Why do you ask so many questions?’ is often asked of our volunteer Caseworkers when they visit clients who are seeking financial assistance from a UK charity to help them over a rough patch in their lives.
The answer might seem simple but unless the Caseworker can ‘paint’ a complete picture of a person’s life for the ACASA Almonisation Officer, the chances are that the client will not receive the maximum benefit from resources, which are available to him or her both from the UK and Spain.
There are more than 180,000 charities registered in the UK. This might be a large number for readers to absorb and admittedly the aims of many charities do not fit the bill, but the Almonisation Officer works with the information provided to fit a client to a charity or charities. There are, for example, charities for those born in a specific town, those of a particular faith, those with a military background, etc. In addition, most professions or trades have their own charity or guild, some large companies have a charitable fund for ex-employees, as do schools or seats of learning. The possibilities are many so please be tolerant when we ask so many questions and be appreciative of the Almonisation Officer who has spent many years developing her skills in this area.
In addition to the Almonisation Officer’s skills, the President of ACASA meets on an annual basis with a number of the charities, which make regular grants to British expatriates living in Spain. These meetings which started in 1995, are aimed at an exchange of ideas and give the President an opportunity to explain in detail the difficulties faced by the expatriate community in Spain particularly in these difficult economic times.
The meeting for 2012 will take place in October and significant matters, which affect every one of us in the British expatriate community, will be discussed.
Watch this space for a full report.