Proud to be Bri­tish

Costa Levante News - - ABOUT TOWN -

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.benidor­mal­lyear­

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