British Embassy Press Release Take the Brits in Spain “Integrometer” survey and find out How long have you lived in Spain? How’s your Spanish? Have you got all the right paperwork? And how do you match up with other Brits living in Spain? These are some of the questions in a light-hearted, fact-finding and totally anonymous survey on the popular ‘Brits living in Spain’ Facebook page (www.facebook.com/BritsLivinginSpain). The survey takes just a couple minutes to complete and will gauge how integrated into life in Spain you actually are. As well as Facebook, you can also access the survey via http://bit.ly/integro15 Key results from the “Integrometer” survey will be shared via ‘Brits living in Spain’ social media channels, so you can compare your level of integration with other British residents. The results will also help the British consular network behind ‘Brits living in Spain’ to continue to provide up-to-date, reliable information about the big issues that most concern British expats. The ‘Brits Living in Spain’ Facebook page is one of the biggest expat forums in Spain and now has 17,000 followers. It offers a combination of factual information and a lively interchange of experiences and reliable information about expat life. Residents who are Twitter fans and want the latest news from the Consular network can also follow @BritsliveSpain, as well as keeping up with the comments and thoughts of the British Ambassador on the well-followed @SimonManleyFCO.
British Consulate Press Release British Consul Sarah-Jane Morris recently visited the Red Cross centre in Alicante to talk about how to make British nationals more aware of the services that they offer and how to encourage more Britons to volunteer to help. The national vice president of the Red Cross, Francisco Javier Gimeno, and provincial coordinator, Miguel Angel Rodriguez, met the Consul and highlighted some of the services they offer vulnerable British nationals, such as advice and support with accessing social services, help for sufferers of Alzheimer’s and dementia, and practical help for those suffering financial difficulties. Sarah-Jane Morris said: “There is a lot of support available from the Red Cross that British nationals may be unaware of. We want to work closely with the Red Cross and build links with local English speaking associations in the area so that more British nationals can access this support. “We also hope that Britons consider volunteering to work with the Red Cross so they can help their fellow nationals access the support that they may need.” Anyone interested in volunteering can find more information on the Red Cross website: www.cruzroja.es
New Release on behalf of Crimestoppers and the National Crime Agency A 13 ft high digital screen broadcasting the faces of 18 of Britain’s Most Wanted fugitives is on tour around British ex-pat hot spots in Spain. It’s the latest push by crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and the National Crime Agency (NCA) to track down the 18 remaining individuals wanted as part of Operation Captura. The fugitives are wanted by UK law enforcement agencies in connection with crimes including murder, rape, indecent assault of a child and drug trafficking. And they are believed to be hiding among British communities in popular ex-pat areas – including Benidorm, Malaga and Puerto Banus. The digital screen, attached to the back of a van, is touring all these areas and parking outside nightclubs, bars, British supermarkets and restaurants It is hoped that going direct to the fugitives’ back yards and putting their faces in plain sight will help to flush them out. Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, the Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said: “Operation Captura has proved a huge success since it was launched in 2006 and the majority of individuals on our most wanted list have been captured. “However, there are still a number of criminals who are evading arrest. We must ensure these individuals are brought to justice.” Steve Reynolds, NCA Deputy Director, added: “We’ve caught 68 out of 86 fugitives on the Captura list and the rest know we won’t stop until we catch them too. “By taking our campaign directly into Spanish communities where we believe they are living and socialising, their lives will become even more uncomfortable. We want British expats and locals to help us by being extra eyes and ears and telling us what they know. “These fugitives are wanted for serious crimes. Anyone who is helping them stay on the run, such as girlfriends, wives, family members back home, or criminal associates, should know that assisting them is an offence too. “There may also be people in the UK with vital information on the whereabouts of these fugitives and we would urge them to get in touch.” Roger Critchell, Director of Operations for Crimestoppers, said: “This is something that we have never done before but we believe that broadcasting these fugitives’ faces right in their back