Monthly Archives: October 2014

The British Embassy Launches New Website – Health Care in Spain

healthcare in spain

The British Embassy in Spain in conjunction with The Department of Health, backed by funding from the European Union, have launched the website It contains lots of information, in English, on how to access healthcare in Spain whether you are resident here or just visiting. It is also very easy to navigate and has many useful contact details.

The website is managed by The Healthcare Team at The British Embassy. This is a small group of individuals that give advice to British Nationals on how to access healthcare in Spain. If you have an enquiry you can contact them through this website , or by calling 902 109 356.

Don’t delay check the website out now and make sure that you are fully up to date with the Spanish Healthcare.

Thank You to All Who Attended The Last Night of the Proms Concert

2014 Concert 3The third annual fundraising concert took place on Wednesday 22nd October with the theme this year being The Last Night of the Proms.

The British Benevolent Fund of Madrid hosted the event with sponsorship from Mahou and the Bodegas Martúe.


concert programmeMusicians, trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London travelled to Madrid to play well known pieces from operas and musicals followed by songs and hymns usually played at the last night of the Promenade Concert in the Royal Albert Hall, London. Musical pieces by Verdi, Puccini, Mozart, Sullivan and Bernstein were amongst the chosen music followed by Jerusalem, Rule Britannia! And Land of Hope and Glory. (Please click on the icon to see the Concert Programme with full details of the evening’s music and the musicians)

2014 Concert 2An almost full house at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, courtesy of Sr. Javier Blas, enjoyed the concert followed by drinks and nibbles where the audience was able to meet and chat with all the musicians. A raffle took place during the reception and the many donors of prizes were thanked for their generosity.


2014 Concert 1The musicians worked with the Head of Music at Runnymede College, La Moraleja Tanya Balashova to perfect the choir of Runnymede College and who accompanied the soloists at the concert. For Rebecca Taylor, accompanist and musical director it was her third visit to Madrid in support of the British Benevolent Fund of Madrid. This year she was accompanied by Ross Scanlon, an Irish tenor and Anna Sideris, soprano.

Together they made a wonderful evening for the audience with many asking when will the next concert take place.

The British Benevolent Fund would like to thank all who attended the concert, and participated in the raffle, and we hope to see all of you again at next year’s concert.

2014 concert 4 Rebecca Taylor-Accompanist chatting with audience

Shiela Stewart, Ann Chapman, Shirley Lavadera and Helen Leese Arabella González-Head of Finance and Resources & Gillian Flaxman OBE-Head of School British Council

El Concierto y Coctel – Oct 22 2014

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El Fondo Benéfico Británico de Madrid (British Benevolent Fund, o BBF) es una Asociación benéfica cuyo fin es la prestación de ayuda económica y de otra índole a personas de nacionalidad británica que sean residentes o que se encuentren sin medios en la Comunidad de Madrid, o excepcionalmente fuera de dicha Comunidad pero dentro del territorio español. La Asociación depende totalmente de donaciones del público y empresas. Su Presidente de Honor es el Embajador de su Majestad Británica en el Reino de España, el Excelentísimo Señor Simon Manley CMG.

Con el fin de recaudar fondos para cumplir con su misión benéfica, el BBF organiza este año, una vez más, un «Concierto y cóctel» en la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, en Madrid, el día 22 de octubre. El tema del Concierto será el de:


o Última Noche de los Proms inspirado en los famosos Promenade concerts (en castellano: paseos musicales) un ciclo de conciertos diarios de música clásica orquestal, que tienen lugar anualmente desde mediados de julio hasta mediados de septiembre cada año en el Royal Albert Hall de Londres. La Última Noche de los Proms, en muchas ocasiones referida por su nombre original en inglés, the Last Night, es el concierto que anualmente cierra el ciclo del festival.

En el Concierto organizado por la BBF participarán tres músicos profesionales que estudiaron en la Real Academia de Música de Londres: Rebecca Taylor, Ross Scanlon y Anna Sideris, y serán acompañados por el coro del Colegio Británico Runnymede de La Moraleja baja la tutela de su Profesora de Música, Tanya Balashova. Se espera la asistencia de unos 250 espectadores pertenecientes a la élite de la sociedad anglohispana de Madrid.

