Help International Benidorm
Help in times of need.
Help International Benidorm is a registered charitable organisation, with no political or religious affiliations, run by volunteers to provide help to residents and visitors in emergencies and times of need:
- We assist patients in hospital and pay regular visits to the housebound
- We assist in emergencies, providing advice when people do not know where to turn.
- We have several interpreters to assist people at medical appointments, or handling emergencies requiring the Spanish language.
- We loan medical equipment- wheelchairs etc.- for short term use without charge.
- HELP maintains a close relationship with the British Consulate in Alicante and with other charitable organisations.
- Volunteer teachers provide free Spanish language lessons for HELP members. (A donation is required)
- We organise our own social events and encourage house-bound members to participate. We raise funds which are used to assist other charities that serve the Costa Blanca community and we work as volunteers to serve that community.
Come and join us on a Thursday morning about 10.30 am at the José Llorca Linares Social Centre, Benidorm.
HELP INTERNATIONAL BENIDORM – (A POTTED HISTORY)
In September 1994 Patrick Campbell, the British Consul, of the time, held a meeting in Benidorm to discuss the idea of creating a Help organization here. About a dozen interested people turned up.
Enough enthusiasm was generated at that meeting for Benidorm HELP to be conceived. Colette O’Neill who was enjoying the beginnings of early retirement from Social Services in the U.K. Eva Pickles, who had been a nurse in the U.K. and was working as a home help in Benidorm, together with Collette took the project forward.
Eva and Colette, decided to investigate a new community center just opened. Having been suitable impressed they made a successful application to the manager Lorenzo and so at last Benidorm HELP had a place in which to hold meetings.
It was decided that a room should become a meeting place for the volunteers. Here they would be organized to carry out home visits.
Colette placed an advertisement in the Costa Blanca News. It announced the inaugural meeting of the Benidorm HELP group on the last Friday in January 1995.
Since that time HELP has grown and developed giving aid, assistance and advice to hundreds of people in their homes, in hospital or just visiting the area. HELP has succeeded, through a succession of Presidents and Committees to improve the scope and effectiveness of it’s assistance to the community. That goal of continued development continues.
Services and Welfare
Referrals to the Welfare Officer come in many ways – either from the client themselves or friends and family. Family could be in the UK and be concerned about their relatives. Sometimes members of the British Consulate hear about people in crisis and refer them to us.
Sometimes a client may just need someone to talk to, or need advice of other ways of helping them get out of their difficulties.
Both Tourists and Residents are referred to us, and, as you can imagine, both have very different needs.
A typical tourist in trouble is often when they have an accident or illness that requires hospitalisation. In these cases there is often more than one person in crisis. Take, for example, a couple having a two week holiday here in Benidorm – one has a fall and breaks a leg. The patient is taken either to a private hospital or public hospital. The partner then is obviously extremely worried, often not knowing about public transport, whether they can have a hotel room for the extended period, or whether they have sufficient funds to cover the extra time needed whilst their partner recovers. The added worry is their lack of understanding of the Spanish language. In this instance, the social worker at the public hospital may refer someone like this to us, to see if we can be of assistance.
We endeavour help these people in many ways. Visiting the patient in hospital and reassuring them. Visiting their partners in their hotel or apartment and giving them reassurance. Offering advice, transport, and in some extreme cases, financial assistance. This is of course, totally dependent on the availability and co-operation of our volunteer pool.
A typical resident in crisis is often an elderly person who has fallen ill and is unable to care for themselves or their partners. When a client like this is referred, an assessment will be made as soon as possible.
Depending on their need, the type of assistance given will again be advice, assistance with transport or providing necessary equipment from our stores. For those requiring nursing care, we have a list of local nursing agencies that can be contacted.
AND IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE OF HELP TO US – WE ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS AND TRANSLATORS TO HELP US WITH OUR VERY NECESSARY WORK
Christine Lane – Welfare Officer, Help International, Benidorm.