yards will not only encourage the public to speak up but show these individuals that there really is nowhere to hide. “There will be no avoiding the faces on this screen – they’ll be broadcast in all the popular ex-pat areas. “I would urge anyone who recognises any of those faces to contact Crimestoppers anonymously. We don’t take personal details and you won’t have to give a statement or go to court. “Many of these fugitives are currently living a life of leisure funded by serious crime. They cannot be allowed to hide forever, they must be brought to justice. Do the right thing and help us find them.” Captura, a multi-agency initiative between Crimestoppers, the NCA and Spanish authorities, is now in its ninth year. Its aim is to track down British fugitives believed to be hiding among ex-pat communities in the Spanish Costas. To date, 68 out of 86 wanted individuals have been apprehended. A fresh appeal in March this year saw three fugitives captured within a matter of weeks. Convicted killer Shane Walford, 38, from Coventry, was detained in the Canary Islands in March – just days after the appeal. Paul Monk, 54, from Romford, Essex was arrested in April at his home in Alicante, Spain. He was wanted for drugs offences. Jason McDonald, 37, originally from Bristol, was picked up by police at an apartment in Amsterdam hours later. He was also wanted for drugs offences. Crimestoppers and the NCA work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Madrid and with British and Spanish law enforcement agencies as part of the campaign. Information given to Crimestoppers can help locate the fugitives on the Captura list. For those people calling from Spain there is a special freephone Spanish number 900 555 111 which will be answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents. A translation service is available upon request. People can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org THE 18 REMAINING FUGITIVES CAN BE VIEWED VIA THE FOLLOWING LINK: www.crimestoppers-uk.org/opcaptura
ACTIN, in collaboration with San Animal and Cruz Azul have announced the National Animal Welfare Conference to be held in Los Alcázares, Murcia on 16th-18th October 2015. It is believed to be the first of its kind and will bring together leaders in all aspects of the field as well as people already running rescues and sanctuaries, and those wishing to learn how best to help at all levels and in all sorts of ways. “Our mission is to bring together as many people as we can who are involved in animal welfare in Spain, to encourage co-operation and exchange of ideas” said Lyn Baines, Conference Manager. “We will be launching the PAES Project at the conference and we have some exceptional speakers on various topics.” Please see the website for more details and pass this on to anyone who you think may be interested. Registration donations are low to ensure that the event is open to as many people as possible. Are you troubled by the state of animal welfare in this country? This is your great chance to get involved and to help make a difference. You are not alone! http://www.proteccionanimales.es/paes-events/national-animal-welfare-conference-oct-2015/
House for sale? Wishing to Go Back to the UK? Want to return "home"? Many have taken the leap to move to France and Spain but now want to return for numerous reasons ie missing family/grandchildren, ailing parents, failing health and wanting to be nearer family, can't find work, and so on. Speak with like-minded people and share informative posts on our group "Going Back to the UK". What people are saying about us: "Going Back to the UK is perfect for anyone planning to sell up and goback to the UK. The information given just about covers everything an expat needs to know, also about going back and getting back into the British way of doing things" "Brilliant group. Friendly, informative, helpful and just downright fun" "A terrific group...so much help and support..kindness knows no bounds...and lots of laughs as a side dish!" https://www.facebook.com/groups/GoingBackToTheUK/
Have you ever had two different answers to the same question? Or conflicting advice on the same situation? How can you be sure that the info you get is correct? To help you find out the facts the next Speaker at Chatters, on Wednesday 17th June at The Pasty Shack in the Mercadona Precinct, Los Alcazares, will be from The Guardia Civil. This presentation will be about how Expats can enjoy life in Spain, safely, securely and legally, followed by an opportunity to ask your own questions, and make sure the facts are correct. To help us all understand there will be a Translator on hand. Starting at 10.30 for 11am we will have the usual free refreshments followed by Games and a Quiz after which we will hand the floor to the Guest Speaker. Chatters is a monthly Help at Home function designed to help Expats meet new friends and get answers to questions. Everyone is welcome but remember to come early to make sure of your seat.
