Retired expat returnees carry on with charity events in the home country

Published:  25 Nov at 6 PM
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A recently-returned retired Scottish expat couple have used their charity experience in Cyprus to start regular meet-ups in support of local Scottish projects.

Auchterarder residents Greg and Margaret Keenan returned to their home country following five years volunteering for the North Cyprus Cancer Charity Trust, founded and headed up by another British expat. When he sadly passed away in 2014, Margaret continued organising regular events in support of Kyrenia Animal Rescue and the British Expat Cemetery Fund. The couple also donated regularly to all their chosen charities.

Returning to the UK last December, the couple decided to continue with their charity work as they’d the experience, lots of spare time and all the equipment necessary. Working with friend and former employee Claire Murray, they decided to support local organisations such as the Cubs, Brownies and several residential homes for senior citizens in the area by organising bingo nights.

Helped by a local hotelier who agreed to host the fortnightly events, the first two resulted in donations to the Parkdale Residents Comfort Fund and Auchterarder Brownies and Rainbows. Soon, around 30 residents were regularly attending the bingo nights, with the organisers hoping they can up the numbers to 50. Right now, they’re planning a Christmas Draw on 17th December for prizes including hampers and other Christmassy goodies.

The couple’s story and their determination to carry on with their charity work in the home country could well serve as a positive example for British expats now deciding to return to the UK rather than face many as yet unknown post Brexit-linked difficulties in their chosen EU location. Many older expats have been valued volunteer supporters of charities in their preferred countries of residence, with the experience thus gained just as useful back in the UK.
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