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Christmas Appeal 2017

Dear Friend of the British Benevolent Fund,

CHRISTMAS APPEAL 2017

Thank you for being with us and providing support to the BBF in 2017.

Over the past 12 months your donations have enabled us to help over 20 cases of British citizens who have found themselves in need or distress in Spain. We have been at the side of the elderly, the infirm, the isolated and the vulnerable to help them overcome their difficulties.

To extend our reach throughout Spain, the work of the BBF is carried out in conjunction with local partner organisations who are better placed to provide support and advice. The contributions you have made have been disbursed in various ways to ensure that timely assistance is provided.

Your support has provided emergency funds to British victims of crime who may have been pickpocketed or tricked out of their money. We have helped individual British citizens with paperwork so that they can begin to solve their homeless status.

Thanks to you we have helped several British people with mental health problems who find themselves in distressing situations. From the beginning to the end of this year we have worked tirelessly to uphold our values of care, expediency, impartiality and discretion.

We at the BBF depend upon voluntary donations to fulfil our vision of caring for British citizens in Spain with benevolence. We have successfully raised funds through our popular annual events and as our volunteer base continues to grow we are confident that fundraising will increase in tandem.

If you have made a donation during the course of this year, we thank you and hope you will be able to do the same in 2018.

For those of you who are donating for the first time, please note that any amount will be gratefully received and put to good use. Please click here to donate with your credit card or Paypal account.

The BBF is currently looking for volunteers with skills in marketing and publicity as well as event management. It needs these skills in order to make people more aware of what they do and reach more people in need. If you would like to contribute a small amount of time to help please contact the Chairman at info@britishbenevolentfund.org

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Stewart Cusden

Chairman

Classic Show Stoppers Concert!

On Wednesday 25th of October we celebrated our sixth annual fundraising concert in Madrid. This year’s event took place at the residence of Simon Manley, HM Ambassador to Spain and Andorra. The venue was perfect. On the night more than one hundred people enjoyed an elegant soirée in extraordinary surroundings, and thanks to their generosity and support we raised over €4000!

Guests began to arrive at 7pm and were greeted personally by the Ambassador and members of the BBF Executive Committee. The Vice Chairman of the British Benevolent Fund welcomed everyone to the concert and thanked the Ambassador and his wife Maria Isabel for hosting the event. The Ambassador spoke warmly about the good work that the British Benevolent Fund carries out in Spain. He thanked the classically trained performers who had travelled from the UK especially to perform at the event. Finally, he mentioned the supporters of the concert: Bodegas Martúe, Grupo Agora, Hays Recruitment Services, Iberia Express, Jemima Webster Catering, Mallorca Catering and Santamania Gin, all of whom made the event possible.

The first half of the show was filled with extracts from popular classical music pieces such as Papageno’s Suicide Aria and O Babbino Mio. Members of Runnymede School choir joined the stage for Abends will ich schlafen gehn and helped fill the room with song. Having young performers take part in the concert added a family feeling to the evening.

During the interval our host Simon Manley drew the raffle prizes, some of which were won by members of the audience to much applause. The rest of the winning numbers are listed here and we will be contacting the lucky winners over the next few days.

After the interval we were treated to hand-picked songs from popular musicals such as South Pacific and My First Lady. The performances were effortlessly stellar. The atmosphere was electric. We were swept away by a combination of song and music that was contagious! The final medley of Lion King sung by the talented Runnymede choir singers had some of us up on our feet. At the end of the evening the audience called out for an encore, to which the artists and choir happily obliged.

Drinks and delicious food were served afterwards in the garden. People mingled and chatted informally amongst themselves. Some guests took the opportunity to ask questions about the British Benevolent Fund’s role in Spain. The children ran around the garden happily and somehow found a ball to kick around. It was the perfect ending to a lovely evening.

Speaking afterwards Callie Stewart de Melendez, Vice Chairman of the British Benevolent Fund said: “Events such as this are vital in our efforts to continue supporting British citizens in Spain and we are very appreciative of all those sponsors who helped make the event happen and make it such an enjoyable evening”.

Photo gallery Charity Reception Mallorca

Charity Reception Mallorca April 2017

Mallorcan pipes and drum welcome guests to Finca Son Mir

Her Majesty´s Ambassador to Spain & Andorra Simon Manley CMG, hosted a Charity Reception at Finca Son Mir in Mallorca on Thursday 20th April which raised in excess of €5000 for the British Benevolent Fund.

L to R: Stewart Cusden, HM Ambassador to Spain Simon Manley CMG, Dame Mary Archer holding BBF leaflet, Lord Archer and Lloyd Millen, HM Consul Barcelona

About 70 guests from all over the island of Mallorca gathered to hear the Ambassador emphasise the importance of the work of the BBF in caring for British citizens all over Spain.

This first fundraising event in Mallorca was a success in not only fundraising terms but in broadening the awareness of the BBF so that more British citizens may be helped.

Members of Resident Organising Ctte. L to R Anna Nicholas and Kate Mentink

Lord Archer raised the tempo of the event through a charity auction which raised as many laughs as money as he entertained those present. A weekend for two in a luxury hotel and a sixty minute helicopter ride over the island of Mallorca were amongst the items auctioned.

Lord Archer swinging into action

Reception in full swing!

Stewart Cusden, Chairman of the BBF publicly thanked Jason Moore, the editor of the Majorca Daily Bulletin, Balearic Helicopters, Palma Pictures and Camper & Nicholsons who had sponsored the event.

Lord Archer congratulates Michelin starred chef Marc Fosh for preparation of cocktail

Stewart Cusden, Chairman BBF

Charity Workshop in Barcelona

BRITISH CONSUL LLOYD MILEN OPENS BRITISH BENEVOLENT FUND CHARITY WORKSHOP IN BARCELONA

Charity groups and Anglican churches from Catalonia and Girona came together in the British Consulate in Barcelona on 3rd May, 2017 to see how best to work together with the British Benevolent Fund (BBF) in the region.

Lloyd Milen, British Consul opened the proceedings emphasising how important voluntary work is and thanking the sixteen volunteers who were present at the workshop. He and the Vice Consuls, Caroline de Jong and Annabelle Sproat Wilkinson explained that much of their time was taken up with issuing emergency travel documents, almost 1600 in 2016. Nevertheless they wished to support the British communities and to help the most vulnerable in society and saw this as a very important part of their role.

The Red Cross made a presentation on the international activities of their organisation.

Kim Stollard, Case Support Coordinator for the British Benevolent Fund made a comprehensive case to all the representatives present, how the BBF can help and what funding is available and how the various groups present could access funds to help British citizens in their care.

Michael Witty, a representative from the Anglican Church in Barcelona made reference to a previous British Benevolent Association in Barcelona, disbanded a number of years ago, and very much welcomed the efforts of the British Consulate, to bring charitable groups together. The group were introduced to Steve Cahill who will represent the BBF in Catalonia and Girona in the future.

In conclusion, a positive response was received to the workshop and that through working together the outcome will be greater than each group working independently.