The boxes are unpacked, the pictures hanging on the wall, and you’ve waded through the bureaucratic processes of starting a new life on Mallorca. Now it’s time to start making some friends.
If you have small children, you’re sure to meet other parents at the school gates. And sporty sorts can mingle at the gym, tennis club, or on the golf course. But if you’re without children, or the urge to get physical, Mallorca’s various clubs and associations offer the opportunity to meet people, become involved in the community, and gain other benefits. Here’s a selection to whet your social appetite:
Founded in 1983, the English-Speaking Residents’ Association has some 1,200 members across five districts of Mallorca. Membership of ESRA gives you access to a wealth of information about aspects of living on Mallorca, and a lively programme of social activities. Membership: 12€ a year (plus 8€ joining fee), but you can attend two functions as a non-member to see if ESRA suits you.
LACE (Ladies’ Alliance for Communication & Enterprise) http://lacenetwork.com
For women in business, with business aspirations, or who just want to meet other women on Mallorca. Members are predominantly British and all events are conducted in English. LACE offers friendly regular networking lunches, special offers and discounts from other LACE members in business, and a platform for promoting your own business activities. Membership: 80€ (+ IVA) for the first year; 60€ + IVA annual renewal. You can attend a networking lunch as a non-member to find out what LACE is like.
Costa de Calvià Lions Club www.lionsmallorca.net
This active club (part of Lions Clubs International) meets on the second and fourth Wednesday lunchtimes of each month at Santa Ponsa Golf Hotel; they organise a varied programme of social and other events, with the aim of raising money to help the needy on Mallorca. They also have a charity shop in Palmanova.
Mallorca Community Choir
Singing is good for you: researchers at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden found that choir singers’ heartbeats synchronize when they sing together, resulting in a calming effect – similar to that gained from yoga. Mallorca Community Choir rehearses on Saturday mornings at Mood Beach, Costa d’en Blanes, Calvià, under the leadership of professional singer, musician and voice coach Emma Sweeney. You don’t need to audition, but are expected to attend regularly.
Choir members pay 5€ a session, to cover various costs. For more information, email email@example.com
Mallorca Cricket Club www.mallorcacricket.com
Whether you’re a keen cricketer (they welcome new players) or simply enjoy watching the sport, check out Mallorca Cricket Club. They have their own ground, with impressive clubhouse and covered terrace for spectators, in a quiet area just outside Magaluf. From September until May the club hosts visiting teams – mostly from Britain. See their website for upcoming fixtures and join Mallorca’s cricket fans at the next match.
Mallorca Wordsmiths Toastmasters Club
Meet new people and improve your communication, speaking and leadership skills at this branch of the renowned Toastmasters International. Mallorca Wordsmiths has around 40 members of different nationalities, who meet every Wednesday evening at the Amic Horizonte Hotel in Palma de Mallorca. You can also hone your language skills: meetings on the first and third Wednesdays of the month are conducted in Spanish; those on the second and fourth are in English. Annual membership: 90€.
Mediterranean Garden Society – Balearics Branch http://www.mediterraneangardensociety.org
Share your passion for gardening with other enthusiasts: members of the MGS receive a quarterly printed journal and can enjoy a variety of activities, such as garden visits, plant exchanges, and talks. Membership costs 40€ per person or 60€ for a couple.
The Supper Club
One of several networking organisations on Mallorca, The Supper Club is a friendly, relaxed social and networking event held at Mood Beach (a social hub in itself). Organised by Vicki McLeod, The Supper Club meets monthly on a Thursday from 7pm-9pm. There’s often a speaker who gives a short talk on a business-related topic, but the overall aim is to network, have fun, make friends – and eat dinner. The 15€ fee includes a supper dish and two glasses of wine or beer or soft drink. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicating some free time to a worthy cause gives you a good warm feeling and contact with other people – and there are plenty of organisations on Mallorca needing voluntary help.
Perhaps you’re a budding Mary Portas and could apply your retail ideas to one of Mallorca’s various charity shops? The following are just a few:
Costa de Calvià Lions Club (see earlier link) in Palmanova
Calanova Cancer Care in Palma de Mallorca www.calanovacancer.com
Allen Graham Charity 4 Kidz www.agrahamcharity.org has shops in Cas Català, Calonge, Llucmajor and Port de Pollenca.
Salvation Army Shop in Palma de Mallorca www.salvationarmymallorca.com
Animal lovers can make a difference to the lives of the many four-legged creatures that end up in one of Mallorca’s animal refuges. The following welcome volunteers for a variety of practical tasks, from dog-walking to fundraising to admin work:
Centro Canino Internacional http://www.centrocaninointernacional.org
Dogs For U http://www.dogsforu.com
The excellent re-homing initiative Pet Project Mallorca has details of more refuges and pounds on Mallorca on their website www.petprojectmallorca.com
Other organisations on Mallorca look after the needs of society – whether it’s on the island or further afield – and welcome volunteer help:
Age Concern Mallorca http://acespana.org/get-involved/volunteer/
Cancer Support Mallorca
The above list is by no means exhaustive. Do let us know if you’ve successfully made new friends through other organisations or clubs on Mallorca.
Jan Edwards is a freelance journalist and former BBC radio broadcaster who moved to rural
Mallorca in 2004. She’s a regular contributor to luxury lifestyle magazine
abcMallorca and her articles have been published in print and online publications,
including Food & Wine, A Luxury Travel Blog, The Business Travel News,
The Telegraph (global edition), Living Spain, and the Majorca Daily Bulletin.
Jan blogs about living in a finca on www.livinginruralmallorca.com
and you can follow her on Twitter @MallorcaJan