Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes a regular blog for Huddersfield Hub.
This blog is dedicated to a remarkable and driven fundraiser here on the Costa del Sol.
Alan Boardman is outstanding in his desire to help raise much needed cash and distribute it amongst dozens of needy groups.
After Covid, Alan who has lived in Spain for 17 years with his wife Jenny, recognised that almost all of the charities and their vital fundraising shops were in a serious financial position.
To help he founded his Mijas Walking Tours offering a three-hour historical stroll around the gem of a popular and beautiful hillside village Mijas Pueblo.
Each of the dozen or so participants are asked for a voluntary donation of just €5 per person. To date Alan has raised over €15,000 single-handedly and without any personal reward, apart from the pleasure of helping those in need.
The light-hearted tours uncover historical and cultural happenings, as I discovered when I took the tour.
Midway around he halted and asked us to look at an obscure mark, 15ft up on the side of a white walled cottage.
He said: “This is the level of a massive landslide which came from the hills above, engulfing part of the village, caused by the removal of vital support trees, ordered by the dictator – General Franco!”
It took years to clear it; re-plant trees, and re-instate the village which was once the poorest in Spain, with people starving. Now it boasts many millionaires due to the massive tourist boom.
And he holds the group spellbound with the story of ex-Pueblo Mayor Manuel Cortes who spent 30 years hiding in a cupboard from Franco’s execution squads in the 1930s.
Besides the tours, Alan presents a weekly charity quiz which helps boost his regular target. He has the uncanny ability to bring people together in the community, and besides putting on stage plays, he stimulates enthusiasm for frequent ferias (cultural fairs) and social events.
He gives talks, also tirelessly visits each and every organisation who might need help in some way. His daily ‘good morning’ photos on social media are inspirational.
Included in the long list of groups and charities – too many for this page – is one called IDIMI. It offers valuable treatment for those severely affected with disabilities, who receive personalised attention.
Earlier this month Alan presented a cheque for €1,650 (main image, top). The list covers the elderly, homeless people, children and, of course, animals.
Rescue centres with mistreated or abandoned, dogs and cats are well cared for, as are donkeys, owls, horses and numerous groups offering support and help to hundreds of people, like International Red Cross who received €1,158. Age Concern and U3A also receive donations.
His desire to help others will, I feel, continue for years to come.
READ MORE: Here’s Brian’s back catalogue of blogs