Jane Cronin – President
I was born in London, brought up in Wales and also lived for many years in Birmingham. I came to Spain as an English teacher in 1988 and worked in the north of Spain where my two daughters were born. In 2002 I moved to San Pedro and have worked as a Spanish teacher in both Alicante and Murcia provinces since then until my recent retirement.
I was the original founder of the ADAPT association in 2008 and was president for the first seven years of its existence. I moved away from San Pedro to a small village called Jacarilla in 2014 but have remained closely involved with ADAPT in various ways. My main involvement has been with the Theatre group and I write, direct and perform in our annual pantomime which has proved one of our flagship events every year. I enjoy reading as well as writing and while I have dabbled in amateur dramatics of various kinds, I prefer comic acting and have performed stand-up in both English and Spanish.
Yolanda González – Vice President Spanish
I am from Valladolid, but I have lived in San Pedro del Pinatar since 2001. I studied Business Administration at university and I now work for AENA at the Human Resources Department of Corvera Airport.
I enjoy learning languages, especially English… I love it! Through ADAPT´s English-Spanish Conversation Group, I had the opportunity of practising with native speakers, and I met great people who have become really good friends. Apart from the Conversation Group, over time I got more involved with the association, I started on the Committee a few years ago. I also participate in the Pantomime, with the Theatre Group.
I like reading, mainly thrillers and historical novels, and also travelling, to get to know other cultures and try other cuisines… I practise yoga and I like strolling with friends at weekends.
Jim Partington – Treasurer
Originally I am from Lancashire but lived in a number of different parts of the UK courtesy of a long career with HMRC, formerly Inland Revenue. I retired early through choice and moved to Spain, to Los Alcázares permanently with my wife Muriel 5 years ago having first come to the area 12 years ago which is when the plan to retire here started to properly take shape.
After a slow start I have involved myself in a range of community and social activity and we are very much enjoying the amazing quality of life that this part of Spain has to offer. I have done many things since I came here that I never thought I would. I was first introduced to ADAPT in 2017 when a friend persuaded me to get involved with the Theatre Group. I was immediately impressed with ADAPT´s aims and range and nature of activity, and formed a view that active participation could help take me personally in the direction I wanted to go. In addition to the Theatre Group, I am also a School Monitor and the Carnival and Easter Processions are both also hopefully on my horizon at some point.
Celia Drinkall – Charity Coordinator
I was born in Kenya and then lived in various Army bases including Germany. We eventually settled in a small village in Yorkshire where I grew up. After my marriage my husband and I lived in various locations because of his work. My daughter was born in Northallerton and my son in Nottingham. We eventually settled in Nottingham and also bought a holiday home on the Costa Del Sol where our love of Spain began and our desire to retire to Spain.
We eventually achieved this in 2007 and I joined Adapt from its onset. I became very involved in many projects and took part in school monitoring, Spanish language exchange and with Jane started our involvement with El Samaritano. I had a two-year break for personal reasons and in 2012 came back and became even more heavily involved in Adapt which has helped me tremendously to carry on living here on my own.
Heather Robinson – Secretary
I moved to Spain with my husband Barry in August 2014. We had been holidaying in Spain for a decade dreaming of early retirement in the sun and when I was made redundant in 2014 we decided just to “go for it “. I had previously been a social worker, finishing my working life developing and managing children’s centres in North Kent.
I joined Adapt with the aim of making new friends, developing new interests and learning more about the local area. In becoming the Secretary for Adapt this gave me an opportunity to use some of my old skills and contribute to a worthwhile organisation promoting integration and wellbeing, all important elements from my working life.
