Determined to help local charity “Emaus”, Derren Litten – writer and creator of the Benidorm series has set about organizing a fundraising evening. It will be held on Friday 29th May at 8pm in the UK Cabaret Club – opening specially for the occasion, which is underneath the Presidente Hotel. This promises to be a fun karaoke night with many cast members taking part. Topping the bill will be Jake Canuso, Tony Maudsley, Sherrie Hewson, Tim Healy and Johnny Vegas – even Derren has promised to take to the stage himself!
Also due to make as appearance are Paul Bazely, Josh Bolt, Steve Edge, Elsie Kelly, Danny Walters and also The Benidorm Stylistics!– so a night not to be missed if you are a fan of the series. Tickets are €10 and will be available at the door and throughout the night Derren´s Bucket will be passed around the room which he has personally pledged to match, regardless of how much has been collected. All those attending will also receive a much coveted “Solana” wristband. It promises to be a fantastic night – and all to benefit a very worth cause.
Emaus is based in Altea and turns 36 this month. Its founder, Fransisco Nadal was born one year after the start of the Spanish Civil War and the family escaped to France as his father was anti Franco, where they settled. However, as that finished the Second World War broke out and Fransisco´s father went and fought against the Germans, where he was captured and held a prisoner of war for five years. During that time Emaus International took care of Fransisco and his mother in France. Upon the death of the Spanish dictator in 1978, the parents felt it safe to move back to Spain – leaving Fransisco in France, by which time he was settled and working, sending money back to Spain. At that point they decided to turn their family home in Altea into a centre for 14 children – there was no such thing as Social Services in Spain at the time and it continues to this day to house children with emotional and psychological issues who have no family able look after them. It seems almost impossible to believe that Social Services here did not evolve until 1980 – up until that point it was left to the family.
Now it has come to a crucial situation and as Montserrat Fiter, President of the Asociation Emaus puts it “Emaus is very sick”. In order to survive they are reliant on charity and so have set up “Euro a Month” to help fund the 320 children, pensioners, mentally handicapped and abused women living within the Emaus run shelters. Telitec are sponsoring the initiative and everyone that donates will be entered into a monthly draw with the chance of winning a mobile phone.
A demonstration took place outside Altea Town Hall yesterday morning (Fri 22 May) by staff from the Emaus home in Altea, to raise awareness of the desperate situation they are in. The workers have not been paid for months and Emaus is in serious debt as they have not received any funding from the Government for years – they are relying on costly bank loans to cover the running cost of the 18 centres. However, within 15 minutes of the start, Guardia Civil officers were on the scene to break up the crowd – threatening fines of up to €3,000 each, citing the “gag law” they were breaching. Sounds like something that could have been left over from Franco´s time yet it was a law passed only this year!
Janine Duvitski, better known to many as swinger Jacqueline from the ITV comedy series is the official ambassador of “Euro a Month” and spread the word to her fellow cast members. Derren, together with Simon Bird, Producer at Tiger Aspect went and met Montserrat, where she took them on a tour of the Altea children’s home and showed them the everyday challenges they are faced with. This prompted Derren to organize the forthcoming event, which judging by the reaction so far, looks set to be a sell out.
If you are unable to attend but would like to support Emaus please go to their website where there is a donate button: www.euroamonth.com