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What special memories does summer bring for you?

When I look back to my childhood I remember seemingly endless sunny days, bare feet in sandals, beach trips and most of all – the Summer Special edition of my weekly comic. That bumper packed Summer Special started my summer.

Well, today we bring you our own bumper Summer Special edition of the Age in Spain newsletter with news, stories and memories too. It’s an exciting time for Age in Spain and we are delighted to share some summer sights and sounds with you – from Platinum Jubilee celebrations in Madrid and our Celebrating Veterans stories for UK Armed Forces Day, to a very hot topic for new arrivals to Spain from other countries and long stayers alike – our new Driving in Spain guide.

Personal stories and helpful information for everyone. And looking further ahead – news about our September Dementia Awareness event and your opportunity to share your experience of living with dementia.

Have a safe and happy summer everyone!
Helen Weir, Chief Executive.

Age in Spain’s new guide is the green light to driving in Spain!

42.6% of UK nationals responding to an online poll* by Age in Spain have yet to acquire a Spanish driving licence. The main reason given for not doing so was lack of clarity in the law and confusion over what was needed before a licence could be exchanged (61%). But the prospect of taking the test in Spanish, the cost of lessons and the licence application process, as well as concern about the theory were put forward as the greatest obstacles to beginning the process.

From May 1st, UK nationals resident in Spain have not been permitted to drive if they do not have a Spanish driving licence, although there is a six month period of grace for newly arrived residents (from the UK and other non-EU countries).

The results of the poll have prompted Age in Spain to produce a Guide to Driving in Spain, which is launched today. The guide, available free online, is comprehensive. It covers all aspects of driving, from bringing your car to Spain, to how to register it, change the number plates and keep it on the road with an ITV test.

Detailed guidance on how to apply for and take the test is also included, with information on booking a medical exam, studying for the theory test, and the importance of the driving school for the practical part of the test.

There’s a section on what to do if you infringe the law – and how the penalty points system in Spain differs from that in the UK.

The information in the guide is backed up in case-study interviews with people who have gone through the process, including a former UK driving instructor who explains the differences between the UK and Spanish tests.

Speaking as a trustee of Age in Spain, Marijke Cazemier living in Andalucia, who designed the poll said:
“Our Guide to Driving in Spain will be extremely useful to anyone who has still to acquire a Spanish driving licence, and also to many of those who have done so and who want to make sure they comply with regulations for driving here.

Dutch born Marijke Cazamier – Age in Spain trustee and Caseworker, arrives at her new home in Spain.
“The poll was conducted anonymously on the social media platforms used by English-speaking nationals living in Spain, including the Age in Spain website and Facebook page, and gave us insight into what has been deterring people from either exchanging their licence whilst it was possible, or applying for the test.
*Sample size was 385
Read the Driving in Spain Guide here
Celebrating Veterans!

To mark our support for armed forces veterans living in Spain we held our Celebrating Veterans event from 23 to 25 June, which shares some personal stories with you from our conversations with just a few of the many veterans and their family members that we help.

You can read more here about the charities that we work with and the personal experiences we have published to celebrate UK Armed Forces Veterans living in Spain.

Age in Spain has a long history of supporting men and women who served in the UK Armed Forces and have since settled in Spain.

Thanks to our partnership with the Soldiers’ Charity, the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund and from 2022, our new funder the Royal Navy & Royal Marines Charity, Age in Spain is here to provide priority help to UK armed forces veterans and their families in Spain.

Age is no barrier – our information, welfare and social support services are here for all – from Armed Forces families with children right through to through to elderly veterans and their carers. From one off assistance through to lifelong support for some, our specially trained volunteers are here to assist.

We are delighted, in addition, to bring you this exclusive and inspiring interview with Age in Spain volunteer and RAF veteran – David Dransfield, plus a personal tribute to one of our longstanding clients Barry Crease, kindly provided by his friends Ken Slater and Christine Quick.

