Did you know?
On Christmas Eve in 1965, the BBS came to the swift aid of those affected in Maryville and Yuba City by floods. The BBS teamed up with other British societies to raise funds for 11 families and 20 children.Donate
The mission of the BBS is to provide the best and most appropriate support to British Nationals in distress.
The BBS receives a range of applications for assistance. More recently requests have involved providing attention, care and financial relief to individuals impacted by the global pandemic.
Historically the charity has received requests from Brits in need of help to repatriate to the UK, renew their passport, replace green cards or even help pay for a certified copy of a birth certificate.
These are just a few of the stories from those that we have helped:
We learned of a particularly serious case brought to us by the British Consulate in San Francisco. The Consulate received word of an 87 year old British national receiving emergency care at a local hospital. She had been discovered living in vile conditions where she had suffered from neglect. A therapist at the hospital contacted the Consulate, hoping to help put her patient in contact with family.
Working with the Consulate, the BBS helped cover the costs of a new passport, basic necessities and repatriation. She was reunited with family in the UK, has returned and was able to spend the holidays with family.
Helping the Homeless
A young Brit came to the US on holiday not realizing how expensive things would be. He quickly became homeless and began living under bridges and on the streets of LA. He desperately wanted to return to the UK but family and friends were unable to help as they had all lost their jobs during the pandemic. The BBS covered all costs of repatriation including Covid testing.
“…everything went well and (I) had no problems. Can’t say this enough, but thank you … for all the help…”
Mental Health Issues and Homelessness
The BBS provided financial aid and emergency repatriation to a British national living on the streets in San Francisco and suffering from mental health issues. He had been unable to take his medication and, upon contact with the Consulate, was extremely vulnerable and in a bad way.
It was arranged for him to stay at a hotel for two nights where cleaned up and pulled himself together for a flight back to the UK. Working with the Consulate, it was arranged for him to be greeted by Travel Care upon arrival at Heathrow where they would then assist in reuniting him with his doctor.
Repatriation of an HIV+ Homeless Brit
This aid recipient received desperately needed repatriation funds. As a homeless HIV positive Brit, he was extremely vulnerable. During the height of the Coronavirus Pandemic, a return journey to the UK had multiple steps. Travelers had to take several Covid tests and provide a permanent UK address before allowed entry. With the help of the Consulate, he was able to secure long term housing in his hometown.
“Thank you again for everything you’ve all done for me. It feels amazing to be on the way back home! I appreciate you all massively.”
Supporting our Ex-Pat Community
Many elderly Brits have relocated permanently to the Bay Area. This can be a time that is one of great enjoyment when surrounded by family and friends, but for those without a support system they can fall through the cracks and become isolated and depressed under difficult circumstances.
Catholic Charities Services in Reno, Nevada contacted the BBS requesting assistance and advice for a British national needing to renew his passport. The applicant, in his mid-70’s, was living in a pay by the week motel and was considering returning to the UK The BBS paid to renew his passport and have offered future support.
Financial assistance for a single mother
As a young single mum on her own in the US, this Brit faced a desperate situation. Because of her immigation status she was unable to work and she could not return to the UK with her young child without permission of the father. The travel ban, caused by the Global Pandemic, prevented her family from visiting and providing support. This young mother received 2 months rent support, enough funds to cover the cost of groceries for one month and an Amazon gift card used to purchase newborn essentials while she worked out support and custody terms with the father of her child.
“Thank you to the BBS for your support. I could not have made it through this without you.“
Financial Assistance during the Global Pandemic
This Brit had been living in the US for many years, fell extremely ill and was hospitalized during the pandemic. He supported himself by working construction, odd jobs and did not have medical insurance. At the time the BBS connected with him, he had basically been without work since the beginning of the pandemic, 11 months. Without the ability to work, impacted by the pandemic and his illness, he became extremely vulnerable. The BBS provided him with financial assistance used to make rent and cover the cost of utilities.
“I’ve never had to ask for help before and I had no idea that an organization like the BBS existed. Thank you to everyone for their generosity”
This Brit was in the final stages of waiting for his green card application. It was put permanently on hold during the pandemic. He was unable to work (his industry had shut down during the pandemic) or return to the UK as it would compromise the green card process. The BBS provided him with a Covid19 Grant of $1,500 which was used to pay rent.
“Thank you so much for thinking of me and reaching out. It has been very hard indeed, I have experienced more family losses due to covid and have lost more friends ….. it is indeed very sad and sobering and the feelings of isolation can be overwhelming at times….From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate all the help and assistance at this time.”
Our BBS Relief Leaflet offers additional information about the assistance we provide as well as more case studies.
The BBS has a special relationship with the British Consulate-General in both San Francisco and Los Angeles.Read More
Emergency Preparedness Resources
Regardless of whether you have been directly impacted by recent events, we can all do well to invest some time in being well-prepared for potential future events.Read More
Who We Help
The BBS responds to appeals for one-time emergency assistance and, in unusual circumstances, provides longer term support.Read More
"Thanks to the BBS, my family was able to return to the UK safely after all of our belongings were stolen. Though difficult to have had happened, amazing to have an organization help us in such a frightening situation."