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Peter and Gillian's Story


We provide financial support to help Brits in Spain get back on their feet.

Peter and Gillian moved to Spain after he had retired as a self-employed mechanic in Scotland.

They had married in 1980 but never had children.

Peter worked hard and they owned their own home and had savings and a state pension to live off when he retired at 65.

Peter was 67 and Gillian 63 when they decided they wanted a new project to be getting on with. They decided to sell their house in Glasgow and move to live out their autumn years in Spain. They spent the best part of a year visiting the country to find the perfect place for their dream retirement home which they did near Denia and moved in 2005. The house was modest but had a good garden and nice neighbours. They both found a new life with new friends and enjoyed new hobbies with their new friends. He learnt fishing and she learnt Spanish.

One spring morning Peter went fishing in the mountain streams that were full from the previous weeks rain.

Gillian called his mobile when he didn’t arrive to help prepare the lunch they had planned that day at the house, but he didn’t answer.

She didn’t think too much of it at the time, it was often the case with the coverage in the hills above the house. But less just as she was beginning to worry her phone rang – it was Peter´s number calling.

She immediately picked up and was about to speak when a voice asked in broken English if she knew a person called Peter.

It was the ambulance crew who had first arrived at the scene – Peter had had a massive heart attack whilst driving home. The ambulance crew called the last numbers called on the phone to find information about him. He had been taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival. Gillian was too numb with shock and disbelief.

Her Peter was gone.

As Gillian started to deal with her loss it was clear that Peter´s finances had not been well managed. In fact he owed significant amounts and had no life insurance. Then she was being asked to pay for funeral costs in Spain which she found unable to pay nor she did have the funds to repatriate the body.

Their savings had gone into the house.

The year was 2009, the financial crash was just beginning in Spain and the property market was wobbling.

She put the house on the market to downsize and buy a smaller apartment for herself and pay for the costs.

She was advised that if she wanted to sell she would have to lower the price than they had paid for it which she did.

Her income was just a widow’s pension but no real-life back home but had no group of friends in Spain.


She was put in touch with the BBF to see about helping with the removal costs to her new home which we were able to do.

Gillian still lives there today and has a new life.

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