The Platinum Jubilee HRH Queen Elizabeth II

Did you sign our card for the Queen? What a celebration! 

Here’s the photo of the presentation of the congratulations card from Age in Spain’s volunteers and many friends and supporters who added their good wishes. It was presented the the UK Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliot during the official Jubilee celebration garden party held at the British Ambassador’s residence in Madrid on 2 June 2022.

From left to right Mrs Antonia Elliot and British Ambassador Mr Hugh Elliot, with Margaret Mackay, trustee of Age in Spain and Helen Weir, Chief Executive.

The Ambassador accepted the Age in Spain card for HRH Queen Elizabeth II, which has been personally delivered to her. Thank you everyone for participating and thank you too British Embassy colleagues for this truly memorable event. We captured that special day with our video  montage produced from our own and official photos, to enable everyone to share in that wonderful day!  Enjoy!

Join the celebrations – amd make sure you have your sound turned on to soak up the atmosphere.
New trustees for Age in Spain

We have a new President, John Rafferty and we welcome three new trustees – Marijke Cazamier, Margaret Mackay and David Dransfield – to the Executive Committee of Age in Spain.

All four trustees are experienced Age in Spain volunteers, working on our Infoline, Friendline and our Casework Service.  You can read more about John Rafferty here.

We are also delighted to formally recognise the contribution of Judy Arnold-Boakes MBE, our visionary founder, who is now our first Honorary Vice President of Age in Spain.  You can read more about Judy and her inspirational journey with Age in Spain here. 

Left: John Rafferty, President of Age in Spain.
Right Judy Arnold-Boakes MBE –  founder and Honorary Vice President of Age in Spain
And a very warm farewell to longstanding trustees and Caseworkers Norman Jolliffe and Leila Lawson, who have given so much individually to support clients over many years and helped in the development of Age in Spain. We wish you both well in your retirement from Age in Spain!

Read this story  from our Celebrating Veterans event which pays tribute to Norman’s support to one of our longstanding casework clients.

Are you living with dementia?

Are you living with dementia? As a carer, with dementia yourself, or a family member or friend? If so, do you want to share your story? This September we are running our highly informative and popular Dementia Awareness event to coincide with World Alzheimers Day on 21 September 2022. Share your experience with us. Contact us at so we can tell you more.  

New volunteering opportunity

Being a small organisation, with a very big role, we have to work hard to ensure that as many people get to know about Age in Spain and its work as possible.

Social media (such as Face Book, Instagram and Twitter) is a vital tool to help us do that and we are looking for a savvy social media professional to help us. Know someone who might fit the bill? Read more about the role here on our volunteering page. There is information too about our other volunteering roles – we are opening our autumn recruitment opportunities soon.

Infoline – a vital service under threat!

We absolutely depend upon the vital support of people like you to ensure that our services are freely available for everyone who needs help. Since the ending of our successful UK Government funded residency project earlier this year, we no longer get any government financial support. So from July 2022, we don’t have enough money to keep our Infoline and Casework support services running full time.

Can you help us? 

Your regular donation of just €10 per month will enable us to provide a weekly friendship call to an isolated older person, every week of the year.

Your one off donation of €50 will enable us to make a home visit to a vulnerable person who is struggling to access vital services.

A regular donation of €100 per month will enable us to open our phone lines for longer, so we can continue to help make a difference every day of the week.

It’s easy to make a donation by credit or debit card – here is the link to our donations page.
You can also contact me, directly about other ways in which you could help.

And remember, if you are a tax payer in Spain, you can claim up to 80% tax relief on your donations of up to 150€ in any tax year and 35% tax relief on amounts over that. So a 20€ donation could cost you only 4€ – or a donation of 100€ would cost you just 20€. We will send you a receipt so you can reclaim your tax when you submit your tax return.

That’s all for now,  our next newsletter will be out in September. In the meantime, if you have any comments or feedback to share, please do contact us. We read, respond to and value all your replies. Working with you to help everyone live later life to the fullest.

The Age in Spain team.