Hi, I am looking for a summer camp for 2 kids ages 3.5 and 4.5, I had spoken with a couple a few years ago who told me about a wonderful camp, that teaches Spanish, teaches kids swimming, lots of soft play etc. It is in the Los Alcazares area, perhaps by the old town.Can anyone shed any light please? Thanks in advance, M
Hi All - We have just moved to the area having uprooted our teenage daughter (17) from her friends back home. She is on a two year training course which takes most of her time but life around adult crinklies the rest of the time is taking its toll and she needs to socialise with like minded beings and have some fun. Of course she would kill me if she thought I was advertising for friends and making her look so desperate but I imagine she is not the only newbee around . If any other meddling parents have similar young adults at a loose end please feel free to embarrass them also. -T.
We've been asked by a journalist from the BBC The questions that she wants us to answer are: What’s the best thing about how Christmas is celebrated in the country that you live in? What traditions from your home country have you imported with you? How do Christmas Markets and winter wonderlands/festivals/grottos compare to those in your home country? She'd like anyone interesting in being interviewed for the piece to contact her by email - firstname.lastname@example.org today as deadlines are tight
Hi, second question: we are beginning to think very seriously about moving to Murcia from the UK. I am a university lecturer (international relations) but I would like to spend more time making and teaching art. What is the art scene like in murcia and surrounding areas? Is there an arts district? Would people be interested in classes, or is that already over catered for? any advice very welcome. caroline
Hi, we are beginning to think very seriously about moving to Murcia from the UK. I have 2 sons aged 15(year 10) and 12(year 7). Can anyone recommend a good English speaking school in the area? And more importantly let me know how much school feare an be? thanks in advance. caroline
British Embassy Press Release: Tourists heading for an Easter break by the Mediterranean are being warned to look out for their valuables when visiting busy urban areas. British Consulates in Spain are reporting rising trends in the number of street crimes involving stolen passports, money and other valuables. A stolen bag leads to frustration, extra costs and lost holiday time as tourists deal with the consequences. The British Consulate in Barcelona, one of the most popular visitor cities in Europe, issued 1320 emergency travel documents (ETDs) in 2012 - some 75% of which were the result of stolen passports. This was an increase of 19% from 1072 during the previous year. During the first two months of this year, the number of ETDs issued was 120, a 20% rise on the 100 provided during the same period last year. Meanwhile in Madrid, the British Consulate issued 362 ETDs during 2012 – the equivalent of one a day – up 23% from 294 the previous year. During January and February this year 50 were issued, a 10% increase on the 45 during the same period last year. An ETD – which enables a traveller to return to the UK if they have lost their passport - currently costs 115 euros (approx 100 pounds). Dave Thomas, Consular Director for Southern Europe, said: “Unfortunately we have seen increases in pickpocketing and distraction thefts. We urge holidaymakers to keep an eye on their belongings at all times. We want to reduce the numbers of British visitors who come to us for help over stolen passports and belongings, so they can get on with enjoying their Easter breaks instead of spending their precious holiday time in our consular offices”. The three main methods used by city criminals are: Pickpocketing on public transport and in busy areas. Distraction techniques (asking victims for help or directions, spilling something on clothes and offering to help). Unattended bag / handbag snatching in hotels, restaurants, cafés, airport and train stations. Anyone can be a victim of city crime. Julie Crossley, a family careers support advisor from Hemel Hempstead in Herts, and a regular visitor to Spain, said: “We have been travelling to Reus airport for the last nine years and had never experienced any crime against us or anyone we know, so it didn’t even enter our heads that we would become victims ourselves at such a relatively quiet airport. My husband was looking after our bags as I visited the ladies, was distracted by someone asking where the exit was, and had no idea our travel wallet had been taken. And we would say we are seasoned travellers. Don’t be complacent”. A Palmer, a chartered tax adviser from Harpenden in Herts had a similar experience: “On the last day of our holiday in Sitges we were sitting outside a cafe near the train station with our four children and our luggage. A local man pulled up in his car and asked for directions, which made us look away from our bags. His accomplice took one of the handbags which contained valuables including all our passports. When we realised, we felt so foolish for being duped and wished we had checked our hand luggage before we responded, rather than after. It seems so obvious looking back.” Albia Begum, a travel journalist from Lancashire visited Madrid: “I was playing a game with people at one of my favourite hostels in the heart of Madrid, and I left my bag under the table to go outside for five minutes. When I returned the game was over and my bag was missing. I had lost my passport, personal possessions and a huge amount of cash. I tried everything to look for my passport - searching every room in the hostel, leaving a poster, and asking if any security cameras were on but nobody could help. I had to apply for an emergency travel passport, pay for my visa again to go to Mauritania in Africa, and use more money to pay for my stay at the hostel. No matter where you are in the world, you or your personal possessions are not safe, even for a second....” British Consulates in Spain are working with local police, tour operators, airports, ports, car hire companies and main railway stations to help tackle city crime.
