Since it’s launch in November of last year the British Consular network “Brits Living in Spain” facebook page has been ‘liked by over 4000 people delighted at the easy access to information it gives them.
Unsure how to report a crime to the Spanish Policía Nacional in English? What are your healthcare rights? Know how to renew your passport or get one in an emergency? The answers to these and many other important issues can be found on the page, and, according to the Embassy, “the secret to its popularity is that it offers both factual information and a lively forum for sharing experiences and reliable information about life in Spain.” Some of the comments posted on the page include: “Brilliant..keep up the good work” , “Great page…excellent idea and comments for ex-pats here in Spain”, and “It’s an interesting way to get in touch with other Brits in Spain – and the passport and legal info is good.”
The British Consular network also says, “we encourage British nationals to keep in touch with their local Town hall and our new Facebook page is a way for us to share relevant content from town halls and other organisations more widely”, which makes so much sense for all of us ex-pats living in whatever part of Spain we find ourselves. Here on the English Time site we are always delighted to share information and news from the Embassy and the Consulate, and they are also very helpful when we need information. Everybody wins!
Brits Living in Spain is run and moderated by the British Consular network. It is a sister channel to the British Embassy’s UKinSpain facebook channel, which focuses on institutional and political information.
Residents who are Twitter fans and want to keep up with the latest news from the Consular network can also follow @BritsliveSpain , as well as the comments and thoughts of the British Ambassador on @SimonManleyFCO.
How to: Go to www.facebook.com/BritslivinginSpain and “like” us. If you don’t already have an account you will be prompted to create one. If you are already on Facebook, then search for the “Brits living in Spain” Facebook page and once on it, click on “like”.
The British Embassy today (24 June) announced that Charmaine Arbouin has been appointed as British Consul for the Consulates covering the Canary Islands and Andalucia.
Charmaine has more than 20 years’ experience of managing people and resources in the public and not-for-profit sectors. She was previously a consultant to local and central government organisations in the UK, specialising in public sector performance improvement. She has also developed and managed customer contact services in Nottinghamshire. She has a degree in Hispanic Studies from the University of Hull.
Charmaine said: “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to work with the British and Spanish communities and authorities in both Andalucia and the Canaries. I am very much looking forward to building on the existing great work undertaken by the Consulates to ensure that Britons living or visiting Andalucia and the Canaries continue to receive excellent support when they most need it.”
Charmaine has lived with her family in Andalucia for the last eight years, first in Alpandeire and now in Ronda. Her engagement with the Spanish public health, administrative and education systems – as an expatriate resident – has given her an insight into many of the challenges and benefits experienced by those visiting or living in Spain.
Dave Thomas, Consular Regional Director for southern Europe, said: “I’m very pleased that we have managed to recruit such a high calibre new Consul. Charmaine has an impressive background in senior management and will play a strategic role in the further development of our consular services in Spain.”
The Consulates that cover southern Spain are among the busiest in the world. The new Consul will oversee the work of teams in Las Palmas, Malaga and Tenerife, who provide on-the-ground assistance to British nationals.
The region covered by the Malaga office sees some five million British visitors every year, and is home to around 350,000 British residents. The Consulates in Tenerife and Las Palmas, together with the Honorary Consul in Lanazarote, serve 3.5 million British visitors and some 85,000 residents.
Charmaine Arbouin replaces Steve Jones, who is now managing the Foreign Office’s global Contact Centre programme.