Proud to be British
One thing that is guaranteed with Brits is that they always pull together and when it comes to charity and great causes, no-one does it better than the expat community. Last Sunday was a classic example on community spirit, sadly somewhat lacking at times in the UK but thankfully alive and kicking here.
There is one person above all who can motivate the masses and get people to part with their money here – and that’s Wayne Bellamy-Wright, aka Miss Levi. He manages to enlist his contemporaries, who are always willing to support any fundraising events that Wayne has organized.
Witnessing the desperate struggle that has blighted Emaús and those who rely on the association’s help, Wayne and husband Des set up Busy Bees Benidorm – a legal registered charity. The objective is to predominantly help the vulnerable women and children in their care, concentrating on a safe house whose location has to remain secret for obvious reasons.
The plight of Emaús has been well documented in the press, with protests being staged to prevent them being closed down due to lack of funding. They have been relying on costly bank loans to cover the running costs of the eight homes dotted around the Costa Blanca.
The government were owed millions for unpaid social security contributions and were resolute that they had to be paid, deeming a takeover virtually impossible, despite there being a company willing to take it on. Now it looks like an agreement has been reached and the Emaús homes are safe. The staff will hopefully at long last be paid – many have forgone months without a cent, supported by family.
Over the last year there have been numerous fundraising events and collaborations. Two recent UK to Benidorm charity car rally’s – Benidorm or Bust and Benidorm Bangers, both made financial donations and bought over much needed items, which they handed over to the pair. The third charity calendar is in the final stages of production and will be available shortly, all financed by generous sponsors so that every single euro from the sales goes directly to the cause. “Nothing is taken out for expenses” – something which Wayne is adamant and vocal about. He wants everyone to know all money people generously donate will be used for the purpose it was given. In total, Busy Bees Benidorm have now raised €103,923.54 – all made possible thanks to the support given by everyone, not only here but in the UK too.
So using his persuasive charms, Pedro and Marta generously allowed Wayne to use Jokers Bar and beer garden around the back for the Sunday Fun Day totally free of charge. Many fabulous artistes from the cabaret circuit turned up and kept the crowds entertained – all having worked the previous night and most also working that Sunday evening too… well done all.
There were also so many individuals who helped prepare the raffle, tombola, silent auction and ladies who baked delicious goodies for the cake stall. Outside there were fun activ- ities, with plenty of eager participants. One that caused much laughter was a human Hungry Hippos game, placing one out of each pair on a skateboard and pulled back and forth by the feet by the other, trying to grab plastic play balls in a basket!
The Channel 5 film crew from Bargain Loving Brits in the Sun, who have followed Wayne and Des for the last two series, captured the entire afternoon – so if you were there, look out when it is aired at the beginning of next year.
Gary Burr from Giving4Giving is another individual who should be singled out for his charity work in the community. Gary runs four legally registered charity shops – two in Altea, one in La Nucía and an- other in Finestrat plus a newly opened charity auction house. He has now been operating for five years and makes regular donations to smaller and oftensidelined charities and good causes.
This month alone he has donated an incredible €5,000 - €1,000 he used to purchase raffle prizes for the fun day then a further €1,000 cash he handed over to Wayne on Sunday, bringing the grand total that Giving4Givingg has donated since operating to a staggering €80,000! www.benidormallyearround.com