of Dénia and Marina Alta

Mike Lawson writes:
(March 2011)

Some of our U3A members are volunteers with the HELP organisation.

Below is a brief account of the work they do.

For more details, visit the HELP website at


HELP covers the area from
Pego in the north to Calpe in the south

If you think you might like to join this friendly circle of willing volunteers, please talk to their local representative whose phone number is on the Teulada & Moraira page of the HELP website. Or contact any of our U3A members who are in HELP.

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HELP is a friendly group of volunteers who provide support in medical emergencies (including the loan of medical & nursing equipment), home care for the temporarily housebound (including visiting, shopping & cooking), cars with volunteer drivers for transporting patients to and from medical facilities, interpreters, and visiting residents in elderly persons' homes.

  Repairs in progress

Repairs in progress
Charity Shop

HELP Charity Shop in La Xara


Two examples of what HELP has provided for individual families

A young couple with two children:   the self-employed father needed emergency surgery and he was the only bread-winner with only a small bank balance. The wife now had no income with which to feed the children or to put petrol in the car to enable her to visit her husband in hospital. HELP made a weekly payment to the family until the hospital said the father could return to work.   An elderly couple with no family:   the husband was coping with his wife who had Alzheimer's when he was taken into hospital. HELP organised a place for her in a Care Home until the Spanish Social Services stepped in to take responsibility for her care. (It can take a long time for the paperwork and administration to be completed, however any payments made by Social Services are backdated to the date of application.)


Members of the HELP team visit people in the residential home in Teulada

View from the lounge

View from the lounge of the Teulada residential home.   At the time of writing, there are about 10 British residents

The residential home contains private rooms (single or shared), a day centre, hair dressing salon, restaurant, café, and lounge. There is a physiotherapy service and a social worker on the premises. Residents can furnish their bedrooms with their own furniture and belongings if they wish.   café

HELP volunteers with residents in the café                                                                           photo by Shirley Baehr


Photographs of residents when younger                                           photo by Laurence Baehr
(The names of the residents have been blurred because of privacy issues)
  Reminiscence work in residential homes like this is very important. Although short term memory deteriorates with age ... tell me about it! ... with the exception of specific conditions like Alzheimer's, long term memory usually survives throughout our lives, and when residents recall their memories they benefit on more than one level.

Throughout this residential home there are notice boards containing photographs from the residents' earlier lives and of events they have been involved in whilst living in the home.

Day trips out are, obviously, very important and enjoyable experiences for the residents.

Some of the notice boards contain photographs and artwork of these trips. This display is a record of a trip out to the Fallas festival in Dénia.
  Excursion to the Fallas festival in Dénia

A section of the notice board showing an excursion to the Fallas festival in Dénia        photo by Laurence Baehr

Doreen giving me a conducted tour

Doreen giving me a conducted tour                                photo by Laurence Baehr
The masks hanging from the ceiling have been made by the residents

The masks hanging from the ceiling have been made by the residents

                                                                                                photo by Laurence Baehr


In 2009, a new law was introduced by the Madrid central government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero called the Ley Dependencia. Its purpose is to provide for heavily dependant people. For example: in Teulada-Moraira, around €70,000 per year is spent on providing home help for people in need (of which approximately 30% is paid for by the regional government of Valencia).

Applications for assistance under the Ley Dependencia is made to the Departamente de Servicios Sociales (Social Services Department) within the Teulada-Moraira ayuntamiento. The Social Services Dept. is 75% funded by the regional Valencian government and 25% by the ayuntamiento. Between what they and what the British Consulate do, there is a gap. This gap is filled by the voluntary organisations such as MABS and HELP.

Help Centre in La Xara

Help day centre, La Xara - luncheon €2 - activities include yoga, scrabble, dominoes, etc

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