New to the USA?

Becoming part of the British Benevolent Society is a wonderful way to make new connections with British expats.

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Who We Help

The BBS, often in close partnership with the British Consulates General in San Francisco and Los Angeles, provides a wide range of assistance to Brits in need. A core mission of the Relief Committee is to provide charity, with compassion and dignity, to the less fortunate.

The BBS responds to appeals for one-time emergency assistance and, in unusual circumstances, provides longer term support. The list of reasons individuals apply for assistance is vast, and it isn’t difficult to imagine that any one of us could find ourselves in a situation where we need a little help.


The BBS most frequently provides repatriation assistance to Brits that need to urgently return home. It is not unusual for Brits to apply for BBS assistance after becoming a victim of crime resulting in the loss of a passport and funds. Another common circumstance is an immediate need to return home because of an urgent medical condition.

Senior Advocacy

Many Brits retire in the US and spend the latter years of their lives far away from family in the UK. In our later years, it can become challenging to look after oneself. Unless essential arrangements are made, one can find themselves in a place of needing assistance from social services or counselors. The BBS has helped Brits relocate to senior living communities or even back to the UK to be closer to family.

Documentation Assistance

It is not unusual for Brits who have lived in the US for many years to misplace their Green Card or allow it to expire. This can lead to many challenges when changing jobs, opening bank accounts or simply proving resident status in the US. In circumstances where individuals have qualified for assistance, the BBS have been able to help re-apply for British passports, US passports and even Green Cards.

Housing Assistance

Homelessness is a very common and tragic place that people find themselves falling into when times are tough. In many areas a slight increase to the basic cost of living can quite literally force someone, living on a fixed income, from their home. We work closely with partner organizations to keep Brits from becoming homeless and finding somewhere safe to stay.

Did you know?

A new era began in 1955 when the BBS and British consulate became independent from one another, with BBS leadership elected from within rather than designated by the consulate.