We have had quite a year with lots of new initiatives as well as continuing to help Caritas and adding a fund for the Ukranian refugees.
Thanks to all those who have donated items of furniture, tombola prizes, children’s gifts and money for the Ukranian families. You really have been most generous.
Thanks from me to the committee members who have worked with me during the year.
We have welcomed several new members to the committee this year . The first one is our new Treasurer, Cliff Carter, who kindly stepped into the breach when Sasha Mullings had to return to UK in October. He has not had long to learn the ropes but he did manage to produce the financial report in time to be audited for today by Tim Taplin of Indalo Partners.
What a successful year we have had after two years of upheaval. In particular, our Open Days this year were very well attended, with lots of fun and laughter, which is always good to hear.
A big thank you goes out to our team of volunteers who are always on hand, without them the library would not open. Sadly, our helpers have dwindled, with many leaving the area and the country. If you can spare a few hours to come in and help it would be very much appreciated. We cannot offer a lucrative salary, just a chance to meet different people, work with a friendly team and often leave
the centre with a smile on your face.
We are very grateful to Kate Salt – who provides a Spanish help desk on Fridays and to Nicki Wakeman from Angels Nursing Group who gives up her time on the first Thursday of each month to offer members a free blood pressure check, ensuring you are keeping on the right side of good health. Thank you both.
With an easier year our membership numbers have improved greatly well surpassing the past two years. We ended 2022 with a total membership of 307. We hope to continue this trend in the coming year which will allow us to expand our social programme.
We look forward to seeing you at the Library whenever you can make it, whether it’s to return/take out books, attend our social events, seek information or just drop in for a chat.
If you enjoy what we have to offer, please recommend us to your family, friends, neighbours and new residents.
We really appreciate the continued backing of our advertisers. A few dropped out during the past year for a variety of reasons, but we have had new companies join and there are others in the pipeline.
Please reward our advertisers by shopping locally whenever possible.
During 2022 we have supported and been supported by Breeze FM in their various charitable events.
The Euro Weekly News and Alan Pearce from Arboleas Life have helped very much with articles promoting our events, for which we thank them.
We have presented Marta Bukhtyak from Ayuda Ucrania, Albox with €645 in total (€520 from two of our events and €125 from the change in the donation bottle).
We also provided Caritas with Christmas toys for 79 children from 49 families in the Barrio Alto and surrounding areas. Thank you for your generosity.
We have been gradually updating our website and Facebook page to make them more useful to our members and non-members. We would welcome any further suggestions to promote our services.
2022 was a successful year with the group’s day trips and mini holidays being fully subscribed – many with lengthy waiting lists.
The two postponed mini holidays from 2020 to Andorra and to Ronda finally took place in 2022 and both were full. We received some lovely feedback from our travellers.
Another mini break was the Christmas trip to Malaga to see the lights and a chance to do a little late Christmas shopping. Again, lots of nice positive feedback.
Day trips in 2022 saw us visiting, La Legion, a 5000-year-old enclave, the Clisol greenhouses and Almerimar, the civil war tunnels in Almeria and the Planetarium in Seron. So varied and very interesting visits to some lovely places of interest accompanied by some very good meals.
One real plus point for the travel team was being able to refund the lost deposits from the original planned Andorra trip in 2020. Thanks to Danny at “Hidden corners of Spain” we refunded everyone on this original trip their deposit money which we all thought was lost.
Thank you to all who donated books for the library and money to purchase new books. This allowed us to put 243 new additions onto the shelves.
The early part of the year was still affected by Covid restrictions and our planned 29th January event had to be cancelled. Therefore the earliest event of the year was on 23rd April, when we celebrated the Dia de San Jorge, together with the Day of the Book and Rose.
On that day music and singing was provided by Juliet Ryall and we were also joined by the children of the CEIP Virgen del Saliente school who helped mark the occasion with a lively performance of dancing and singing, followed by a very enthusiastic breaking of the dragon piñata. All proceeds from this event (€230) went to the Albox Ukranian appeal.
On 24th September a member of the group, Martin Evans, gave an interesting and proactive talk on the food and drinks industry, both in the UK and Spain : Milk, Wine and Meat – What’s not to like ? Our theme for the day, the finger buffet and drinks, was very much around Spanish culture and cuisine.
For our final event of the year, 10th December, our Christmas gathering was enlivened by carol singers from the New Life Church and Nicki from Angels Nursing Group. It was a very festive occasion and well received, with a number of new members joining on the day. Again, the funds raised (€300) went to the Ukranian appeal for children’s Christmas gifts.
As always, these events could not go ahead without the contributions and donations of our members, those who frequently volunteer to help on the day, and our committee members – thank you to you all and we look forward to hosting further events in the coming year.
Your feedback on our events is always welcomed together with ideas for the future. We have a member suggestion for a quiz. What else would you like us to organise? Monthly? Fortnightly? Morning? Afternoon? Evening? Just pop into the centre with your ideas or email us. Thanks.
Francine has worked hard liaising with the town hall and on our integration with the local community, as well as with Marta Bukhtyak of Ayuda Ucrania, Albox to whom we presented our donations.
Ian Hurley has been going into the senior school in Albox to talk to the young people there. Chris Hurley also did a session with an adult education class at the same school and she may do more this year.
We were unable to re-instate the visits to the infant and junior schools to talk to the children there, due to lack of a team. If anyone is interested in spending a morning or two a week just to read to, or tell stories to the children, please do let us know. The schools are very keen for us to do this again as it was such a help to the teachers and enjoyable for the children.
Lisa started helping with the magazine as assistant editor in 2021 and took over in 2022 when, after several years, Sarah Makin stepped down from the role of editor.
In 2022, she tried to provide what members had said they enjoyed, including adding more puzzles and introducing a Spanish theme crossword. Each month during 2022 an article was written about that particular month.
In each edition we provide members with information about what the group has been doing. As well as short write ups from members who have attended trips. Members really enjoyed the feature we did at end of 2021 on the African Prisons.
As always, we rely on a few people who regularly contribute and would welcome articles, recipes, puzzles or even jokes from all members. Lisa is happy to meet with anyone who would like to share events or stories but would rather not write them themselves; in which case she will produce copy for their approval prior to publication.