The British Consulate in Alicante has unveiled a team of ‘Our Local Ambassadors’, formed of expats whose experiences of moving to and living on the Costas make them trusted guides to other Brits. Their stories will tell of what to do and what to avoid, on issues ranging from property purchasing and learning the language, through to registering for public services and getting involved in the local community.
Simon Manley said:
“Our Local Ambassadors have been there and done it, and we hope their experiences will help other Brits to enjoy even more life in Spain and all that this country has to offer.”
“We hope their stories will help people to find out about what to expect when moving to and living in Spain, discovering how to obtain health and social services, learning at least some of the language, and being well prepared for life’s inevitable difficulties when they do crop up.”
“Adjusting and ‘fitting in’ is the secret to integrating into life here, making sure you do the right things so that you can avoid stressful problems later, for instance when you fall ill or reach old age. I hope that Our Local Ambassadors will give you ideas, tell you about shortcuts and help you learn from them.”
Sarah-Jane Morris, Consul for the Alicante region, added.
“This is the most popular region in Spain for Brits wanting to move to the sun. Part of our job is to assist people when they need it, but even better is to help them avoid future difficulties by doing the right things now.”
“I hope Our Local Ambassadors will enable expats to make more informed choices, and help them through all the things you need to do for a well-planned life in Spain.”
It is envisaged that members of ‘Our Local Ambassadors’ will join consular staff on outreach event and prevention activities, give talks to groups, and undertake social media activity to underpin the campaign.
The British Consulate in Alicante supports vulnerable British nationals who have suffered bereavement, are hospitalised, have been arrested or are victims of serious crime. Many of these cases could have been easier for Brits to bear if they had spoken some Spanish or had better links and support in the local community.
Last year the Consulate assisted in nearly 90 hospitalisations, more than 100 deaths, and over 200 arrests. Staff also issued more than 1000 emergency travel documents to people whose passports were lost or stolen.