Message from Our President

Karen Thomas, President

As the new President of the British Benevolent Society (BBS), I’ll do my best to help grow the organization to a relevant, active and inclusive organization. It has been an honor for me to be selected for this position.

During my more than 25 years of working at the British Consulate General (BCG) in San Francisco, I worked closely with the BBS relief cases. I retired from the BCG as Vice Consul 6 years ago and on my retirement, became a BBS Board member.

I am very impressed by the commitment of the Board to this wonderful charity. Most people only find out about the BBS through the BCG and I would really like to change that. Our upcoming rebranding and launch of a new website will help us do that.

We regularly help repatriate individuals returning to the UK and help those Brits who are homeless, or living on the edge in the US. We provide assistance to elderly Brits without family support in the Bay Area and help with the many other challenges people face.

The British government has very limited financial funds for repatriation and assistance. Any requests for monetary assistance from the government is most frequently denied and precious time is lost. Personally, I don’t want to see any Brits living on the streets of San Francisco if we can help them return home or find them the support they need. The BBS plays a vital role in this process.

The BBS Relief Committee is made up of our Board members, our Executive Director and non-Board volunteers who work closely with the staff at the BCG. They give their time at a moment’s notice to help with urgent problems.

The Board members and volunteers of our Investment Committee steer our finances through the ups and downs of the market. I know from first-hand experience, while serving on this committee, that our funds could not be in safer hands.

We would like to grow our community in the Bay Area and beyond. Please consider being a part of our team whether it’s as an individual member, life or corporate member. You can also volunteer to serve on a committee, volunteer for events, bring your expertise into play or become a corporate sponsor.

We need to get the word out, not just to build our membership but to find Brits that need our help. I’m asking you, as members, to help us do that. You can contact us by email or phone (415) 421-7195. We are also working on ways to find and engage new members. Help us to make this a vibrant organization!

I look forward to meeting you at one of our events or out and about within the British community.

Karen Thomas

Join Us

The British Benevolent Society of California provides aid and relief to British Citizens in need.

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About Us

Learn about the history of our organization and the work we do today.

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Did you know?

The first President of the British Benevolent Society was William Lane Booker, who was also the British Consul in 1857.