L A LINE DANCERS PRESS RELEASE The ladies of L A Line Dancers, based in Los Alcázares, donated an amazing 1800 € to DEBRA Spain, which is the national charity working on behalf of people in Spain with the genetic skin blistering condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB). Founded in 1993, DEBRA Spain (the Butterfly children charity) is a non-governmental organisation formed by people with EB, a team of social and health professionals specialised in EB, as well as friends and collaborators. Butterfly Skin is the common name for Epidermolysis Bullosa or EB. Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) is a very rare genetic condition in which the skin and internal body linings blister at the slightest knock or rub, causing painful, open wounds. EB is likely to affect 1 in 17,000 live births and it is estimated that there are currently 1000 people with the condition in Spain. Because EB is an inherited condition (it cannot be caught), which is passed on genetically from parents to children, first time parents often do not know that they are carriers and will have no prior warning that the child will be affected, until birth. The condition has a number of distinct forms. In its least severe forms, the blistering is confined to the hands and feet making holding things and walking extremely painful. In more severe forms all the body is affected and the wounds heal very slowly, giving rise to scarring, physical deformity and significant disability. For many affected by the condition, the blistering is not limited to the skin but also affects the inner body linings such as the mouth and oesophagus. The eating of solids is, in these cases, almost impossible, and the disposal of the body waste incredibly painful. When this condition applies, malnutrition is often a consequence, further reducing the body's resistance to infection. People with the more severe types of EB also have an exceptionally high risk of developing skin cancers, shortening their lives by approximately 30-40 years. In its most severe form, the condition is fatal in infancy. Whilst considerable progress has been made in recent years in understanding EB and identifying the genes that cause the condition, there is as yet no effective treatment or a cure. To find out more, visit the DEBRA Spain website: http://www.pieldemariposa.es/ Led by Diane Daniels, the L A Dancers meet once a week at The Arches, Urb. Oasis, Los Alcázares and always welcome new members. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
British Consulate Press Release 900 525 100: Consulate welcomes new free phone service by Samaritans in Spain The British Consul in Alicante, Sarah-Jane Morris, has congratulated the Samaritans in Spain in the launch of their national free phone number 900 525 100. The Consul said “ The Samaritans in Spain is a fantastic organisation run by a really dedicated and professional group of volunteers. They play a key role in supporting English speaking individuals in Spain who are going through a difficult patch in their lives. I’m always very impressed with the amazing work they do and think their motto you talk, we listen really captures how they approach providing that support. Consular teams across Spain really value the impact they have and will continue to support them and promote their work at every opportunity. I’m delighted that they have been able to achieve their aim of launching a 24hour, 365 days a year free-phone service to those in need.” The Samaritans in Spain is very active in the province of Alicante and throughout Spain supporting people of all nationalities who find themselves in situations of need, providing a much needed listening service. The Samaritans in Spain can also be contacted by e-mail via email@example.com and at their drop-in centre and shop based in the Punta Prima Commercial Centre in Torrevieja. For more information about the Samaritans in Spain and how to volunteer, visit http://www.samaritansinspain.com
HAH (Help at Home) CHATTERS Group are delighted to welcome friends old and new to THE PASTY SHACK Rio Nalon, Los Alcazares, on Wednesday April 15th at 11.00 for 11.30pam Please come along and join us for a FREE coffee/soft drink and cake. Not only will there be a new venue, but also a new format to the group. Bill Hulse Group co-ordinator said “ we are delighted to be moving to the Pasty Shack, and to start our new format, we are pleased to welcome Miguel from Liberty, to explain how he and his organisation can help ex- pats. There will then be a short fun quiz, you could be a winner… and then time to put your questions to Miguel.. We hope to have a variety of activities on the 3rd Wednesday each month, tell us what you would like, all ideas will be considered for the future” Maybe you would like to stay for lunch after, and get to meet new friends, there are so many people new to the area, and some who have been here for a long time, that will be able to benefit from this Group. It is all about friendship, fun, and knowledge that can be shared. Please come along on the 15th, we will be delighted to see you, but remember, be early, as not everyone maybe able to get in!! CHATTERS C Companionship, H Health issues A Advice T Talks, T Therapy, E Enjoyment, R Relaxing, S socialising
