The Annual General Meeting was chaired by H.M. Ambassador Simon Manley CMG at the British Embassy on 21st May, 2015. His opening comments praised the work of the BBF and how it was a great example of how people can work together to help other people.
The event was well supported by regular donors to the Fund and the Minutes of the AGM in 2014 were soon approved before moving on to the Annual Report for 2014. The Chairman, Stewart Cusden thanked the Ambassador for his continued support of the BBF and went on to elaborate on his Annual Report.
The Treasurer, Charlie Wilson reported an increase of €30,000 in cash reserves for the previous year pointing out that the number of regular donors had increased which it is hoped will be a continuing trend. The number of cases that the BBF had dealt with in 2014 had also declined mainly due to an arrangement that H.M. Government had introduced to lend money to individuals in need wishing to return to the UK and that this had relieved the BBF of some repatriation costs during the year.
The BBF continues to work with the Consulates around Spain to ensure they are aware of the resources at their disposal through the BBF and continuing efforts are being made to improve communication and training so that cases of extreme distress are dealt with professionally and promptly.
The Legal Adviser to the BBF commented on the status of the application by the BBF to be registered in Spain as a legal entity with a national scope and that a response would shortly be forthcoming.
A reception was held after the formal meeting had closed where donors and Committee members were able to speak to each other informally.