the charity shop in calle Maestro Francisco Vallejos or on their web page:
Every participant will receive a bag of goodies including a t-shirt, a bum bag, a hat, nuts and a ticket that entitles you to a drink and something to eat after the event. This year there will also be a new wardrobe service which previous years’ participants have asked for.
AFA would like to thank all those who are collaborating in this event and those who are contributing to a raffle linked to the numbers each participant is given. There will be a number of prizes including restaurant meals, Spa and physiotherapy vouchers. Every winner will receive a trophy and a ham.
You can collect your participants’ number and bib from 6th April in the Decathlon sports shop in Zenia Boulevard. Decathlon are also sponsoring the event. You can also collect your number on the day. There is more information available from the association’s web page on


Next Tuesday 19th March is a bank holiday here as Spain celebrates the feast day of San Jose, Father’s Day. The Costa Blanca People will be printed and distributed as usual on the Tuesday. However, if any of our outlets will be closed on Tuesday and would prefer not to receive their usual delivery of papers, please let us know by 12 noon on Friday 15th March. You can let us know by phone on 966 70 10 60 or email to

Beach for dogs will continue

A court has endorsed the town hall’s decision to designate la Cala del Moro-Cala del Mal Paso as a beach where dogs and their owners can bathe together. The court in Elche has agreed with Torrevieja town hall about the choice and the way in which the town hall went about it.
The court case was filed by a community of owners with property in Cala del Moro. They argued that the town hall should have consulted them before taking the decision to allow dogs to bathe there too. However, the judge ruled that the town hall’s consultation with officials was sufficient for the project to go ahead.Reports were received from the local police and a town biologist.
This area was recommended as being the most suitable for the purpose. As well as this stretch of coastline, part of the Punta Margalla beach was put forward as being suitable too. The court found that the town hall had made sufficient enquiries to reach their decision and that they did not need to extend the process to include a wider perspective.
Those living nearby have been very vocal in their opposition. They have staged several protests and there have been clashes with supporters of the new designation and with bathers themselves. Prior to the town hall’s decision, the Cala del Moro was hardly known or visited. It is located in an area where the cliffs begin between La Mata and Torrevieja. There is a small, sandy cove and the rest is low cliff with rock. A wooden ramp has been installed to improve access.
Councillor Carmen Morate was pleased to hear the outcome of the case. She has campaigned for a beach where dog owners could take their pets and was clear that the town hall had followed the proper procedures. However, she also indicated that the process wasn’t perfect and there is the intention of a wider consultation which is expected to take place around election time.

Saint Patrick’s Day on the Costa Blanca

Summer is on its way, but in Cabo Roig, the first sign of summer is not the swallows returning from their winter migration but the annual Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. In addition to the parade this year there will be a craft market both Saturday and Sunday in the car park beside the Medical Centre. Those who arrive early will probably get parking around La Regia park opposite El Gato, on the side streets of La Regia and in old Cabo Roig near the beaches.
The festivities will begin at 1pm with a big shoot out at the Depot although some will forgo the wild west show to get themselves seated by 2pm on the terraces of the bars and restaurants around the two-kilometre parade route. The best spots are usually found on the medical centre end of the “strip”.
As Saint Patrick’s Day falls on a Sunday this year there will be free face painting for children aged between 0 to 100. You can have shamrocks or tricolours painted on your face or forehead but don’t leave it too late, all the best face painting will start at 1pm in three different locations between Milo’s and Peter Pan’s, near Banco Sabadell and over the road at the Depot. It is reported that Anna and Elsa from Frozen will be doing some of the face painting in person.
This Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is the ninth to be held in Cabo Roig and it has become world famous, so famous in fact that it is the best in Spain and mainland Europe and the ninth best in the world according to Google. The 2019 parade will be bigger and more spectacular than ever before.
Some think that the parade “just happens,” but it doesn’t. Local businesses contribute their time, talents, efforts and €15,000 to make this fun event happen each year. They run fundraising events all year around to build up the kitty so as this happy day is a reality. Each year, Sofia Alvarez (councillor for Tourism and foreign residents in the Orihuela town hall) organizes the necessary permissions, police assistance, barriers, stage and more. Her help and support of the event is vital to its success.
This year’s Grand Marshall is world-famous Irish Boxer and film star, Big Joe Egan, originally from Ringsend in Dublin.

Milestone for Benidorm Palace

Benidorm Palace will greet its 16 millionth customer this year after 42 years and over 3,500 shows, announced its owner Vicente Climent. The huge cabaret venue and restaurant burst onto the tourism scene on 12th July, 1977 with a show by a Brazilian ballet company.
Climent himself – who was 30 when the venue opened – took over after 13 years and his first commissioned show was a landmark performance with Soviet dancer Rudolf Nureyef – a night Finestrat-born musician Climent describes as ‘incredible’.
“Tickets sold out months before the show, and the keenest fans went along in the early morning to watch this world-class performer rehearsing,” Climent reveals.
With seating for 1,600 spectators per performance, and practically every single show being a sell-out, the current owner estimates that this summer, on the 42nd anniversary of Benidorm Palace, customer numbers will break the 16 million barrier. The venue has hosted the Spanish Song Festival and the Miss Spain finals, as well as major international conferences. Benidorm Palace’s complete renovation in 2005 saw it hosting all types of music and dance events, magic shows, comedy nights and acrobat displays in an eclectic programme that is constantly expanding.
“There are no cabaret halls like this left in Europe, and we need them,” Climent said in a recorded interview destined for Benidorm’s Tourism Museum.
“What else is there left to see on the stage at Benidorm Palace…? Everything we can possibly put on, that’s what, and for as long as we can, because my daughter will take over running it when I stop, then my grandchildren will, so it’s always going to stay in the family,” Climent concludes.

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