http://www.actin-spain.com/dogs-locked-in-a-container/ A small charity is trying to rescue a number of dogs locked in a metal container in the Valencia area. It's amazing they are still alive, the temperature touched 44 last week. Please help by signing the petition and passing on to everyone you can think of who would sign too (actually, who wouldn't?) http://www.thepetitionsite.com/958/431/466/free-the-hunting-dogs-locked-in-a-metal-container-in-the-spanish-heat/
House for sale? Wishing to Go Back to the UK? Want to return "home"? Many have taken the leap to move to France and Spain but now want to return for numerous reasons, ie missing family and grandchildren, ailing parents, failing health and wanting to be nearer to family etc. Speak with like-minded people and share informative posts on Going Back to the UK. What people are saying about us: "Going Back to the UK is perfect for anyone planning to sell up and go back to the UK. The information given just about covers everything an expat needs to know but also about going back and getting back into the British way of doing things" "This is a fantastic group. The members are so supportive of each other and an abundance of information is available for those who wish to go back to the UK. Highly recommended". "Brilliant group, made many new friends and received lots of useful advice and information from various discussions on line. Really useful to those thinking of returning home. Great support offered from a friendly bunch of like-minded people" https://www.facebook.com/groups/GoingBackToTheUK/
Apparently movistar tech workers are on strike at the moment and it seems many people are getting their service interrupted. That being said, it doesn't change my bad experience with them as a non spanish speaker: I had an Internet, mobile, house phone and tv package with movistar for the last year. It was expensive and the mobile was pretty slow but all else was good. I requested to change package to a cheaper one without tv when the initial contact had finished. That went without incident, more or less. About 2.5 weeks ago, around the time when I should have been switched to the cheaper package, my internet was cut off (i guess from the strikes). I called the support line many many times during that period as they said they'd call back the next day to arrange someone to come to fix it. They only returned my multiple calls twice. Often i was told differing stories about what was wrong and what will happen next (like, I had no Internet on my package or it was a general problem in the area or i didnt request a new package change in the first place!) . Inthe end i cancelled everything and switched companies. Only at this stage did i find out that movistar workers are on strike, movistar didn't tell me anything. As a non spanish speaker i was often treated with contempt and lied to buy many customer service reps. One would tell me i didnt request this or that or that one thing was not possible that the last person said was no problem to do... They also tend to hang up or just cut you off when you try to get answers. As the tech team and cancellation dept don't speak English, youre at the cust serv agents mercy. Now, as my account is being closed off, theyve started call every day and say there will be fees and it will take 3 weeks to close and we will have to pay etc. I call them back afterwards and the next guy confirms this isn't true! I would say to anyone thinking of joining them to be careful! I'm sure other companies aren't saints either but movistar are def giving me the cowboy treatment. If you do go with them (and i wouldnt blame anyone - they're one of the few with dedicated English support), and one agent gives you a stone wall just call back immediately until you get someone with decent English and a willingness to help! I did get a hold of some excellent agents, who would even call the tech team for me and translate on my behalf. most weren't at all helpful though... If BT, eircom or similar were to act this way I'm sure they would be buried with the bad publicity. Somehow it just gets accepted over here... Theonly company with a worse rep is Orange!
Following the recent cold spell the glorious sunshine arrived just in time for the 'Not Just a Coffee Morning' event held at the MABS Centre in San Javier last Friday. It was a huge success raising €253. San Javier Nails offered free manicures and the recipients made donation to MABS in lieu of payment. Sylvia Blamires, one of the MABS volunteers, demonstrated card making and there was also a foot practitioner on hand to offer advice and a free foot consultation. A raffle for a gorgeous Easter cake and Easter eggs was made and the cake was won by Vicki Kemp who is the volunteer shop manager and she shared it with the other shop volunteers who went to the shop on Saturday to change the stock from winter to summer. Another raffle was held by Taylor's Butchers at Oasis Boulevar, this time it was a meat raffle and it raised €71. Cancer doesn't discriminate and neither does MABS. We help anyone affected by cancer.