British Embassy Press Release: UK law enforcers have launched a new police check that will help British schools in Spain to identify and screen out people who are unsuitable to be working with children. The new International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) was presented to more than 200 delegates from 60 authorised British schools at the annual conference of the National Association of British Schools in Spain (NABSS) in Seville on 7 and 8 March. The UK national law enforcement agency that is dedicated to protecting children from abuse – the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) – launched the new certificate after finding that some international schools, charities and other agencies overseas lack access to the same level of police checks available to organisations in the UK, sometimes enabling sex offenders to gain positions of trust with children. British Ambassador Giles Paxman attended the NABSS conference where he spoke to representatives of the Spanish authorities and several school delegates. Mr Paxman said: “Schools have a critical role to play in guaranteeing the safety and wellbeing of children. The new International Child Protection Certificate is an effective tool designed to reduce the chances of sex offenders gaining access to children. I encourage all schools in Spain to include it as part of their staff recruitment.” The ICPC was first unveiled at the British Embassy Madrid at an event attended by Spanish government and law enforcement representatives. Spanish officers specialising in tackling child sexual abuse also shared their expertise and experience of combating this crime with staff from CEOP during a two-day law enforcement workshop at the Spanish Ministry of Interior.. Founded in 1978, NABSS is today a large group that defends the interests of British Schools in Spain.
The annual AGM for HAH Help at Home (Mar Menor) was held last Tuesday March 5th. Founded in September 2010, this charity has gone from strength to strength which was reflected in the figures presented by HAH Clinical Lead, Lynda Christopher to the attending volunteers. Lynda said that “since inception just 30 months ago we have helped 619 clients who were struggling to cope with a whole variety of illnesses, the youngest being just 6 months, the eldest 96 years. This figure also includes calls asking for medical advice. Along with our Care team, we spent 19,280 hours in the community, which averages out at 31.4 hours per client. Obviously some of our clients needed more help than others. This year we purchased more mobility equipment, including 10 wheelchairs, commodes, and walkers which are loaned FREE to our clients, and to date, 217 clients have benefitted from this service. We have also helped many nationalities (English speaking) and have also been involved with the re-patriation of 3 clients. We cannot thank our volunteers enough for all their help”. Following the AGM/Volunteers meetings, a cheque for 3.000€ was presented to HAH treasurer, Bill Hulse by the immediate past master of The Luz de Murcia (Masonic Lodge) Paul Eburne. Presenting the cheque Paul said, “As president of HAH I am delighted that the bulk of the money raised during my year (2012) as Worshipful Master of the Lodge is going to HAH, and that we have also given 500€ to El Buen Samaritano and donated to the Masonic Charity fund of Murcia who supported the University of Murcia Christmas Children’s Charity appeal, Caritas Christmas Food appeal and the Lorca appeal”. HAH still need more volunteers, especially for the care team. Common sense and a desire to help those struggling to cope is what you need, and any hours given, will be to suit you. For details, please email email@example.com or telephone Lynda on 633 673 034 or Lesley, 968 134 978.