Se realizaran interpretaciones de canciones tan clásicas como O Mio Babbino Caro, el coro de Humming Bird, La Boheme, West Side Story, seguidas por una serie de piezas patrióticas británicas en la segunda parte del concierto, tales como Jerusalem (sobre un poema de William Blake) de Hubert Parry, Rule Britannia de Thomas Arne y el Concierto culminará con la Marcha de Pompa y Circunstancia nº 1 de Edward Elgar (Land of Hope and Glory).

Se compra entradas aqui o se puede comprar entradas en el lugar en la noche

MARGIT THEA ARTO 31st January, 1928 – 8th September, 2014

MargitMargit was a much loved and respected member of the British community in Madrid. Until the last couple of years before her death, she was extremely active and participated in many groups that occupied much of her time. In the last couple of years she experienced some physical ailments that slowed her down but she was frequently seen at events all over Madrid, and in her latter months with a walking stick. Always looking very smart and always courteous, she will be sadly missed.

She joined the British Benevolent Fund of Madrid committee in 1995 following in the footsteps of her mother Mrs Senta Wilmer, who was never on the BBF Committee, but who was a long time contributor and supporter of the Fund. Up until quite recently Margit actively contributed at committee meetings and always attended events to support the BBF. Her fund raising abilities were legendry, always selling more raffle tickets than any other committee member!

Margit read modern languages at Oxford University. She retained a deep affection for the university and St. Hilda’s College throughout her life. She was an active member of the Oxford University’s alumni society in Madrid, and later served as Branch Secretary until her retirement in 2010. She advised the University, and her college, during preparations for the university’s European Alumni Reunion events in Madrid in 2013.

Margit joined Runnymede College in 1973 and became head of French language in 1975, retiring in 2001. Madame Arto, as she was known, was loved by her pupils who still remember what an inspirational teacher she was. All her colleagues respected her integrity and her ability and courage to confront the challenges and disappointments that life invariably throws at us. She remained brave in the face of adversity and stoical when faced with injustice. These qualities never left her and her example afforded us one of life’s invaluable lessons: don’t back down under intimidation.

She leaves a son Carlos Arto who is a resident of Mexico City and a brother Gerald Wilmer, a nephew Christopher and niece Vanessa, all resident in the UK.

death of volunteer

BBF Sponsored Summer Fete a Great Success

BBF Stall
On Thursday 11 September the British Benevolent Fund of Madrid reached out to the English Speaking Community of Madrid, by holding a Summer Fete in conjunction with St George’s Anglican Church.


Designed to publicise what is on offer in Madrid in English, the late afternoon event hosted 34 stalls from a variety of community and social groups, local charities, clubs, pubs and sports teams, all with a common theme, the English language. Over 300 people attended, enjoying the convivial and vibrant atmosphere that prevailed in the Church’s Community Hall and the walled garden under the 200 year old fig tree.


ambassadorAmongst the guests was the Honorary President of the British Benevolent Fund in Madrid, the British Ambassador to Spain, Simon Manley CMG, and the British Consul Madrid, Sarah Jane Morris. One of the highlights of the evening was a live performance by the International Gospel Choir who treated us to a superb rendition of several popular songs.

Remarkably this event was the first time such a comprehensive group from the English Speaking Community of Madrid had gathered together to promote their goods and services, and the British Benevolent Fund hopes to make it an annual fixture on the Madrid social calendar.

The full list of organisations that attended is as follows:

The American Club of Madrid
The American Women’s Club
The British Benevolent Fund
The British Cementary
The British Consulate and Health Team
The British Ladies Association
Cafeteria run by Maddog Tavern & Best of Britain
The Caledonian Association
FC Britanico
The Gospel Choir
The Hash House Harriers
Hiking in Madrid
The International English Speakers Group
The International Newcomers Group
Los Naranjas Hockey Club
Madrid Babel
Madrid Cricket
Madrid Lions RFC
Madrid Players
Madrid Scouts and Beavers
The Navy League Madrid
Netball Madrid
Red Deportes
The Scottish Country Dancing Group
The Soroptimists
St George’s Anglican Church
St George’s Guild
St George’s Mother & Toddler Group
Yoga at St Georges

Please check out the English-Speaking Community of Madrid facebook page and twitter feed for more information on all of the above organisations and other up coming events in English.

Facebook –
Twitter – @MadridEngComm

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