On the evening of Saturday 7 December, Acompalia welcomed Christmas with mulled wine, music and song. The ‘Festive Concert’ hosted by Glynn and Anne Snelling at their Lecrin Valley home, Los Secanillos, raised a total of €1273 from ticket and bar sales, a raffle and lucky dip and artworks by Sylvia Kopecek auctioned on the night.
“In many ways, this was an extra special evening,” said Acompalia committee member Lindsay Ostervig. Special indeed: Lindsay’s 94-year old mother, Agnes Cook-Bainbridge, performed a programme of piano solos from composers including Bach, Chopin, Handel and Schumann – as well as a medley of love songs and tangos she had composed herself. “Mum has been playing the piano for 90 years,” said Lindsay, “and she looks forward to repeating this performance on her 100th birthday!”
Local musician and Alexander Technique expert Cat Jary led her Grupo Al Barroco in a selection of early music classics and carols in English and Spanish.
The evening also featured a surprising array of nationalities reflecting the growing diversity of residents in Granada province; 82 guests from as far afield as Scotland, Sweden, Holland, Switzerland, Germany, Australia, the United States and Lebanon, as well as Spain and the UK, came together to enjoy the evening and support Acompalia’s hospice and palliative care projects.
“With an event of this size, we owe a huge thank-you to the people who made it possible by giving their time and talent as well as financial support,” said Lesley O’Brien, Acompalia’s committee member in charge of fundraising. “From Shawky and Janine Makarem of Lanjarón, who donated all the mulled wine, to volunteers who baked the mince pies; from artist Sylvia Kopacek, who donated sales of her artwork on the night, to Grupo Al Barrocco and the wonderful energy of Agnes at the piano; finally to Glynn and Anne for opening their lovely home and organising the event, and to all who supported and enjoyed the evening; Acompalia will be able to help more terminally ill patients and their families this Christmas, because of people like you.”
Tina Emmott, president of Acompalia, stressed that fundraising events and groups in the Alpujarras and along the Costa Tropical have been vital in launching Acompalia’s services – the Telephone Helpline took its first calls last month, using Acompalia-trained volunteer counsellors.
Callers can contact the Helpline at: 634 302 225. To begin with, the Helpline will be open from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, though it is hoped these hours can be extended as more trained volunteers become available. “We now have a few wonderfully active fundraising support groups, and we want to encourage many more, so that we can expand the Helpline and move forward with helping terminally ill people and their families,” she said. A Spanish Helpline is also planned as more Spanish volunteers come forward for training.
Lesley O’Brien welcomes further enquiries about Acompalia’s fundraising. The team is busy with plans for more fundraising events in the coming months, and keen to hear from readers who would like to hold an event of their own in support of Acompalia.
Please call Lesley at: email@example.com or call her mobile: 687 289 200.
Acompalia was launched in 2012 to provide palliative care services to terminally ill patients of all ages and their families, in Granada and the Costa Tropical. The Acompalia team recently achieved its first goal; it has set up a Telephone Helpline staffed by trained and caring volunteers.
“When someone is told they have a terminal disease they want to talk as soon as possible to someone who will understand their feelings,” says Tina Emmott, founder and president of Acompalia. “By contacting our Helpline, they can now get support from a counsellor who understands what they are going through.”
For general information on Acompalia please contact Tina Emmott on 958 784 055.
Please visit the Acompalia website at: www.acompalia.org