British Consulate Press release: The British Consul in Alicante, Paul Rodwell, has met with the Provincial president of the Spanish Red Cross, Emilio Bascuñana Galiano, to discuss how to work together to support vulnerable Brits. The Red Cross, or Cruz Roja, is very active in the province of Alicante and throughout Spain supporting people of all nationalities who find themselves in situations of need, working closely with local social services departments to provide basic services. The Red Cross representatives were very interested in hearing about the different English speaking associations in the area and how to work more closely with them in areas with a high percentage of British nationals on the padrón. They agreed that by working together with these charities, they would be able to offer better support to English speakers. Following the meeting, the Consul said: “In these difficult times, the British Consulate in Alicante is focusing on helping British nationals who are vulnerable and are suffering. Closer collaboration with the English speaking charities is essential and the Spanish charities also have a key role to play. Today´s meeting with the president of Cruz Roja is part of ongoing initiatives to ensure that British nationals who are in distress receive the best possible support.” For more information about the Spanish Red Cross, visit www.cruzroja.es
British consulate press release: British Ambassador Giles Paxman has met councillors for European Residents to discuss further ways to encourage British nationals to integrate into their local communities. Speaking at a forum for councillors responsible for European Residents - entitled “Working together to Support British Nationals” - the Ambassador said he was impressed by their motivation and dedication to their work with the British community. Mr Paxman recognised many of the issues that councillors have to deal with on a daily basis: how to ensure that British nationals only access healthcare in the way they are entitled to, how to overcome the language barrier that many residents face, and how to offer the best support to the elderly and vulnerable who may lack nearby family. He said the only way to address these concerns was through working together and involving local communities. Giles Paxman said: “The forum was a pioneering initiative to share best practice between the different councillors of the main town halls where British nationals are resident. It was also an opportunity to clarify what the Consulate can do and to establish the assistance that town halls can offer. British residents make up 7% of the population of Alicante province, so it is important that town halls are seen as the first port of call for those who need help. ”Judging from feedback, this event was very useful for the councillors and will enable them to help British residents who are finding difficulty in plugging into the Spanish system.” The 15 town halls at the forum represent over 100,000 British residents, more than 75 percent of the registered British population in Alicante and 25 percent of all British residents on the padrón in Spain. Mr Paxman underlined the positive economic impact of British citizens, saying that tourism alone contributed an estimated 1.32 billion Euros to the Valencia region in 2011, to which should be added the positive economic impact of the British residents. He emphasized that under EU law, the UK paid the Spanish government 277 million Euros in 2010 to cover the cost of heath care provided to British nationals . During the event, organised by the British Consulate in Alicante, councillors examined ideas for encouraging British nationals to register on the padrón, as well as case studies to highlight the roles of the Consulate and local town halls. Councillors learned that the Consulate is unable to give legal advice or organise repatriation to the UK, but can help people contact family members who may be able to provide financial or other support. Teulada, Torrevieja and Calpe town halls presented a number of new initiatives including closer collaboration with British residents’ associations to help Spanish social services, an enquiry service for foreign residents and a language exchange to aid language learning. The Consulate and councillors also discussed new ways to keep in touch with their local communities using social and traditional media, and considered ways of sharing ideas and common experience in future.
