Category: Community

Keeping informed with Neighbourhood Watch

On Monday 24th June it was the San Luis/ La Siesta neighbourhood watch meeting held at Casa Ventura. Once more there was a good turnout for the meeting which was the last before the summer break. The agenda included an update on criminal activity in the area as well as information about police arrests.
The charity Help At Home and Clinica Siesta gave presentations to the group, letting them know about the services they offer and how people can access them. At every meeting, there are opportunities not only to share concerns, ask questions and raise points for discussion but also to receive information about local support groups and services such as these.
Also on the agenda were the recent local council elections. The group were informed of councillor appointments in the newly elected council. Councillor Carmen Morate and the previous director of the Foreigners Office, Carlos Gonzales, had been previously attending meetings and providing updates on a number of different subjects of interest and importance to the English-speaking community. The hope was expressed that this previous good relationship would continue with the new council, ensuring good communication and support for the community.
Following the change of local government Carlos and Carmen are no longer responsible for the foreigners’ office. They are both on the local council but in opposition rather than part of the government team. It had been hoped that representatives from the new Foreigners’ Office team might have been present to reassure local residents and inform them of their availability and plans for the future.
After the summer break it is planned that there will be a visit from Consular representatives from Alicante who will be able to give more up to date information about Brexit and what British nationals living in Spain can expect. The San Luis/ La Siesta NHW Facebook page will continue over the summer and members can continue to receive email support. The next meeting is on 30th September at Casa Ventura at 4.30pm.

Culinary magic

It was a wonderful night in a magical setting as the crème de la crème of the local restaurant trade gathered at Finca Rebate to celebrate the 2019 Costa Blanca People Culinary Awards. Awards were presented in a number of categories including Best Gourmet Restaurant, Best Coffee Shop and Best Chef.
Each winner was invited to make an acceptance speech and many restaurateurs were overcome with emotion while thanking their hardworking staff and members of the public for making the award possible. The awards were followed by a fantastic disco provided by Simon Morton of Sunshine FM.
In addition to the awards themselves, a raffle was held in aid of APANEE which raised €775.

Clairvoyance for charity

On Wednesday 16th May an evening of clairvoyance was held at Bar Sacko’s in El Limonar in aid of the San JóseObrero Orphanage. Four mediums gave their time for free and the co-ordinators of the event would like to thank Belinda Bradley, Morag Bullock, Debbie Blevins and Sammy Fitzsimmons for their support.
The evening began with the co-ordinators for fundraising events on behalf of the orphanage, Ken and Lyn Adams, explaining more about it and the reasons why the money is so badly needed. The orphanage is home to children between the ages of 6 and 16 whose parent are unable to care for them.
During the evening there was also opportunity to take part in a raffle and altogether €300 was raised. The cheque for this was then presented to the Director of the Orphanage along with €200 vouchers for clothes which Belinda and Kevin donated.
The orphanage is always in need of funds to support the children and young people who live and work there. Ken and Lyn would like to hear from any clubs or associations who think they might be able to help with their fundraising events. They can be contacted on 676 650 210.

Tenth anniversary Walk for Life

On Sunday 2nd June Maria and the Pink Ladies is hosting its annual flagship fundraising event “Walk for Life”. This year is an extra special event as it will be the tenth anniversary of the popular event which donates every penny – or should that be cent – raised to the Spanish anti-cancer charity the AECC.
As always, the 5k walk will start and finish at the promenade at Playa Flamenca Beach front and organisers are asking the local community to join forces and make the event one to remember.
The day is always full of fun with walkers dressing top-to-toe in anything and everything pink from bras to tutus and fluffy dresses…and that’s just the men!
This is always an occasion to bring friends, family, colleagues and social groups together to put their best foot forward to fight cancer. Anyone can do the walk, men, women, adults, children and pets. You can walk, jog, run, cycle, roller skate, hover board or segway – as long as you raise as much as you can for the charity.
It costs just €5 to enter and this donation along with any sponsorship money goes directly to the AECC. All those who register to take part will receive an official T-shirt donated by Spain Property Shop and a bottle of water donated by Evolution Bar, both locally based at La Fuente Centre.
To register in advance call in to the AECC office at Flamenca Beach Comercial Centre, Spain Property Shop or you can register on the day at the venue from 9.30am onwards, with the walk beginning at 10.30 am.
After the walk there will be a family fun day with live music through the afternoon performed by some of the top entertainers on the Costa Blanca, an on-site bar, hog roast and burger bar.
The walk is supported by the Orihuela Costa Town Hall and the Local Police who will safely guide the walkers around the circuitous route.
The money raised will go directly to the AECC to help fund it subsidised Early Detection Programme and research projects. The Early Detection Programme provides subsidised private screening for male and female cancers including: bowel, skin, breast, cervical, ovarian and prostate. Since being formed Maria and the Pink Ladies have raised nearly 400,000 euros for the AECC

La Mata paseo closed

It has been in decline for years and now a 280 metre stretch of walk way on La Mata sea front has finally been cordoned off for safety reasons. The area stretches from avenidas Los Europeos to Holanda and the blame for the state of wooden planks has been placed on the government responsible for the coast.
Barriers have been placed at either end of the paseo preventing walkers and cyclists from using the stretch. The town hall is hopeful that the closing of this section of popular promenade will only be temporary and that it will be open again for the busy summer season.
The move was triggered by the collapse last Wednesday of a section of the iron railing that acts as a boundary. Now, to prevent further damage or even injury, the whole of this wooden walkway is closed. It was only announced last week that there would be no blue flag this year for La Mata-Sur beach due to the state of the walk way and its railings.
The technicians who have inspected the damaged area have come to the conclusion that it is no longer a matter of patching it up. The wooden surface has reached the end of its life and must be replaced. However, this will require a significant financial investment.
The pathway was first installed in 1999 to run parallel to the beach and since then it has been a popular walk along the sea front between Torrevieja and La Mata. It was built by the Ministry of the Environment and remains the responsibility of the ‘Costas del Estado’ which presides over all the coastal regions of the country.
Although parts of the walkway have been replaced following the storms in 2016 and 2017, the work has not continued into this section. Now some urgent action is needed if tourists and residents alike are to enjoy the sea views over the summer.

A musical celebration

After a break of 12 months, due to founder and conductor Nigel Hopkins receiving urgent medical treatment in the UK, the Costa’s leading choral group Melody Makers International will present their next major concert, “A Musical Celebration” on Sunday 26th May in the Centro Ecuménico in La Zenia.
Melody Makers International will be joined by the ever-popular Orihuela Costa Male Voice Choir in a programme of songs from the shows and popular songs to suit all tastes. The performances will be accompanied by professional pianist, Matthew Hopkins, who is flying in especially for the concerts from the UK.
One of Nigel Hopkins ‘former pupils, Janelle Gaskell, who is now a professional performer on World Ship cruise liners, will appear as a guest artiste. There will be two performances on the day, the first at 3pm and the evening show starts at 7pm. Tickets for both performances are available from La Ponderosa Gift Shop in La Zenia and at The Card Place outlets in Punta Prima and Benimar.

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: www.satellitesdirect.net or email: satellites direct@yahoo.co.uk. 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: www.easyhorsecare.net 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.

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