The British Benevolent Fund – Helping with Costs

The British Benevolent Fund was founded over a century ago to help those Britons in Spain facing extreme financial distress and who have no other recourse; friends, family or state support.

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, and some come to care for a loved one.

Caroline came to Spain to help look after her elderly mother who was suffering from multiple ailments and had mobility issues meaning she could not do the shopping or any household chores. She lived alone and relied generally on neighbours.

To add to the difficulty, although her mother had lived in Spain for many years she had not done her paperwork correctly and was therefore not officially resident or allowed to stay in Spain over the prescribed 90 day period.

She lived off a modest UK pension from her late husband in a rented apartment which under normal circumstances would be sufficient but without her daughter her situation was not tenable.

They decided that the best thing would be to return back to the UK – not her ideal choice as she loved living in Spain but given her circumstances it was the only viable option.

The daughter was able to make arrangements to take her home so she could be with her and look after her better but would need help with the considerable cost for moving with an elderly person.

Working with her local consulate and local charity the BBF was able help contribute to her repatriation costs and she has now made the move and is living as well as could be expected in her daughters home. She is in the process of applying for UK benefits to help with the additional costs which take time under the Habitual Residency Test rules but is confident that she will have this in time.

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 for your help.  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