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Success Stories

A helping hand...

In these stories the names have been changed to protect the identify of those we help. Confidentiality is always respected by the BCF volunteers.


Harry, 86, who lived in London, lost his wife a couple of years ago and had been ill. His daughter, Mary, living here in Belgium, decided to “relocate” Harry and he moved over here in August last year. Just before New Year he fell ill and was diagnosed with bowel cancer. He was operated on and has received the all-clear. BCF were put in contact with Mary and Harry and one of our volunteers has been visiting him regularly since October last year. Now that Harry is well enough he visits the Wednesday Club on a regular basis and these visits have enhanced his quality of life immensely.


A volunteer with BCF reported that he had received a call from a lady living north of Brussels. There was a possibility that her father in-law might have had to go into a home and she asked if the Fund knew of any homes that catered for English speakers. This is a common request and we were able to help.


Another of our volunteers reported that on visiting John he had found him in a very depressed state. His wife had left him, would not give him a divorce, and was still returning bills to him for expenses on the house which was owned by her and from which he had been forced to leave. John was incapable of dealing with his own affairs. Through local and national contacts BCF was able to provide financial and legal advice and assistance, and eventually medical help was arranged by friends. He is still visited by BCF volunteers.


Joanna had come to Belgium with her British husband and had a daughter. Her husband physically abused her and she eventually obtained a divorce. He then failed to provide in any way for the daughter and in the absence of a substantial income - difficult for a single mother with a young child - Joanna is currently threatened with not being able to obtain a residence permit and thus faces deportation. Her husband has been sentenced to prison and so has disappeared. BCF is providing financial help and defending the rights of Joanna to seek redress and remain in Belgium.


Marie-Paule's husband served in the British Army during World War 2 until being eventually invalided out in 1946 of an illness that ultimately caused his death three years ago. His widow wrote twice to the UK authorities to inform them but his war pension continued to arrive. She assumed it had reverted to her but then received notices and threats from the UK to repay all sums she had received - her bank in Brussels was requested to seize the money immediately. BCF intervened to explain the circumstances and avoid repayment of sums she could not afford and has since continued to provide social visits and support.