May 2020 Newsletter
A Message from
H.M. Consul General Andrew Whittaker
Today we share with you some of the projects that have been going on behind the scenes at the British Benevolent Society. We are extremely honored to share with you an update from H.M. Consul General Andrew Whittaker. Andrew discusses practical, personal and useful information about how the British Government is addressing the global Coronavirus pandemic and providing support to British nationals abroad.
Relief: Coronavirus Grant Program
Over the past two weeks we have received a significant increase in the number of relief requests, many directly related to the Coronavirus pandemic. In response to this, the BBS created a Coronavirus Grant Program. The Coronavirus Grant Program is a resource available to British nationals facing a loss of income due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Any British national who has experienced a loss of income due to the Coronavirus is eligible to apply. Recipients of the Coronavirus Grant Program are eligible to request a onetime grant of $1,500. In the last two weeks, 8 C-19 BBS grants have been approved and given to Brits in need. Meanwhile, the Relief Committee are working through additional applications.
We continue to receive traditional requests for assistance which seem even more complicated because of the pandemic. The Relief Committee approved assistance for a young family with a 2 year old, paying rent for two months and providing a small amount of money to cover basic necessities while the parents both seek employment.
The Committee covered the cost of rent for a Brit recovering from cancer treatment. He is navigating challenges with prolonged treatment after his doctor was called to the frontline of the pandemic.
We also provided financial assistance to a family following the death of the father who suffered a heart attack while out on a walk. To make matters even more heartbreaking, the family was unable to hold a proper service to mourn their loss. The BBS covered the cost of cremation and helped pay rent for two months.
It has been a busy time for the Relief Committee volunteers and the BBS. We would like to thank all of our members and those who have donated to the charity. Right now, more than ever, your commitment to the charity is helping people every day.
What we are seeing is that people want to help. We have received close to $5,000 in donations since the start of the pandemic. If you would like to contribute to the BBS, please visit our donations page. During this time, all donations to the BBS will directly help those impacted by the pandemic.
Partnering with the BBS
In a concerted effort by all to increase our awareness and to connect with Brits in need, we have been collaborating closely with BABC San Francisco, BABC Pacific North West, BABC Los Angeles, BritWeek, Brit Events NW, St. Andrew’s Society San Francisco, St. Andrew’s Society Los Angeles and Brits In LA.
Earlier this week President Charles Cockerton, Director Arif Damji, and Executive Director Jenn Baker recorded a podcast with BABCLA. In our ongoing efforts to connect with those in need, we are very grateful for the chance to talk about the BBS and share more about the mission.
A special thank you to longtime California Brit Andy MacKay and his company, 20/20 Productions for all of their pro bono help in editing the video with Andrew Whittaker as well as the other projects that they are helping us with!
Our close friends at the BABC Northern California in San Francisco continues to organize virtual events and support the BBS. Be sure to check out their calendar and register today!
BABC will be hosting a virtual happy hour
BBS Business Member Florin Pensions are one of the panelists on an upcoming joint BABC & AACC event. The webinar will have a great deal of topical and practical information for people right now. The focus will include Immigration, International Tax, UK Pensions /Superannuation and more!
The Queens VE Day 2020 Address
“I say with pride that we are a still a nation those brave soldiers, sailors, and airman would recognize and admire. I send my warmest good wishes to you all.”-H.M. Queen Elizabeth