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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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Summer 2021 Newsletter

BBS Relief & Covid19 Assistance

In June and July the BBS provided $12,000 in relief. Since the beginning of 2021 the Relief Committee has approved $43,000 in financial relief.

Our most notable cases over the past two months involved repatriation of two vulnerable Brits looking to return to the UK. Both situations were quite complicated.

Mr. W suffers from scoliosis and MS and is wheelchair-bound. Since coming to the US in 2006 he had been living with his mother who had been his care giver. He broke his arm and was in a nursing facility for rehab. Sadly just before he was to be released back home to his mother, she passed away. Mr. W never obtained an appropriate US residency visa; therefore he was ineligible for benefits. He wished to return to the UK in spite of having no family support or funds of his own. The Consulate in SF worked with social work advisors in London to arrange social service assistance upon arrival. The BBS helped with this repatriation by providing financial support in paying for the passport renewal, Covid19 testing, a flight to the UK and wheelchair transport to the airport. Mr. W is incredibly brave and we wish him all the best on his return in the UK.

Mr. F came to the US on holiday, and after running out of funds he found himself in very difficult circumstances. Unfortunately, he suffers from a range of mental health issues and an autoimmune disease. After spending some time bouncing between homeless shelters and houses of good samaritans, Mr. F was ready to return to the UK. The Consulate in LA confirmed that Mr. F had been in touch with his doctors in the UK and upon return would be able to make contact for support. The BBS arranged for his flight as well as Covid re-entry package.

The BBS provided compassionate assistance to two single mothers living in the Pacifica Northwest. The cases were not related but had very similar circumstances as both young British women were looking for basic assistance to help them make rent and purchase essential supplies for their young children.

The Relief Committee approved one Covid19 Grant of $1,500 for a Brit still struggling to secure consistent work as a self employed freelance journalist. The financial support from the BBS grant will allow her to pay urgent bills and relieve some of the stress she is experiencing.

The requests for relief that we received over the summer were all dire and serious in nature. We continue to encounter people struggling to make ends meet as the pandemic drags on and a return to normal is still not within reach for many.

Thank you as always for your donations and memberships with the BBS. All of the money raised is used to support the Covid19 support and relief.

MidSummer’s Eve Celebration

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our first ever MidSummer’s Eve Celebration held in Tiburon in early this summer. The afternoon was a huge success and we are thrilled with the outcome. In addition to drawing a great crowd, we raised over $6,000 AND brought the community together. A special thank you to our volunteers, sponsors, those who donated prizes to our raffle and to Deputy Consul General Tammy Sandhu for taking the time to stop by and say some words.

We aim to organize this event every year! If you are interested in helping to organize or volunteer at the event, please let us know.

In case you missed it, be sure to check out highlights from the afternoon:

Upcoming Events

Join us for an Outdoor Happy Hour in Mill Valley

When: Thursday 26 August
Where: Fish Hook Co. @ Proof Lab, Tam Junction, Mill Valley, CA
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 PM
Registration: Register Here Today

Join the BBS for a no-host happy hour at the amazing beer garden at Proof Lab in Mill Valley.

Bring your friends and family! If you haven’t been to Fish Hook you will be sure to enjoy the beer garden and family friendly outdoor space. Looking forward to connecting and reconnecting with members and friends of the BBS.

Please RSVP with a small donation of $5. This will help us anticipate the number of guests able to join.

A conversation with Royal Correspondent Victoria Murphy

When: Saturday 25 September
Where: The comfort of your own home. Zoom!
Time: 9:00 -10:00 AM
Registration: Register Here Today

Join us in September for a conversation with Victoria Murphy. Victoria will discuss her latest book, a pictorial celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s Magnificent Reign.

This is a unique opportunity for members to speak directly with journalist Victoria Murphy who has been reporting on the British royal family since 2010. She has interviewed Prince Harry and travelled the world covering several royal tours. In March 2020, Victoria was one of only three journalists present to witness Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex carry out her final private solo engagement in Buckingham Palace before she and Prince Harry stepped back from royal life.

Great British American Pub Quiz

When: Wednesday 29 September
Where: Zoom! The comfort of your own home
Time: 6-7:30PM
Registration: Register Here Today

We are delighted to join our friends at the BABC once again for a Pub Quiz! Anyone is welcome to join: members or non members.

How this works:
Just like at the pub, you will each need to be a part of a pub quiz team.


  • Maximum team size is 4
  • Registration fee, $20 per computer
  • If you need to be connected with a team, singles and doubles upon registration, we can do this for you
  • Teams do not need to be at the same computer to participate, they can collaborate answers through a WhatsApp group or a private chat on Zoom
  • Each team will designate a team captain
  • Feel free to register/log into the Zoom appointment up to 15 minutes prior to the actual start time. Give yourself time to get organized, make yourself a drink and get comfortable!

Register here today. We will follow up to confirm team names and identify team captain.
The event registration fee of $20 will help support the BBS with our relief efforts, specifically Coronavirus related cases, during this difficult time.

Day before the Pub Quiz, 28 Sept:

Registrants will receive a Zoom link with further preparation details within 24 hours prior to the quiz.

Become a BBS Member:

If you are not a BBS member, please consider joining today! Membership dues directly support all Covid19 relief cases and the Coronavirus Relief Program.

Please contact us if you have questions or would like to confirm your team name and partners.

Autumn in Marin & Sonoma Bike Ride

When: Sunday 17 October
Where: Marin County, Routes Announced Closer to the Date
Registration: Announced Closer to the Date

Mark your calendars and join the BBS for a bike ride! There will be three options available:

  • 5-10 Mile
  • 40 Mile
  • 60 Mile

This family friendly event is still in planning stages and we will be in touch with further details.

Annual General Meeting: Save the Date

Tuesday 19 Octoberlight-filled meeting space
Annual General Meeting
Please mark this date for our annual meeting.

Who We Are & How We Help

Since the beginning of the pandemic, March 2020, the BBS provided just over $173,000 in aid including 56 $1,500 Covid19 Grants. The pandemic still ravages through communities throughout the world and we continue to deliver immediate assistance to British nationals who simply have no where else to turn.

Please help us continue to spread the word about the BBS. If you are in a position to make a donation, the time is now.


Did you know that you need to reset your AmazonSmile charity of choice every six months? By designating the BBS as your preferred charity on AmazonSmile you are making a simple and easy donation!

Don’t forget that you will need to set up the BBS as your charity of choice on your mobile device as well.

Make the change today!

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