The BBS Update - July/August  2016

BBS -   August/September Newsletter 

Dear Friends and Members

It is time to say thank you to all those that have renewed their support for BBS, for our new members, and for our volunteers all of whom engage in the mission and work of BBS to serve our stakeholders.   It is also an immense pleasure to welcome our new Consul General in San Francisco, Mr Andrew Whittaker.

The BBS community consists of engaged members, British and Anglophiles, who work together to create meaningful impactful projects between the USA and the United Kingdom in 4 specific areas:
  1.  Emotional and financial Relief
  2.  Expatriate support
  3.  Earthquake Preparedness
  4.  Cultural and Community Connection between the USA and the UK
The core of BBS relief work is to help British citizens on the Pacific West Coast who are marginalized or excluded by providing basic emotional and financial support and providing them with the skills to take their future back into their own hands. 
Our over arching mission is to build and nurture a diverse community of British expats through advice, support and relief when needed.

Since the beginning of the new year we are delighted to share that we have had a record number of new members: over 50 new Individual Members, 5 Life Members and 5 Corporate Members.  It is a good start to our outreach efforts,  but we can, with your help do so much more.   Please do reach out to your friends and encourage them to join the BBS, building our community through giving.

We are busy working with those in need and those that we have engaged to help advance British interests in the areas where the Los Angeles and San Francisco British Consulate operate.  To catch up please enjoy reading some our news below.  If you have news that you would like to share with the BBS community, if you have time to volunteer, contact us    as together we move the BBS into a new era.

If you are not yet a member, consider becoming a member now Click Here

If you would like to consider making a donation to support our work please click here.  Your tax free donations help support our programs helping those in need and we are tremendously grateful. 

Best wishes  
Annabel Lavielle
Executive Director

Welcome to our new Consul General and BBS Honorary President

The British Benevolent Society of California Inc is delighted to announce the appointment of Consul General Andrew Whittaker as Honorary President, beginning August 2016. BBS enjoys a special relationship with the British Consulate-General in San Francisco and Los Angeles and more than a century each serving British Consul-General has had the pleasure of serving as Honorary President.
Andrew Whittaker assumed his duties as Her Majesty's Consul General in San Francisco in early August. As Consul General, Andrew is responsible for supporting the UK's economic profile, foreign policy, and national security priorities in North-western United States (Northern CA, OR, WA, ID, MT, WY & AK).
We look forward to welcoming Andrew in our growing community of British expats and anglophiles.

Welcome to the Bay Orientation Day 2016
Saturday, October 15th from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

If you are looking for answers to any specific questions concerning your life here, this is the place to be.
  • Culture Shock and Intl transitions
  • Schooling
  • Health and Health Insurance
  • Earthquake Preparedness
  • Real Estate
  • Setting up bank accounts, establishing credit history, mortgages,
  • California trust and estate planning,
  • UK Pensions
  • US taxation,
  • US Insurance
  • US wealth management,
  • US immigration

Or if you are just generally looking to network and meet new people and make helpful connections please join us for this awesome  opportunity to meet new friends, make useful connections and find useful information.

Children are welcome too.   Early bird discount until 15th September. 
Members and non members are welcome, family and friends..  Please spread the word to your communities.
If you work in any services likely to interest expatriates and their families from banking to nanny services, health to education, coaching to networking that you would like to promote at this event we have an exhibitors hall, and would be delighted to include you in our Exhibitor Hall.  Please  contact us.
For more information about the event please email us .  

Most importantly please look at our dedicated website   

Project Homeless Connect

This month BBS Relief and Care Consultant,: Joanna Clyde Findlay and myself met with Kara Zordel, Executive Director of Project Homeless Connect.

