The British Benevolent Fund: Lucy’s story

Image - BBF

For over a century the British Benevolent Fund has been providing emergency financial assistance for Britons in Spain who have no other recourse.

The BBF is the charity of last resort and works with partners across Spain as well as the UK consular network to find solutions for people facing some very challenging situations.

Some people also just have very bad luck.

Lucy is a young English woman who came to Spain to work as a TEFL teacher in an academy.

She was working in a secure environment with a decent pay cheque at the end of the month. She soon found a partner with whom she moved. They were in love and very quickly made plans for bigger things. Life was good.

But too good to be true.

In quick succession her world unravelled.

She arrived home one day to discover the police inside – as well as the landlord – who had not only not been paid but was not even aware that his property was being occupied.

Horrified and confused she tried to call him but he didn’t pick up or reply.

She was given 20 minutes to collect her things and go. The police took her details in case she had some involvement. As horror took on a new form when she went to get some money out of their joint account to find it empty – all her savings and earnings had gone into it.

She was numb.

Just as things couldn’t get worse, she went to her boss to see if the academy could give her an advance on her wages. They couldn’t and in fact told her that they couldn’t keep her on after the month was up.

It took a while for the numbness to wear off – when it did she decided to fight back. She went to the police to report her erstwhile boyfriend and then went looking for work.

In the meantime, she survived off the generosity of friends and support from a local charity who were the ones who put her in touch with the BBF.

Once she had secured work and it was clear she was able to salvage the situation we were able to provide a grant to help her with her accommodation and a sum to live off until her job started.

Which it has – and Lucy – a lot wiser and a bit older – is back.

We can only help people like Lucy with your help. If you would look to support people in terrible situations with a donation please visit

Thank you, Olaf Clayton, Chair BBF.

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Written by

British Benevolent Fund

Olaf Clayton is the chairman of the British Benevolent Fund and shares the charity's expat stories with the Euro Weekly News every week