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 every fortnight for Huddersfield Hub.
Elaine and I hope that you had some enjoyable end of year festivities. We often reflect upon the past New Year mayhem and fun we had at The Angel, Huddersfield. Many memories there.
Briefly summarising the year here on the Costas. We had the worst fires and droughts ever, Covid wiped out hundreds of family businesses – especially in the hospitality sector – and everywhere went eerily quiet for a while.
But things have much improved and a definite resurgence of travellers and home seekers is most evident. Yes, the Costa del Sol is back in business!
From time to time you get to meet someone who oozes personality and has the awesome ability to inspire those around them whilst offering a helping hand if required.
I had the pleasure of visiting a unique charity group with epic fundraiser and my good friend, Alan Boardman. He took me to a 2,000 sq metre unit hidden on the fringe of Fuengirola feria ground called ‘Association Adintre.’
Alan told me prior to the visit that there is an amazing lady called Joyce Gyimah Amponsah who, for the past 22 years, has devoted her time, love and energy looking after the underprivileged and homeless people around the area.
He was right. On meeting her I could see immediately how this deeply religious lady went about calmly preparing to welcome the regular 50 or so homeless men and women to a substantial meal, and much more.
Apart from a donation of €4,000 per year from the Fuengirola Town Hall and some help from Mercadona supermarket, she somehow manages to raise the €20,000 per month costs (not including food) to keep the charity afloat.
She has three paid staff and all others work tirelessly for free. The small shop at the front raises a little cash and the incredible stock of donated furniture, clothing and equipment also provides money. It’s massive!
Last March Alan dedicated all his Mijas walking tour donations to ‘Adintre’ and between us we agreed that an open day would raise the profile of this association, and continue helping those people with alcohol addiction (about 50% of those here), and ensure that all homeless who register with her, get well fed, can enjoy a hot shower, given fresh clothing then use the computers available freely, each visit. All children are given a bag full of gifts each Christmas.
As we toured around the various departments there is as section where 100s of bags of much needed groceries are being bagged up to be collected when her regular food bank opens for the growing number of those in need.
At one point, Joyce had to leave us for a short while as one of her chefs was ill, and she had to assist with preparing the delicious soup followed by a steak and veg meal.
The lengthy queue of homeless people were patiently being checked in at the door before taking a seat in the immaculately clean hall, to be served by helpers.
Those who come are of mixed age group, many who had lost businesses and their families, some who held good jobs with nice homes.
The date agreed for the open day is Thursday March 16 and it is hoped that lots more can come and see the remarkable work Joyce and her team are doing to help those in most need and, hopefully, swell the funds required.
In all the years we have been here in Spain, Alan and I had never heard of ‘Association Adentre’ – in Spanish it means ‘Come in.’
Here’s looking forward to a healthy, happy 2023.
READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE