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The British Benevolent Society of California provides financial aid and compassionate relief to British Citizens in need throughout the Western United States.

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October 2018 Newsletter


This month, the BBS was able to provide financial assistance to a family unable to cover the cost for cremation and repatriation of their sister. Following a short battle with cancer a British woman, who lived in Arizona for many years, had requested to be laid to rest in the UK. The family did not have the funds to meet this last wish. With the help of the BBS, the family has been able to focus on the memory of their sister and not worry about making ends meet.

Farewell to Cynthia

As you will all know, last month we said goodbye to Cynthia Smith. Her obituary was published in the San Francisco Chronicle on the 21st of October. For those of you who do not receive the paper, or may have missed it, we wanted to share it with you.

Earlier this month, we were very touched to have have received a donation in the memory of Cynthia. This gesture also supports our mission of providing assistance to the vulnerable and those on their own. Over the past few months, Kathleen Kimura, BBS volunteers, and our Executive Director regularly visited Cynthia. We ensured that she was receiving proper care and attention, and stayed in constant communication with her family in the UK and New Zealand. The BBS managed a number of details surrounding Cynthia’s estate and passing. This is another strong reminder of the support the BBS provides in times of need.

Board of Directors Update

We are delighted to welcome Claire Knoles to the BBS board. Claire is the founder and Chief Operating Officer of Kiosk, an international marketing agency founded in 2004 in Liverpool, England, and incorporated in California in 2011.

Originally from Hertfordshire, England, Claire lives in Marin County with her husband, Matt, and her dog Buddy. She misses Jaffa Cakes and Marmite but loves the California weather.

Claire’s strategic vision and broad experience in digital  marketing make her a valuable resource to the BBS.

Business Membership

A big thank you to our business member Florin Pensions for renewing their membership with the BBS!

We are very keen to engage with more business members and ask that you all take a moment to consider if you are in a position to support the BBS in this capacity. An annual business membership is $500. As always, this membership directly supports our relief activities. The Bay Area is loaded with a number of British business and Brits working for various sectors with resources to support our mission. To learn more about business memberships please visit our web site or contact our Executive Director, Jenn Baker.


Don’t wait until the last minute! Buy your ticket for our Christmas Dinner today! This year the party will be held at The City Club of San Francisco. Come celebrate a traditional Christmas dinner with fellow Brits and friends.

Please note that the vegetarian option has been changed to a tricolor quinoa and seared tofu with kale sauté, cherry tomatoes, guajillo vinaigrette and cilantro dressing.

Early bird pricing ends 14 November.
For tickets and further details about the dinner visit our website.

Community Events

11 November
Remembrance Service
In this year of the 100th anniversary of the end of Word War 1, this cherished annual ceremony will commemorate all those who have lost their lives in armed conflict.

1 December
155th Annual St. Andrew’s Banquet & Ball
Attending this entertaining and extremely fun event is the perfect way to kick of your holiday celebrations! If an evening full of live music, Highland dancers, haggis and drinks sounds like fun; then you should absolutely join. Details and tickets available here.

Thanks to our Business Members

A big thank you to all of our Business Members for their contributions and support to the mission of our charity!

Thanks to Kiosk and Florin Pensions.

Read More of the October 2018 Newsletter Here

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