CEOP Press Release: A new international initiative to prevent UK sex offenders travelling to other countries and gaining access to children through teaching or volunteering roles was launched in Spain today Specialist Spanish officers tackling child sexual abuse have shared their expertise and experience of combating this crime with staff from the UK’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre during a two-day law enforcement workshop, which included the launch of theInternational Child Protection Certificate. For more information and photos of the event please click here
British Consulate press release: Key message from social services and charities during ConeXiones event How do social services work in the Valencia region? What help is really out there for British nationals? These are two of the questions that Spanish social workers and English speaking associations tried to answer in the “ConeXiones Social” event that was held last week in Alicante. During the event, the social services teams spoke about the services on offer, including home help, meals on wheels and panic alarms for vulnerable people who live on their own. They stressed how important it is that people keep their documentation up to date - having a padrón, “residencia” passport and proof of income is essential for accessing almost all social services support. They also explained the importance of planning ahead, as there is often a waiting list before people can access social services support. They said that having the funds to be able to cover that gap privately can be essential. The English speaking welfare associations who attended also had the opportunity to find out about these services and how to access them as well as explaining to the social services what they can do. The English speaking associations illustrated how much help they can offer, ranging from hospital visits to equipment loan and nursing care. The British Consul, Paul Rodwell, attended the event and opened by explaining briefly what the Consulate’s role is in supporting British nationals and highlighting the importance of knowing what help is out there from local town halls and charities. After the event he said “I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all the social services departments and English speaking associations who attended today and took the time to present their services. As always, I was impressed by how much support is available, but realise that this may not always be enough. As such, I urge British nationals to think about any possible care needs they may have in the future and make plans. It’s also really important for people to make sure they are properly registered with the Spanish authorities and are familiar with the services their town hall can offer”. Charities who attended the event were ACASA, RBL, Age Concern, MABS, HELP Marina Alta, HELP Vega Baja, HELP Benidorm, RAFA Costa Blanca, RAFA Costa Blanca North, Help at Home Costa Blanca and Samaritans in Spain.
Many people will have enjoyed excursions with the popular David;s Coachtrips SL, and now many others will benefit from raffle tickets sold on these trips. This year, David Malcolm decided to support Help at Home, and the money collected over the past few months resulted in the fantastic amount of 5767€ being presented to the charity, The draw for a week’s holiday in Almunecar plus spending money was made at the Coachtrips SL office last Tuesday, and the lucky winner is Marion Delaney of Quesada with ticket number 011169. Lesley Eburne, founder of HAH, Help at Home ( Mar Menor) thanked David and his staff and said “we are so grateful for the support given to us by David and his team this year, and this money will go such a long way in helping us to help so many people who are struggling to cope during and following illness. Our Clinical lead in the Mar Menor area, Lynda Christopher along with our fantastic carers have helped over 400 people in the past 2 years, and currently have 30 people who are still needing help” We are so proud of the help we give, and could offer even more with more volunteers”. She also thanked all the couriers who take time to sell the tickets, and of course the many people who buy them. If you would be able to offer a little time to suit you, either caring or fundraising, please contact Lesley on 968 134 978.
How have we been coping with the heatwave this Summer? It´s very difficult, but then imagine living in the Sahara desert where the temperature reaches 55 degrees and you are forced to stay under cover because of the burning heat, the flies and the sand which blows in your eyes, ears, nose and mouth causing infections. ´ Vacaciones en Paz ´ arranges every Summer to bring children to Spain for a little respite and San Pedro del Pinatar welcomed 4 of the children who come each year to stay with their foster families. ADAPT Association are proud to support them and this year ADAPT members have raised and donated 2.000 euros for the organisation. Some of the children have been coming for a number of years and they told us that although they miss their families while they are here, they enjoy their holiday very much. This Summer they have been to the countryside, to camps and to the fairground. They like Spanish food, have made friends with Spanish children and all love music. The older children said that they would like to study and become doctors or teachers. We had a lovely time when we met up at San Pedro Marina with Nuria Mesa, the local co-ordinator from Vacaciones en Paz, the foster families and of course the Saharaui children who were delighted to receive goody bags from the members of ADAPT. Meetings of ADAPT resume at 10:30 on September 1st at the Hogar de Pensionistas, San Pedro del Pinatar and on the 1st Saturday of each month following. New members are welcome. We have a number of very interesting speakers for the near future and information about clubs and projects for 2013. For more information see our website www.adaptsanpedro.eu or telephone Enid Winskill 996 189 402.
