Charities Supported by the BLA
Although we do have very enjoyable meetings once a month where members meet each other and are entertained by a wide variety of speakers, the Association’s main aim is to raise money for the local charities supported by us. At the moment we have thirteen charities to whom we make donations, most of them are not well-known and they are really grateful for the help we give them. All the money we raise is donated to these charities.
One of our big fund-raisers is our annual Christmas Bazaar which takes place at the end of November and in spite of being hard work is very worthwhile; in the 6 hours that the Bazaar is open we make a very sizeable amount with which to help “our” charities.
The other very large fund-raiser is the British Ladies Charity Shop, run by a dedicated team of members. Each year The Charity Shop makes a considerable amount of money which, again, is all donated to the charities we support.
With the money raised we are able to give all our local charities a yearly Christmas donation and we also help some of the charities who are in desperate need by giving them an extra fixed monthly sum. Some of the charities take their children to summer camps; we help in this worthy project with a summer donation.
Each charity is visited by members of our charities committee. We keep in contact by visiting them personally at least once a year and, of course, we are very open to hearing from them if they have any problem that we can solve or if they need clothes, bed linen etc. All these charities are very grateful for the help that they receive from us
Below is a list of our charities with a short summary of the very good work they carry out.
|Charity||Summary of Help Provided||Websites|
|Asociación Avante Tres||helps mentally incapacitated adolescents and adults||www.avante3.org|
|ANAA (Asociación Nacional Amigos de los Animales)||cares for and finds homes for stray and abandoned dogs and cats||www.anaaweb.org|
|British Benevolent Fund of Madrid||helps needy British residents||www.britishbenevolentfund.org|
|Comunidad Promoción Familiar Nazaret||works in San Blas helping children from underprivileged homes||www.acpfnazaret.org|
|Cottolengo del Padre Alegre||a home for severely handicapped children||www.cottolengopalegre.org|
|Fundación Trebol||has a day centre where over 60 mentally handicapped young people are given job training||www.fundaciontrebol.com|
|Hijas de la Caridad de Villa Paz||provides a home for unmarried mothers and their babies, and also a home where the children can stay until the age of 18 if the mother cannot look after them.|
|Nuevo Amanecer||provides a safe haven for women and their children who have suffered physical and mental abuse|
|Santa María de la Paz||cares for one hundred homeless men of all ages.||www.centrosantamariapaz.orgor|
|Salvation Army||helps deprived children by sending them on summer camps and has an old people’s home in Arganda del Rey||www.ejercitodesalvacion.es|
Below is a slightly more detailed description of the outstanding work that is carried out by each of the charitable associations.
Asociación Avante 3: founded in 1994 by a group of volunteers interested in helping asolesent and adults who are mentally incapacitated as well as supporting their families to enable them to lead as normal and independent a life as possible. The British Ladies Association gives them a donation at Christmas and also helps to send the young people to summer camps.
ANAA: national association for friends of animals; their main object is to look after stray and abandoned dogs and cats and find them new homes. The “albergue” is comprised of a number of different units including kennels, a hospital, laboratory, quarantine section, a behaviour training centre etc. They also campaign to persuade owners to have pets sterilised and to prevent the exploitation of animals in circuses, shows etc. The British Ladies Association gives a donation at Christmas.
British Benevolent Fund of Madrid: grants financial and other assistance to needy people of British citizenship who are resident or stranded in the Madrid area, or, in special circumstances, outside Madrid but within Spain. The British Ladies Association gives a donation at Christmas.
Comunidad Promoción Familiar Nazaret: The “Comunidad de Nazaret” helps the underprivileged in various ways. They offer dining room (soup kitchen) where pensioners, the homeless, drug addicts, etc. can have a hot meal every day. They also help children, from homes with no resources, with their homework and also provide them with tea “merienda”. On Saturday afternoons about 30 children, supervised by eight monitors, are taught handicrafts; they also play football. For two weeks in the summer about one hundred children between the ages of 5 and 14 years are taken to summer camp outside Madrid. The British Ladies Association donates at Christmas, in June for summer camp, as well as giving a monthly donation to help pay for food.
Cottolengo: founded in 1939 by the Hermanas Servidoras de Jesus. This is a home for severely physically and mentally handicapped children who cannot be looked after in their own homes. The British Ladies Association gives a donation at Christmas.
Fundación Trébol: since 1958 have been working to improve the quality of life of the mentally handicapped and their families. They run Day Centres offering occupational therapy, sports facilities, dining room, gardens etc, as well as constant medical supervision. During the summer, as well as most weekends, two houses in the country provide a “breathing space” for parents and families. The British Ladies Association donates at Christmas and in the summer.
Hijas de la Caridad de Villa Paz: the charity provides two separate types of help. One is a home for single mothers and their babies. The mothers arrive before the child is born and they can then both stay until the child is two years old. It is also a home for children whose parents cannot look after them and these can stay until they are 18 years old.
Nuevo Amanecer: residence for battered women. They provide – immediate attention, information and protection, psychological help, provision of a safe place for these women and their children, legal help, etc. The British Ladies Association donates at Christmas, a monthly payment to help pay for food, as well as extra donations when there is an urgent need, for example to pay central heating bills etc.
Santa María de la Paz: runs a home to look after over one hundred elderly men (down-and-outs) hoping to keep them off the streets and off alcohol, providing both food and shelter. The British Ladies Association donates at Christmas, also a monthly donation to help pay for food, as well as providing clothing, sheets, towels, etc.
Salvation Army (Ejercito de la Salvation): helps deprived children by sending them away during the summer months for a holiday; they also help old people in their residence in Arganda del Rey and also help the homeless by distributing food and blankets, as well as a gift at Christmas time. The British Ladies Association gives a donation at Christmas as well as helping to pay for the children’s summer holiday.