By British Benevolent Fund •
Published: 29 Oct 2023 • 14:42
The British Benevolent Fund was funded over a century ago to provide financial assistance for British nationals in Spain who face extreme financial distress and who have no other recourse, whether friends, family or state support.
The BBF works with partner charities from www.supportinspain.info across the country as well as the UK´s consular network in Spain to help those who have no other means.
The lingering effects of the covid pandemic is still with us – many people faced tough – almost impossible life affecting situations due to losing their income and job.
One such was John who is in his late 50s and had been living in Spain for most of his adult life.
He had been living modestly – doing odd jobs in gardens and bars which had seen him though many years – some good some less so but always with a roof over his head and a reasonable living to afford some of life´s luxuries.
With the pandemic all his work came to a shuddering halt – with every spike in covid cases saw him deeper in debt as his savings were used up to pay for rent and food.
He managed to keep a roof over his head for a year but in the end he had no choice but to leave his apartment.
He packed his possessions into the car boot and lived there, living off a local food bank and the odd cash in hand job. He continued looking for work, but it was very sparse and now that he was living in his car there were few takers.
Although he was legally resident, he was not able to claim any state support due to a debt with the Spanish social security – it wasn’t much but meant that he could not clam any benefits such as the ingreso minimo – that with any income would mean he would be able to get back on his feet.
The debt was less than 100 Euros. Working with a local charity who were able to process the paperwork the BBF was able to able to pay the debt and pay for a short time a room in a shared apartment whist he awaited his payment.
Which came though a few months later – John was able to find more regular work and get his life back on track.
Today John has found himself a new place to live as well as plenty of work. He is back on track.
The BBF can only help people like John with your support – if you would like to make a donation to the British Benevolent Fund please visit our www.britishbenevolentfund.org – thank you on behalf of the many for your help. Olaf Clayton, Chair BBF
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Olaf Clayton is the chairman of the British Benevolent Fund and shares the charity's expat stories with the Euro Weekly News every week
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