Points of Light award for lo­cal char­ity worker

Costa Blanca News (North Edition) - - CLUBS AND CHARITIES - By Jo Pugh

"I thought it was a joke!" quoted Can­dida Wright, as she re­ceived the ‘Points of Light’ award from the Bri­tish Prime Min­is­ter. The award recog­nises out­stand­ing in­di­vid­ual vol­un­teers - peo­ple who are mak­ing a change in their com­mu­nity, and Can­dida has cer­tainly achieved this, spend­ing her adult life ded­i­cated to lo­cal char­ity work in Spain.

Si­mon Man­ley, the Bri­tish Am­bas­sador, broke the fan­tas­tic news to Can­dida by tele­phone, but as she didn’t recog­nise the num­ber, she thought it was some­body play­ing a joke on her. Only when she re­ceived of­fi­cial emails, the news fi­nally sunk in.

First es­tab­lished by Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush in 1990, over 5,000 US Points of Light have been recog­nised in the USA. The UK Points of Light was de­vel­oped in part­ner­ship with the US pro­gramme and launched at 10 Down­ing Street in April 2014. Since then hun­dreds of peo­ple have been named Points of Light by the Prime Min­is­ter, high­light­ing an enor­mous ar­ray of in­no­va­tive and in­spi­ra­tional vol­un­teer­ing across the length and breadth of the UK.

Do­ing ev­ery­thing from tack­ling knife crime, to sup­port­ing fam­i­lies of de­men­tia pa­tients, the UK Points of Light are fundrais­ing, aware­ness rais­ing, prob­lem solv­ing he­roes who all had an idea they de­cided to make a re­al­ity. Their ac­tions have changed lives and their sto­ries are can in­spire thou­sands more to get in­volved or start their own ini­tia­tives.

Can­dida has achieved far and above any of the Points of Light achiev­ers by be­ing awarded this ac­co­lade in Spain. "I’m quite emo­tional, I can’t be­lieve it. But it’s also nice for the peo­ple that work with me", she humbly quoted.

Most no­tably she has vol­un­teered with ‘ Help of De­nia & Ma­rina Alta’ for 30 years, act­ing as an in­ter­preter at De­nia hos­pi­tal, and, cru­cially, play­ing an in­stru­men­tal role in de­vel­op­ing the char­ity from a hos­pi­tal vis­it­ing ser­vice to a for­mi­da­ble or­gan­i­sa­tion op­er­at­ing sev­eral char­ity shops, fund­ing respite care and run­ning a num­ber of sup­port groups.

Candy, as she is lo­cally known, has also helped set up a women’s shel­ter, is in­volved in a care cen­tre for mi­nors in De­nia, vol­un­teers in a home­less shel­ter in Gan­dia, leads the am­a­teur dra­mat­ics group ‘Care­line Theatre' which raises funds for lo­cal health cen­tres, and hosts a reg­u­lar spot on a lo­cal English lan- guage ra­dio sta­tion.

In a per­sonal let­ter to Candy, Prime Min­is­ter, Theresa May said:

"You have ded­i­cated an ex­tra­or­di­nary amount of time to lo­cal char­ity work in Spain. In par­tic­u­lar, your work with ‘HELP’ has been in­stru­men­tal in sup­port­ing the char­ity to grow and ex­tend its ser­vices to even more peo­ple in need. Across the world Bri­tish vol­un­teers like you are help­ing to build a bet­ter world for ev­ery­one. The Point of Light award is a small thank you on be­half of the whole coun­try, in recog­ni­tion of your ex­cep­tional ser­vice."

Candy said: "I feel very moved to have re­ceived this award. De­vot­ing time to oth­ers is im­por­tant to me, as it is very ful­fill­ing. I hope to be able to work as a vol­un­teer for a long time, with the valu­able sup­port of my fam­ily and friends."

Bri­tish Am­bas­sador to Spain, Si­mon Man­ley, said "Wher­ever I go in Spain, I am im­pressed by the way in which our hun­dreds of thou­sands of Bri­tish ex­pats here so will­ingly give up their time to help oth­ers. They are an in­valu­able part­ner for us, and there is no finer ex­am­ple of that vol­un­teer­ing spirit than Candy Wright."

Candy Wright (c) vis­it­ing a pa­tient in hos­pi­tal

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