Sixteen years, more than €250,000, and hundreds of items of medical and emergency equipment later and the PALS group (Protection and Life Saving) has sadly called it a day.
The association was founded in 2000 and was the first expatriate organisation to apply for charitable status in the Murcia Region, setting up in the Camposol, Mazarron area to raise funds for life-saving medical equipment.
It has since gone on to make donations of equipment to 112, Cruz Roja and local health centres, including rescue crafts, defibrillators and emergency tents.
These were sent to Lorca following the tragic 2011 earthquake to assist in essential relief efforts according to PALS president Ken Payne: “We never give cash, we ask what services they need most and then fundraise to be able to purchase it,” he explained.
Items worth nearly €73,000 have been supplied to the health centre; more than €90,000 to the Cruz Roja; €42,000 to 112 services and more than €10,000 to Civil Protection as well as additional campaigns such as providing emergency equipment following the Lorca earthquake.
Ken said PALS helped kick-start the FAST and Forget Me Not associations and represented the cause of the Mazarron expatriates to the British Consul and Ambassadors, while PALS was at the forefront of the need to provide a medical centre in Camposol.
Now, however, Ken feels their work is done: “We have done what we set out to achieve. The committee is getting older and ambulances are now better equipped, so the need does not exist any more.”
Fortunately PALS is bowing out in style and will make its final donation, which Ken promises is “tens of thousands of euros” at a rock concert on May 29 at the Bahia Hotel, Puerto de Mazarron.
Six groups will perform live for six hours in what promises to be a great night out with tickets costing just €5. For more information call 626 460 465 or search PALS Camposol on Facebook.