British Benevolent Fund

The British Benevolent Fund was founded over a century ago to help those Britons in Spain facing extreme financial distress.

In that time the expat community has grown a hundred-fold while the number of visitors has reached heights unforeseen back then.

Of the 18 million plus visitors from the UK to Spain each year the vast majority are without incident – and not all visitors are here for a two week break on the beach. Many come to see friends and family.

The UK consulates do an incredible job sorting out problems when they arise but many people are under the mistaken view that the consulates can also pay for someone repatriation or expenses if things go wrong.

Earlier this week we were alerted by a UK consular office of a young British woman who had come out to see her boyfriend who was working in a bar at a coastal resort.

She had planned to spend a few weeks – maybe longer and was thinking that maybe if things worked out she would stay and see how things went.

Nothing concrete – just an idea in her head to be with a guy she liked and was starting to think of something more long term.

It turned out to be the opposite – in fact within a few days she had already seen that not only was he a very heavy drinker but was violent towards her, so much so that the first day she was too numb to move.

He started attacking her the next night after a drinking session and hit her repeatedly causing injury.  This time she screamed for help and fled into the night.

She was picked up a Civil Guard patrol and taken into town – she used the last of her money for a ticket home and tried to make the flight – but she arrived too late and had to contact the local consulate for help as she had no friends or family who could help – they in turn contacted the BBF to pay for her flight home which we were able to do on the same day.

She is now back home.

We can only help people with your support. If you would like to make a donation please visit to see how you can make the difference. Thank you on behalf of all the beneficiaries of your generosity. 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