In Autumn 1994 conversations took place between volunteers in Ibiza with Judy Arnold-Boakes of Age Concern Mallorca, with the intention of joining their organisation.
March 25 1995 Age Concern in Ibiza was officially launched at the Hotel Royal. A number of events and coffee mornings were held throughout 1995 to raise sufficient funds to finance activities.
In November 1997 Age Concern Ibiza & Formentera was constituted and officially recognised by the Govern of the Balearic Islands in February l998.
At the same time the Federation of Age Concern Organisations Spain was founded by the A.C.Os then existence (Ibiza,Mallorca and Menorca) to provide unity of criteria and important back up in legal and fiscal matters.
Fund raising was important at that stage and in September 1997 Age Concern Ibiza y Formentera organised a benefit gala evening at the Cas Serres auditorium, which not only netted as substantial sum but also got the name of “Age Concern” into the local press.
Fundraising and publicity remained vital and in 1999 we hosted our mega Garden Party at Angela and David Henley-Welch’s house and another one in 2001 at Can Truy.
In the meantime we started social activities, such as the Bingo afternoon in 1999, and our annual lunch in the same year.
Quite early on we appreciated the value of recognising the efforts of our volunteers and established an awards ceremony in 1998, which we later expanded to include all those who do so much on the quiet to help older people and also to support our organisation.
From 2001 until 2006 included, Age Concern Ibiza y Formentera participated in the “Mostra d’Entitats Solidaris” (a gathering of all the N.G.O’s on the island) which takes place in Vara de Rey each year, usually at the end of April.
The then president of AC Ibiza y Formentera, Sally Kennedy, went to her first meeting with the Elderly People’s Welfare Committee (part of the English Speaking church at the time) in September 2004, to forge stronger links between the two organisations.
Together with the English Speaking Church from 2008 to 2013, we ran a monthly Tea & Chat afternoon aimed at older people who do not get out very much. We also work closely with the Consular Office in Ibiza, and have been able to assist on various occasions when people approach the consulate with problems outside of their remit.
Age Concern Ibiza y Formentera continues to support the elderly residents on the Islands. One of the most used services is the loan of equipment, which started almost from the beginning of Age Concern Ibiza’s history. Our other main field of activity is assisting in visits to the doctor and obtaining of necessary documentation, as well as visiting the residents of Cas Serres, where our presence is recognised and welcomed by the Management and staff.
Over the years we have forged strong contacts with the local Social Services – both through the Town Halls and local medical centres. We are frequently called upon to assist where they are unable to provide the services required or where there is a communication problem for language reasons.
We also set up a DVD and Speaking Book Library
We have managed to build up a data base of carers and people willing to help out for a modest charge. Most of our work these days consists of what is known as “signposting”, that is steering people in the right direction to get the help they need. Things have changed since we first started and there is now much more state help available, but most people are not aware of this, and many, because of language difficulties do not know how to access the care they need. We assist approximately 40 cases a year, some of which are ongoing, and others are just one-off requests for specialised information or help, and we usually have in the region of 45 loans of equipment during the year, and again some items are out on long term loans while others are just to solve a temporary problem.