A young innocent child drowns. In the summer of 2000 an accident occurred in the new Camposol development that shocked every one in the area. A small boy just 7 years old on holiday with his mother, fell unnoticed into the swimming pool. The mother missing her child searched unsuccessfully for her boy and eventually called the police and emergency services. A major land and air search of the countryside was launched and eventually the grim discovery of the drowned child was made. It was in recognition of this event that PALS (Protection and Life Saving) was formed to provide additional essential medical equipment to the emergency services and to the local health centres in and around Mazarrón. It was recognized that the most effective means of raising funds was by organising events on a regular basis throughout the year and thus the Christmas and summer dinner dances and the two barbeques on the beach were initiated. Other events such as treasure hunts, beetle drives, raffles and competitions have evolved from this and a monthly car boot sale in Camposol was started. A full and varied programme for 2004 is currently planned and a sponsored swim on new years day raised 1500 euros and a treasure hunt and sunday roast have already boosted our funds. In the forthcoming month the local old folks home will benefit from a three minute trolley dash. A beetle drive is planned for February 12 and trips to Benidorm complete the February programme. March sees a dinner/dance, bingo and a fun walk in the coastal mountains of Mazarron. April has an Easter bonnet/ buffet at the Wishing Well and caberet night at Venta Romera to celebrate St Georges Day. May provides the annual May Day beach barbeque only 220 tickets and a chance to practice for the Boules competition on May 18. More details are available for the balance of the year. To date PALS have purchased medical equipment to the value of 40,000 euros, (7342 euros in 2001,13546 euros in 2002 and an astonishing 19308 euros last year) and are currently discussing the needs of the 112 emergency ambulance in Mazarron and have negotiations proceeding with the medical staff in the Port of Mazarron and in Mazarrón, Fuente Álamo and Totana to provide more equipment. PALS are actively pushing the authorities for improved services and in particular for a hospital and for health centres to service the new mega developments. We acknowledge that the authorities can only provide these schemes if the powers that be are aware of the numbers of people who own or use property here, and this accounts for our Push for Padron programme where PALS try to encourage everyone to sign at the relevant town halls. There is no detrimental side to this and only benefit, not only in better health facilities but also for additional police and fire protection and indeed dustbin clearance and street cleaning. Sign up now. PALS members derive no financial benefit, paying the same for their tickets to events as everyone else but enjoy the activity of raising funds for an identified use and last year formalised into a registered charity. A strict hierarchy controls all our finances. However our success relies on the public who support us through donations and attending our functions we also appreciate the raffle prizes provided by local businesses. PALS thank you all and hope that you will continue to allow us to provide more for your local health services. If you would be interested in joining PALS we meet on the second Monday of each month at the Golf club at Camposol. Our helpers, friends of Pals, to whom we offer our grateful thanks, meet on the first Wednesday of each month at the same venue. Please join us and have a hand in improving your infrastructure and meet with us to increase your enjoyment of this beautiful country. Tel. 96 842 22 28 Ken Payne -vice chairman. 96 816 36 07 Kathy Haydock-secretary. 680 889 636 Ann Mayhew publicity officer.