A British expat who welcomed a Ukrainian refugee family to his Costa Blanca home has been left angry and bemused by crowd-funding portal GoFundMe.

The site won’t let him access donations due to a bureaucratic wrangle over his middle name.

Teacher, Mark Bicknell, 51, from the Entre Naranjos urbanisation in Orihuela, has taken in a family of three from Kyiv, who escaped to Spain with three small backpacks.

Mark decided to launch a GoFundMe appeal to help out his guests.

Mark Bicknell

€500 had been raised to buy essential items for the family, including a five-year-old girl, but it can’t be accessed.

Speaking on Friday to the Olive Press, Mark Bicknell, said: ”The first few donations were processed but everything stopped as the fund-raiser was set up in the name of Mark Bicknell, but my bank account is registered as Mark William Bicknell.”

Mark said he welcomed the fact that GoFundMe were cautious over security and had flagged up a possible concern.

He provided the organisation with copies of his TIE card, passport, bank statements, and other personal details to hopefully clear up the matter.

“All my communications were done via e-mail with somebody called Bashir and despite the very extensive personal data I supplied them with, they were still not satisfied,“ said Mark.

“This is patently unreasonable and absurd and after an exchange of messages, I have demanded that I get a refund with immediate effect,” he added.

Mark revealed that he had used GoFundMe before and had no problems whatsoever over the name variation.

The Olive Press contacted GoFundMe’s media department head in Spain, Macarena Arcos.

She said that she would be ‘contacting Mark to see how the problem can be solved as soon as possible’.


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