Paul Shard – Committee member
I was born in Cheshire and attended school in south Manchester which I left at the age of fifteen to join the Royal navy, the only thing I had ever wanted to do but at the tender age of eighteen after a second bout of rheumatic fever was given a medical discharge. the next few years were spent in a huge variety of jobs which gave me a great grounding for life without the qualifications to do very much at all. Eventually joining British Rail, a job which somewhat to my surprise I found I enjoyed. Though after spending 25 years driving the length and breadth of the U.K. on the death of both our parents we decided to take a year off and pointed the motorhome south. We swapped it for a bigger one and started spending summers in the U.K. working and winters roaming Europe, Spain in particular. In 2002 we bought a small place in San Javier to tide us over till we found the place we wanted to settle in, we are still there. For some years I was involved with both the adult literacy unit and the Samaritans. During all these times my great pleasure was to sail on the Sail Training Associations schooners as a volunteer bosuns mate/ instructor. Here in Spain I joined SAMM in 2014 and in 2016 became their commodore until once again ill health interfered with my sailing plans and I was hospitalised and had to resign the post. With the aid of sailing and cycling I am more or less fully recovered and am looking forwards to getting involved again in making the props for the panto. I have also taken part in a couple of carnivals, joined the school monitors and now look forwards to helping our committee as a member without portfolio.
Mike Pudney – Vice-president English
My wife Gale and I have lived in Spain since 2011. We both love the outdoors enjoying swimming, sailing, cycling and walking. So Spain with its year round good weather and a relaxed lifestyle was the perfect choice. The walking in particular has been a great way to see parts of Spain perhaps the highlight to date being completing parts of the Portuguese and Frances routes of the Camino de Santiago.
I am originally from Luton in Bedfordshire ending up latterly in Nottinghamshire. Career wise I have been involved in several different professions from commercial pilot, maths teacher, several roles in the financial services sector and finally self employed as a business consultant in which I am still active involving regularly travel back to the UK.
As well as the many outdoor activities I am an active member of MABs, enjoy reading, cooking and travel – the more the better!
I have been a member of ADAPT for eight years and enjoy the many and varied opportunities to meet new interesting people and experience the way of life of my adopted country.
Sue Airey – Press Officer
Originally I am from Lancashire and spent almost fifteen years in the North, teaching children with special educational needs. In 1984 we moved down to Kent, as I got a job as a deputy head of a secondary school in Folkestone. In 1989 I was appointed as an inspector of school, for Kent and in the same year, we bought a family hotel in Dymchurch, so as you can imagine we were “juggling plates”, literally. Many education authorities had reorganisations and Kent was no exception, so over the years I had different “titles” and responsibilities. Eventually I took early retirement and redundancy and became self employed as an Ofsted inspector and headteacher adviser.
In 2001 we came over to Spain to look at property with a view to moving here to live. We bought our house in the “campo”, it has land as we were planning on bringing our horse, but soon realised it would be too hot. We moved here to live in 2005, and have had a great life, did some Teaching of English as a second language, worked at my son’s furniture shop, and made many friends. In 2018 sadly my husband Roy died.
I decided to join different organisations, a barbershop chorus, Pilarmonics, the Pantomime Group in Adapt, (I had been in amateur dramatics in the UK) a walking group of local neighbours. And so, when asked if I would take on the role of Press Officer for Adapt, I agreed.
Lorraine Della – Committee member
Lancashire lass born and bred, I attended St Hilda’s Sec Mod for girls and went on to Secretarial College. I worked for several years as a PA in a Public Relations/Advertising Agency before changing direction to work as a community District Nursing Assistant. I moved to Swindon in 1980 but finally left the UK rat race of ¨all work and no play´ to join my sister and her husband in Spain for some “our time and sunshine” in 2005, to retire? It was soon clear that retirement was not on the agenda (only so much shopping and coffee one can drink) so joined a local social group, meeting once a week for socialising activities and I am currently Secretary for club nights and events.
My introduction to ADAPT came when I was coerced by a friend (oh yes I was!) into joining the Theatre Group’s Moody Poopins panto as they were short on numbers. I walked gingerly through the doors of the Pensionista centre, never having done anything like this before, but was warmly welcomed into the group, and despite speaking very very little Spanish I was cast as Manuela, the maid who couldn’t understand a word of English! (work that one out!) But it worked for me and the rest is history – I´m hooked. As soon as one panto finishes, I´m always eager to hear about the next.
My Dad always said “It´s not where you go or what you do, it´s the people you meet along the way that are important”. Becoming a member of ADAPT has given me the opportunity to not only make new friends but the opportunity to continue my `care in the community` helping with fund raising for the charities we support. I am also an active volunteer in the Animal Amigos Charity shop in Los Alcázares for abandoned/abused animals.