- A follow up on the flooding relief after the September storms.
By Tony Mayes
Although it is now almost two months since the devastating floods experienced in the area, the charity Help at Home Costa Blanca is still helping scores of people in the Almoradi and Orihuela areas – providing them with essentials they need to survive.
The serious floods in the north of England were minor in comparison to the devastation which took place in Spain in the worst rainstorm to hit in living memory. What made it far worse was that a reservoir burst, sending millions of litres of water, thick mud and debris into people’s homes.
The interior walls of some of the houses were made of materials which disintegrated and there are still people living in the upstairs rooms because downstairs is uninhabitable.
Help at Home Costa Blanca spun into action immediately news of the devastation hit the TV screens and newspapers. A fund-raising event was hurriedly organised masterminded by entertainer Stevie Spit at the Emerald Isle in La Florida and supported by other entertainers who gave their time free.
The charity organised a stallholder market and the event attracted many hundreds of people, and more than 4,000 euros was raised the charity donating the takings from the two shops, 520 euros, and the takings from the market.
And just last week the Torrevieja Ladies Darts Organisation ran a competition that raised a further 900 euros for the appeal.
Four large van loads of donated items have gone to the affected areas, and this week a fifth has been sent, filed to the roof with furniture, clothes, food and cleaning materials. Money raised has also been spent on providing new school equipment to replace that which was lost.
Sylvia Sakir, vice president of the charity and who is also the principal fund raiser, has been working tirelessly to help the estimated 1,300 of the worst-affected people.
She said: “I am so very grateful to the people who have donated so much. We were inundated with donated items and the help that people living on or near the coast has been very much appreciated by those who have lost everything.”
Sylvia added that what surprised her was that many people who donated said they had no idea that Help at Home CB was so far reaching a charity – believing it was merely running a couple of charity shops and little more.
In fact the charity’s 65 or so volunteers look after the needs of about 100 clients – taking them on hospital and doctor visits, helping them with chores in their homes, befriending those who are desperately lonely, helping those who may have legal problems – the help is widespread and comprehensive.
One of the latest is that of a mother of three in her 40s who has become paralysed from the waist down following a procedure in hospital. Volunteers are helping her on a daily basis.