FOUR destitute Brit families a week are now fleeing Benidorm after the Covid pandemic turned their holiday haven into a ghost town.
They are now receiving help from the British Benevolent Fund and the British consulates in Spain to help fund the expensive coronavirus tests they need to leave the country.
It follows The Sun’s exclusive report this week that revealed that many ex-pats are now relying on food bank handouts to survive.
This included mum-of-three Lindsey Evers who – like many other Brits in the area– are desperate to return to the UK with her family's livelihood on the Costa Blanca destroyed by the pandemic.
A GoFundMe appeal to help them get back to their native Halifax and restart their lives is now into four figures thanks to donations from big-hearted Sun readers.
Lindsey told The Sun: “We know we’re not alone in our plight but it’s meant the world to us to know there are so many lovely people out there.
“As well as money, we’ve had some lovely messages of support. I’ve personally thanked everyone who’s donated.
“It gives us a lot of hope that we can get back on our feet as soon as possible.”
After the effects of the pandemic, Benidorm’s once bustling tourist district is now a maze of shuttered bars and restaurants.
Under regional government rules, these establishments across the Costa Blanca have had to shut at 6pm as restrictions continue to be implemented.
Olaf Clayton, chairman of Spain’s British Benevolent Fund, explained that coronavirus has been the main reason why caseload’s have increased, especially when it comes to Brits living on the Costas.
It has meant that he and others have had to help 50 British people in the last year – with repatriation cases making up 20 per-cent of claims.
He told The Sun: “Some of the people we assist haven’t been paying into the system and have discovered to their horror that they weren’t entitled to any help.
“We all thought the coronavirus crisis was going to be over a lot quicker, but people now are suffering because the businesses they thought were going to be up and running again by now are still on their knees.”
He added: “It’s heartbreaking to see people who are struggling to provide their kids with their basic necessities and have no other choice but to start from scratch again in the UK.
This is the case for families like the Evers who will now have to uproot their family and start a new life elsewhere.
Lindsey said: “The children couldn’t believe it when we told them we were going to have to move back to the UK.
“They were born there but they’re more Spanish than British and all their friends are here.
“Our youngest daughter only knows what going to school is like in Spain. There have been a lot of tears.”
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