17 Jun, 2023 @ 08:45
1 min read

Charity worker in Spain’s Costa Blanca recognised in King’s Birthday Honours

King's Birthday Honours sees BEM awarded to charity worker in Spain's Costa Blanca
Daniel and Sylvia Gallimore

ALICANTE PROVINCE resident Sylvia Gallimore has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the King’s Birthday Honours in recognition of her 50 year involvement in charity, community and voluntary work.

Sylvia, who lives in San Miguel de Salinas, first became involved in charity work through the Horfield Prison in Bristol, where she taught literacy skills to help improve inmates’ future employment prospects.

She did this alongside running a canteen for the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service, fundraising for a pre-school, and running an animal rescue and rehousing project.

In 1996, Sylvia shifted her focus to the visually impaired community in Bristol, fundraising for the Royal National Institute of Blind People and for Avon Sports and Leisure, to give young people the opportunity to expand their horizons.

She also played a crucial role in establishing the charity ‘Have Stick Will Travel’ founded in 2002 by her son Daniel, who lost his sight at the age of 21.

Together with Daniel, she has organised numerous fund-raising initiatives to procure life-changing technology for visually impaired people to become more independent in their homes and supported several visually impaired sports teams.

More recently since living in Alicante province, Sylvia has supported the Help at Home Costa Blanca charity, which helps people with mobility or health issues attend medical appointments or run errands.

She’s also written a book called ‘Sleeping Rough’ to raise money for the homeless charity Shelter.

“I cannot say how proud and honoured I am to receive the British Empire Medal from His Majesty,” said Sylvia.

“I was rather thrown into the world of the poorly sighted when my son lost his sight in 1996 and since then I have had the pleasure of meeting some wonderful visually impaired people and tried to enhance their lives as best I could.”

“I could not have done this alone and believe there are others that deserve the BEM more than I do,” she added.

His Majesty’s Ambassador to Spain, Hugh Elliott said: “Sylvia has dedicated her life to helping others and her significant contributions for over 50 years of community and voluntary work have improved the lives of countless individuals, from her native Bristol to Spain.”

“She has worked tirelessly and given generously to numerous causes, including helping vulnerable young people, the visually impaired, homeless people and supporting animal welfare.”

“This Honour represents a lifetime of service and is very much deserved,” Elliott concluded


Alex Trelinski

Alex worked for 30 years for the BBC as a presenter, producer and manager. He covered a variety of areas specialising in sport, news and politics. After moving to the Costa Blanca over a decade ago, he edited a newspaper for 5 years and worked on local radio.

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