Project Homeless Connect excels in connecting the most vulnerable San Franciscans to vital resources throughout the city. At one-stop shop events and in their office every day, they link participants to difficult-to-obtain services including medical, dental and vision care, and employment assistance. By mobilizing city and community agencies, as well as thousands of volunteers, they are able to ensure that their participants receive holistic care in a friendly setting.
What an extraordinary opportunity Kara gave to us when she invited us to bring 3 of our friends in need of help to a one-stop shop event on August 17th.  Our British friends left the event that took place at the Social Hall in SF, the Regency Ballroom with orders for Prescription Glasses, Reading glasses, medical check up, and opportunities for DMV, Haircuts, Massage, and lunch. We also secured a telephone for our homeless friend, thanks to a Google Donation made to Project Homeless Connect.   We were also honored by a visit from our Mayor, Mayor Edwin M. Lee endorsing the great works this group are doing:

And it doesn't stop there - we were humbled and empowered by the work Kara and her team at Project Homeless Connect.  As Kara says about homelessness "this has to stop", and the support that Kara has been giving us to help our friends has no words.

Italian Community Services
"Preserving our Culture - Serving Our Community"

The BBS and ICS work on some very similar projects, and to share and learn together is stimulating for both organizations.  BBS is exploring the nature and extent of our support to our aging population, and the discussions we are having with ICS are helping us put together a strategy to propose to our Board for 2017.  BBS take very seriously the potential support we could provide to our memberes, and is working on a project before the year-end for a presentation on Healthy Aging. 
Earlier this year Anna Maria invited BBS to the AGM of the Department of Aging and Adult Services at the City and County of San Francisco.  The connection with the dept has been very helpful to get the word out in the city for any elderly, lonely British citizens that may need our help.
Thank you Anna Maria for your time, enthusiasm and sharing so generously your invaluable experience in this field. 

Raphael House

Joanna and I also went again to Raphael House, and met with Ralph Payton, Executive Director of Raphael House

The mission of Raphael House is to help at-risk families achieve stable housing and financial independence while strengthening family bonds and personal dignity..  Raphael House is a 100% privately funded and community-supported organization. More than 85% of all Raphael House families go on to achieve long-term housing and financial stability.
The purpose of our visit was to thank Raphael House for their help with one of our friends and her daughter, as well as to learn and understand the services and support that Raphael House can offer.  Their unmatched success rate of helping families is unmatched, and a model for other organizations.
As soon as you step foot in Raphael house you feel the safety and friendliness of the setting. This in itself is so inspiring.  You are greeted by the huge smile and energy of Darlene Williams who herself is so proud to say she has been working for Raphael House for over 20 years.  Here is a photo of Joanna with Darlene.  Thank you Darlene for lighting up our day!

Very old Books of British Heritage

The BBS currently has some treasures:  

a large book (approximately 3 ft by 4 1/2 ft or a meter plus by a meter minus (!), entitled 

"The Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandria "

with the most beautiful original illustrations, as well as a 

"First Edition book on the Auction Sale of the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, 28th November 2011 "

The owner would be interested in selling or donating these books, and contacted the BBS for any interested parties.  If you are interested in viewing these precious beautiful books of British Heritage, or making an offer please contact us so that we can connect you with the owner.

SanFrancisco Danse Film Festival 

Save the Date Wednesday, October 19th 2016 at the Taube Atrium Theater, San Francisco:  Reception followed by screening of Rudolf Nureyev - Danse to Freedom

BBS is working on a collaboration with this years  San Francisco Dance Film Festival.   SFDFF has selected renowned  British filmmaker   Richard Curson-Smith  feature dramatic award-winning documentary "Rudolf Nureyev - Dance to Freedom" to kick-off their 7th annual festival on October 19th.  Mr Curson-Smith will also participate in the post screening discussion and Q&A moderated by Janice Ross, journalist and head of Stanford University's Dance Department.  "Having Mr Curson-Smith speak to his research and how he found his subjects for this documentary will certainly be newsworthy" says Judy Flannery, Executive Director of the SFDFF.  We are delighted to be supporting the San Francisco Danse Film Festival, and at the same time aligning with our strategy of advancing British interests in California.  Please join us in welcoming Richard Curson Smith when he comes to San Francisco in October.

