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Overseas Health Insurance News: Action group set up by expats to restore cemetery

Living abroad does not just involve getting used to the work environment, but also becoming integrated into the community and caring about the place too.

With this is mind a group of British expatriates in Valencia in Spain, have joined together in order to restore a cemetery which has started to decay, reports the Telegraph.

The initiative has been named the Bonnie Project and is centred around a 19th century Protestant burial ground, owned by the British embassy in Spain.

Named after a local expat called Bonnie Hinzpeter, who died of pancreatic cancer earlier this year, the project is a way of other expats getting together with a common goal.

It had been Ms Hinzpeter's desire to do something with the cemetery, which has been targeted by thieves and vandals, before she died.

Diana Clifton-Sewell, a fellow expat, said: "Bonnie was a lovely person, who was very popular and very involved in community conservation work.

"Regrettably, she died of cancer before she could work on the cemetery, so we decided doing it ourselves would be a fitting memorial."

The first part of the process is to clean up the graves and undertake simple gardening on the site in order to rid it of weeds and overgrown plants.

Then the group hopes that they will be able to restore the chapel, which has lost several windows and seen its ceiling cave in, to a sufficient standard where services can be held inside.

It is highly appropriate that it is a group of expatriates who have decided to take the cemetery on and improve it as a final resting place.

This is because it was established more than 150 years ago to serve those travellers and expats who were not Catholic, which is the predominant religion in Spain.

Trevor Nicholas, another expat involved in the project, said: "The existence of the cemetery is in general not very well-known, though it is still open for burials.

"I hope the project raises people’s awareness of it as a historic site."

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