A BRITISH expat based in the northern Costa Blanca has been honoured by UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, with a personal letter and ‘Point of Light’ award for her outstanding charity work over three decades in Spain.
Candida Wright has been a volunteer for the HELP Denia and Marina Alta charity for over 30 years, and is currently president of the organisation.
She also works as an interpreter at Denia Hospital in Alicante Province, home to over 80,000 Britons, and is president of the charitable Careline Theatre Group, which raises funds for local medical centres.
According to the UK government statement, Candida’s work “has been instrumental in transforming this NGO from a simple hospital visiting service into a formidable organisation which manages several charity shops, finances temporary care and runs a number of support groups.”
The seemingly tireless Candida has also helped create a women’s shelter in Benissa, has links with a children’s home in Denia and a homeless shelter in Gandia, and presents a show on a local English-language radio station.
The Euro Weekly News caught up with Candida and asked how she felt when the news broke.
“Hahaha, I cried!” she laughed. “I was out with some patients when I received a personal message from Simon Manley, the British ambassador to Spain, in which he said that I’d won an award.
“At first, I thought it was a joke, but then I read my emails and realised that it wasn’t, and at that point things got a bit emotional.
“I am really thrilled!”
The HELP charity is among the Costa Blanca’s foremost charity success stories, and has grown to include a network of around 200 workers and volunteers who together raise tens of thousands of euros each year.
The Point of Light awards were created by ex-United States president George W Bush in order to recognise outstanding volunteer efforts. The scheme was introduced to the UK while David Cameron was prime minister, but Theresa May recently decided that volunteers based outside the country should also be included.