 a new documentary feature film directed and produced by David Kennard
September 6th sees the launch of a great new documentary feature film called A Year in Port. It was written, directed and produced by David Kennard.  David a long time supporter of the BBS  was born in London and moved to the San Francisco area with his wife Lizzie 25 years ago. Their company ( has created an average of two films a year since they arrived, many of them with British themes and links.
A Year in Port is the final film in a trilogy which includes Burgundy and Champagne (both have strong connections to the British wine trade). The Port film opens in London, with a splendid scene featuring the enthronement of the Master of the Worshipful Company of Distillers, and the traditional toast to H.M.The Queen, in Port of course. Later in the film, the British roots of many of the major Port brands become clear: among the grape-treading and firework festivals are interviews with family wine-makers whose roots go back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Oh yes, and there's a full-scale cricket match, too!
The first press review (a really positive piece) is in the Huffington Post  .   It was announced at the close of the festival on Sunday August 14 that A Year in Port won the Joint First Prize for Best Feature Documentary at the Rhode Island International Film Festival. This is New England's oldest and largest film festival, and qualifies the film for the Academy Awards.  About 6500 films were submitted, in 12 different categories. About 250 were selected for screening.   Congratulations David and son James, co-Director, cameraman and editor and all the team at Inca.  

We are honored to have the opportunity post launch to explore putting together a private showing of this documentary for BBS members and friends with a taste of Port afterwards!

Hear their Stories.... Join the Movement....
A celebration of vets, for vets by vets and their supporting communities

BBS continues to engages in our efforts to support British and American Vets, and honoring our special alliance.   The BBS is proud to be partnering once again with LIM INNOVATIONS for a collaborative celebration discussing Vet Employment and Vet Integration.The event aims to address the integration back to civilian life by discussing and exploring opportunities to support veterans in a working environment. 

Presentations will be given from representatives at well-established companies and nonprofits to show the efforts they are taking to help our Veteran population establish themselves in the workplace.

Join us sometime after Veterans Day in November and hear the efforts from leading companies across various industries:
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • Agriculture
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Technology
Location and date for this event to be determined sometime in November. Here is a photo of us preparing a short video about the event, for Vets, By Vets.
2016 Clash for the Ashes - Saturday, August 27th, 2016 - Tickets Now Available!
August 27, 2016 Time: 10:30 AM - 6:00 PM

Please come out on Saturday and join us  thanks to the  BABC and AACC in collaboration with the Marin Cricket Club at their annual Clash for the Ashes Cricket Match. Watch some exciting cricket, enjoy an Aussie-Style BBQ lunch, Aussie beer and wine and fine British beverages including premium beer, Pimms and Gin and Tonic! This is a great day out for all the family with games for the kids at half time and a bouncy castle! - set up your chairs and enjoy the sun in Larkspur.
This year it's anyone's guess who will win. So come on down to Piper Park on August 27th and cheer on your team! and look out for the BBS Table, and a friendly Board Member, Mr Stuart Keirle and volunteers who are there to tell you more about our membership.

About the BBS

BBS is a US nonprofit organization representing British Citizens in the US Pacific West Coast.  We work alongside our community to support each other's well being, and place a special focus on helping those in need.
Our Vision:   to seek a world where British citizens overseas are ambassadors to our values and culture, helping one another through a community of support to ensure mutual security and well being in both emergency and day-to-day circumstances.  
Our Mission :  The British Benevolent Society (B.B.S.) is a nonprofit whose mission is to build and nurture a diverse community of British Expats through advice, support, and relief when needed. 

The BBS plays a unique role in the British community here, serving British citizens who are transient or living in California and neighboring States.  Over the last 150 years BBS has built a huge solidarity chain of British citizens and anglophiles made up of members through which we mobilize resources to bring support to those in need.   This support ranges from providing financial support to victims of accidents, or crimes or other unfortunate circumstances to creating events that build our BBS community.  Our four programs can be summed up as follows:  

Protect - Support - Prepare - Connect 

To become a Member:  Click Here