British expats rewarded for serving the community

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British High Commissioner, Stephen Lillie, has presented British Empire Medals to Michael and Pamela Groves for their extensive commitment and service to the expat community as leading members of the Cyprus Residency Support Group (CRSG).

The medal ceremony comes only weeks after the High Commissioner presented fellow Brit Tina Graham with a BEM for her 35 years of service to SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, in Cyprus and worldwide.

The British Empire Medal (BEM) is awarded to individuals who have made a significant contribution through “hands-on” service to their community, delivering real impact to other lives.

In recognition of these outstanding contributions and achievements, the High Commissioner hosted ceremonies at his Residence in Nicosia for Michael and Pamela, Tina, and their families, while the BEM recipients will be invited to attend Royal events in the UK in the coming months.

Stephen Lillie said: “I’m incredibly pleased to be presenting Michael, Pamela, and Tina with their BEM medals here in Cyprus.

“I’m very proud of the work each of them have and continue to do to support their local communities, including those British Nationals living in Cyprus needing particular help in securing their residency here.

“Our BEM award-winners receive their awards in a particularly special year as we celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, marking 70 years of her service and commitment to the UK and the Commonwealth.

“I look forward to welcoming Pamela, Michael and Tina to our Jubilee celebrations here in Cyprus in June.”

Tina Graham said, Having worked for SSAFA for 36 years, this presentation is the cumulation of a lot of hard work with my colleagues and the teams around me to support our serving and veteran community over the years.”

Michael and Pamela Groves said: “To be jointly awarded the medals is rare and a great honour.

“The awards also reflect the huge effort put in by others, notably the staff and volunteers in CRPG and the expat groups who supported us in the appeal against the proposed Double Taxation Agreement changes and the voting rights of UK Nationals living overseas.

“To these, we send our thanks and acknowledgement.  We have now a tried and tested model, working with the BHC, to support UK Nationals in Cyprus in the future”.

In addition to providing wide-ranging support to their communities, SSAFA and CRPG have provided valuable assistance to vulnerable UK Nationals, helping them apply for residence in Cyprus and secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement following the UK’s exit from the EU.

If you are a UK National and were legally resident in Cyprus before 1 January 2021, you and your family members have rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

You would have a MEU residence document if you registered as a resident before 1 January 2021.

You should exchange your MEU residence document for the MUKW biometric residency document.

If you have never registered for residency in Cyprus, you must act now and should request the MUKW biometric residence document for yourself and your family.

For further information, visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-cyprus