Pride of the Costa del Sol

It can be no secret to long-standing SUR in English readers that this newspaper has been a fan of Cudeca since its beginnings in 1991. As the then editor of the paper, three years later, I was proud to present Joan Hunt with the first SUR in English Award for her work on behalf of the international community on the Costa del Sol. The accolades - and the achievements of Cudeca - have not stopped since, and I was one of many supporters last Friday who were there to celebrate the latest milestone.

It was very hot, but a volunteer had made Cudeca fans and parasols and proudly handed them round to visitors. Another, who told me she was a volunteer driver, described the pride she took in being able to help whenever her busy work life allowed. Everyone wanted to congratulate the Cudeca team, and the applause for Yusuf Hamied was deafening.

There was a noticeable lack of the usual boring formalities at such events, when all the speakers in turn address each other by name and title, in order of importance according to protocol, before launching into their own self-serving (usually party political) manifestos.

There were a lot of speeches, but they were brief and from the heart, and about how proud the speakers were of their association with Cudeca: from the academic who said that it was a real pleasure to develop projects with the hospice's staff because they are so easy to work with, and such excellent, kind people; to the politician who had recently visited two family members who were being cared for by Cudeca, and who could not speak too highly of it.

The most striking, to me, was the Benalmádena representative who said that wherever he went, in Spain and abroad, he found that the town was already well known for its generosity and solidarity: a reputation gained by being the home of the pioneering and now famous Cudeca hospice.

What better reputation could there be? Cudeca should be proud...