‘We are walking alone’, claim expat fire victims

LAST UPDATED: 7 Dec, 2012 @ 09:54
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‘We are walking alone’, claim expat fire victims

A ROW has broken out over funds raised by a charity concert billed to be helping victims of the Malaga fires.

Fire Aid – organised by DJ Maurice Boland in September – raised over €18,000 for the Red Cross, which was used by the charity for medical supplies.

But fire victims and volunteers are angry after claiming to have been ‘duped’ into believing the donations would be used to help those directly affected by the disaster in August.

They are also dismayed that Boland is allegedly in line for a Red Cross award, to be handed out later this month.

Boland denies any wrongdoing and insists all publicity was amended accordingly when it became apparent that it would not be possible to give funds directly to the victims.

“I feel those who bought tickets have been duped into believing that we would be helped but we haven’t been,” said Sue Doran, who lost her Atalaya home in the blaze.

The concert, supported by SOS Andalucia and with live performances from many local stars including Stephen Lloyd-Morgan, was attended by over 1,000 people a week after the fire.

It was initially billed as a concert to raise money directly for those who had lost property or possessions.

However, just days before the concert, it emerged that this might not, after all, be the case.

“I was furious,” continued Doran, 51, a former local government employee from Lincoln.

“I have since spoken to Maurice to complain but after telling me it was going for medical supplies, I told him ‘I don’t need a plaster, I need a place to sleep at night’.”

She continued: “SOS Andalucia in contrast were brilliant. They gave us clothes and other direct help. I don’t know what we would have done without them.

“The whole situation has left a sour taste in the mouth.”

Doran’s neighbour Susan Holloway, who also lost her home in the same area, added: “We never expected that we would receive much in monetary value, but we got a big boost from believing what the poster claimed ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

“Well, we have been left to walk alone and feel that when we were at our lowest ebb, we were given false hope, deceived and abandoned.

“We understand that cash could not be handed out but surely vouchers to use in local supermarkets, clothes stores etc could have been offered.”

One of the volunteers at the concert at Marbella’s Hotel Puente Romano on September 10, told the Olive Press that a large group of them were also unhappy with the situation.

The volunteer, who gave his name as Jake Goode, revealed that an email has been sent to Maurice Boland, boss of iTalk radio station, by group leaders expressing their concerns.

He said: “I am very upset as I did this because he told us the money raised would help the people affected by the fire.

“But two months later and he has never even declared where the money was spent. No one affected by the fires has been helped.”

He added: “Boland has made this more about him than those who needed the help, he is a disgrace.”

There is no suggestion that Boland has benefitted financially in any way from the concert.

He also denies any wrongdoing, stating: “What people need to understand is that we organised this concert in just seven days.

“When the Red Cross came onboard on day three, it became apparent that the way the charity is structured would not allow the money to be distributed in the way we had initially hoped.

“We immediately changed all publicity for the concert to make it clear that all money raised would be going into the areas most affected by the fires rather than directly to the victims, and it was very much the central point of my speech at the concert.”

156 COMMENTS

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  1. Hilarious, Orange Tango Mr Borange page 20 current issue Olive Press

    “http://issuu.com/theolivepress/docs/issue150/20”

    Mr Boland, you were having a rant about me and others on this thread today I am lead to believe.

    Before you get yourself embroiled in another conspiracy theory please ACTUALLY READ my post on here on November 28th, 2012 3:21 pm

    I CANNOT ACTUALLY GET YOUR RADIO STATION HERE IN MIJAS AND UNLIKE OTHERS I CANNOT LISTEN ONLINE AS I AM OUT AT WORK ALL DAY. I WISH YOU THE VERY BEST OF LUCK AND GOOD FORTUNE

  2. Merry Christmas and a hope filled New Year to all those homeless from the fires .May the junta look kindly on you and well walk along with you to build your homes and life afresh,. Thank you OLIVE PRESS FOR TAKING ACTION to help these victims.Not just shallow false words of help then retraction. NO you olive press are good to your word and have acted on what you have said and are continuing to do so .

  3. Just heard new radio station starting in the spring. TalkTalkFM Marbella & Costa del Sol sponsored and run by TalkTalk Group from the UK. They say ‘bringing state of the art technologies to local and regional radio stations throughout Europe, commencing with Marbella and the Costa del Sol planned for spring 2013 that will include innovative live online video streaming… …’radio-visual’ capability for international interviews and discussions… …bringing a plethora of well-known presenters to Expats throughout Europe.’ It looks like we will get another talk radio station in Mijas and everywhere east of Calahonda after all. Think this will be great for the Costa to have a professional radio station of this calibre. Not only good to have competition for the stations in existence here but should take problems like those of the fire and flood victims to a far wider audience hopefully.

  4. Is this right, a new talk radio station? Not heard anything anywhere else about it yet. Saying that when I’ve listened to italkfm recently, breakfast, drive-time and evening, it’s predominately music. Don’t mind that so much but don’t really like the constant swearing by some presenters, it’s not very professional.
    As for the charity discussion, I heard that when Maurice Boland staged his WOW Factor competitions only a few hundred went to the charities if that. No idea what happened in this case with the Fire Aid Concert but I don’t think it’s right that events are staged in the name of charity just as a front for someone’s self-publicity. That’s all I ever seem to hear when it comes to Maurice Boland and questions do have to be asked when more often than not we never know exactly what has been raised from these so called “charity” events. It’s rarely declared afterwards. We don’t see total transparency with many of these fundraisers.

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