In case readers not sure of ´Making A Difference - GOmaD or MAD´ we are a Christian Humanitarian Aid Charity based in Mazarron, Murcia. We help ANYONE within our Community who Needs it! We currently have 785 Adults/Children Registered & growing! We give Food, Clothes, Furniture & will Help with other Every Day Needs!. We also collaborate closely with Local Social Services & other Organisations related to our Cause. We have many Families who are struggling to make ends meet & with the Help of Two Spanish Volunteering Mothers have set up a New Project for the collection of School Books & Material. PLEASE Help us to allow Children to attend school with dignity. If you are interested to Help with this Project, or want to know more then please call me direct or message me ... Many Thanks .. Amanda
HELP our Local CHILDREN GOmaD is COLLECTING: SCHOOL (CURRICULUM – USED) BOOKS Plus MATERIAL PENS: BLUE, BLACK & RED PENCILS: NORMAL & COLOURING FELT-TIP PENS SCISSORS - RULERS - SELLOTAPE GLUE STICKS (Pritt-Sticks) - RUBBERS A4 LOOSE PAPER i.e. Photocopier Paper A4 NOTEPADS SQUARED (UK are Ruled/Lined) CASH DONATIONS gratefully received PLEASE Mark the Envelope ´SCHOOL MATERIAL´ & drop off at our Mazarron Shop or call Amanda (President) 634 357 137 – Camposol A
This is an urgent plea from the HAH team. At the moment, we are helping several families, most of them serious cases, and our resources are stretched to the limit. So many of our volunteers are away at the moment, and, until we can get these clients back on their feet, we will be struggling to take on new clients. Can you spare a couple of hours a week,? Help needed urgently to assist clients in their own homes with a variety of tasks. Could you maybe help a neighbour who is struggling to cope, just by being a good neighbour? We, of course, will endeavour to help wherever possible, but without the resources, this is becoming increasingly difficult. In the first instance, please ask family or friends to help out, in an emergency, ring 112, or consult your GP. If you can offer any care/practical help, please contact Lesley on 968 134 978, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You don’t need to have any qualifications, although if you do have care experience this would be an advantage. The most important help to us and our clients is a genuine desire to spare a little time helping those who are finding it difficult to cope. Thank you.
The idea of the fair is for local independent associations to come together to make themselves known to the general public in the town, attract new members and participants and for the associations to get to know each other. The fair was in line with the main objective of ADAPT Association which is to integrate with the town of San Pedro del Pinatar. This has been achieved by being involved in many activities including School monitoring schemes, Conversation groups, Carol singing, Ecological projects, Carnival and also Metal Detecting in association with San Pedro Museum. The ADAPT stand created a lot of interest with information about the various activities and clubs within the organization and with a popular picture quiz on people and places. On the beach the Metal Detecting Group, or the 'Stick Wavers' as they like to be known, were busy with a special Treasue Hunt for the children to take part in. Great fun for everyone involved. ADAPT meet on the first Saturday of the month at The Hogar de Pensionistas, San Pedro del Pinatar at 10am. For more information visit www.adaptsanpedro.eu or Tel. 966 189 402.
On 4th April Joan Mitchell and Brian Dale carried out a Nappy Run, when 23 packets of nappies were purchased at a cost of €163. No, they haven’t got a lot of children or grandchildren; they were buying nappies to donate to needy Spanish families in the San Pedro area. These Nappy Runs take place several times a year when the nappies are handed over to the Samaritanos charity at the ADAPT meetings. The money to pay for the nappies is raised by holding a raffle every month at HELP Murcia Mar Menor’s monthly general meeting, and when a sizeable sum has accumulated, Joan and Brian astonish shoppers by filling up a large trolley completely with nappies. The nappies were donated at ADAPT’s meeting on Saturday 7th April. The Samaritanos assisted 50 needy families in San Pedro last year and that has risen to 80 this year. In these difficult economic times HELP Murcia Mar Menor endeavors to assist where they can. They are also collecting food from members and the public in general to donate to people in dire straits in other areas in the Mar Menor. This can be donated at general meetings or brought into HELP’s office and should be tinned or packet basic foods of the type that Spanish people use. We aim to HELP people of all ages by providing - Mobility Equipment, Hospital Visiting, Information on Living in Spain, Support Groups, Interpreter details, Assisting other Charities. Tel 968 570 059.