The BBS Update - June  2016

BBS -   June Newsletter 

Dear Friends

If you have not heard of the Invictus Games Foundation by now and you are a BBS Member it means I have not engaged you enough! The Invictus Games, founded in the UK by Prince Harry and team, use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.  Following the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014, the Invictus Games Foundation has been set up to develop this legacy, manage the process of selecting the hosts of future games and oversee their delivery. 

This newsletter is dedicated to the Invictus Games Foundation. We have just had the huge honor of welcoming two veterans, two heroes Nathan Cumberland and Louisa Walker, who came to San Francisco from the UK as part of BBS' new initiatives, and in the context of the Her Majesty the Queen's 90th Birthday Ball.  This trip was made possible thanks to our sponsors the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco and Norwegian Air.  Nathan and Louisa were also accompanied by Invictus Games engaged and inspiring Operations Director,  Rose Hall.  Please read the Press Release here.

We want to thank wholeheartedly all those stakeholders who helped BBS to make this trip so memorable. From the BBS Board of Directors who helped bring this idea to life to our visit to Lucas Films with an overview from Disney as to their programs with Vets and to Google to hear about their Veteran network.  From tea with Ms Priya Guha, HM Consul General in San Francisco, to the inspiring and tremendous event at Lim Innovations where we learnt about how Lims' amazing platform for prosthesis, and got inspired by their engagement for people with disabilities.  Then meetings with nonprofits Team Red White and Blue, the Farmer Veteran Coalition and our visit out to a farm in Fairfield, and a fabulous welcome and meeting with staff from Swords to Plowshare whose mission is to heal the wounds of war, to restore dignity, hope, and self-sufficiency to all veterans in need, and to prevent and end homelessness and poverty among veterans. Not forgetting Rose and Louisa's trip with British Triathlon Athlete, Laura Siddell, on the Escape from Alcatratz Press Boat at 5 am on Sunday morning!.  All in all THANK YOU, it was an awesome experience and Nathan and Lou went home exhausted and inspired and with ideas to share back in the UK about vets returning to civilian life.  A few of the pictures below speak louder than my words.  

Kathleen Kimura, BBS Board President said: "We are delighted to  initiate this first exchange program with Invictus Games Foundation which as part of the BBS Mission reinforces our ties between the US and UK.  I look forward to this partnership developing"  

Andrew Pedtke MD, LIM Innovations CEO/Co-Founder  "LIM Innovations would like to thank all those involved in the Road to Recovery event, which highlighted the importance of community support to help Veterans, and the disability space as a whole, fulfil their life ambitions." 

Read  our news below and much more.  If you have news that you would like to share with our community, if you have time to volunteer,  Contact us    as together we move the BBS into a new era.  Our office remain open during July and August.

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

We wish you all a Happy 4th July!
Annabel Lavielle
Executive Director


BBS will launch in January 2017 a new service to its members - "BBS Membership Perks"  If you are a BBS Member we will be providing you with discount codes and information how to redeem offers  that we manage to negotiate for and on your behalf. 
As a taster we will bring a new vendor to you with a special offer each month leading up to our launch.  This month at our initial launch phase we are excited to bring you details of a new year-round perk with British shirtmaker T.M.Lewin.  Thank you T.M.Lewin for partnering with the BBS for this.

15% discount on all online purchases for the British Benevolent Society.
Delivering the absolute best quality product and a flawless fit is what we're really passionate about, it's a sentiment inspired by our founder Thomas Mayes Lewin, who opened our very first London store on Jermyn Street in 1898.Over a century later, every T.M.Lewin shirt is still precision crafted using only the best raw materials and meticulously finished to the last detail with over a century's worth of expertise.To take advantage of this special discount, simply use the promotional code BBS616 when you shop online at
For more information, 

BABC Northern California Events Calendar : A Taste of Wimbledon 
July 20, 2015, Time: 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Anyone for Tennis? (#BigServeBABCSF) 
The Championships, Wimbledon is steeped in tradition.  Each year, thousands of people converge from all over the world to see their favorite players slog it out on the court. The excitement and drama of the tournament, the who's who of celebrity tennis fans and the flavors of the English summertime - Pimm's No.1 Cup, Gin & Tonic and of course Strawberries and Cream - all make for a memorable experience that is part of Britain's heritage. 

Join BABC on Wednesday, July 20th as they celebrate the great British tradition that is Wimbledon!  Catch highlights from the 2016 tournament and honor this year's Wimbledon Champion, raise a toast to all the competitors who competed for the 2016 Championship starting on June 27th, and come prepared to enjoy some Ping Pong Tennis!

The Big Serve: A Taste of Wimbledon" takes place at the new offices of BABC Corporate Member, US Forex.  US Forex offer our members great discounts on international money transfers.  To learn more, contact Jason Kumpf at

Special Event Offer - Receive 10% off BABC membership + a $10 Refund on the Ticket 
Prospective new members who join the BABC at this event will receive a 10% discount off any level of membership. (Offer only valid on the day of the event)
BBS are honored to be invited to collaborate at this event, and propose a Special Event Offer - Receive 10% off Corporate membership
Want a riveting page-turner of a summer read that you can't put down?
I just discovered fellow Brit and writer Andrew Findlay who is the author of   THE CANCER CODE  a thriller about the first person on earth to discover a cure for cancer, and the world's largest drug company that will do anything to get hold of the final formula before it gets to a non-profit.  

This is squarely a David and Goliath story, with the altruistic biochemist up against the ruthless corporate greed of the mega pharmaceutical giant who stand to lose trillions if the cure gets out and deflates their market overnight.

The premise of a cure for cancer is highly believable as is the plot and its amazing twists and turns. If you like Grisham you'll like this.  Tremendous reviews. This book has all the elements to make a great movie (a leading Hollywood Producer is already looking for development finance for it). See this link for more info, a trailer and Amazon page for paperback or download to Kindle / iPad etc.

Andrew was a screenwriter in LA for many years and is currently developing his next book.  He and his family moved to San Francisco in 2014.

MEETING WITH BBS, Drop In and say Hi!
Monday, 25th July, 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

If you would like to learn more about BBS and what we are planning for fall 2016 and 2017 in our work to build community through giving, please drop in and meet us.  Come and visit us at our offices:

555 California, Suite 4925, 
San Francisco 
CA 94104 

Monday 25th July any time between 9:00 am and 12:00 pm.  

No need to register, but please contact me to let me know if you are coming by so as to give your name at the reception.  

Join us over a cup of coffee and learn more about BBS, our work and outreach.

                               Members and Friends Welcome!  

Saturday October 15th, 8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Join the BBS in San Francisco for our first ever orientation program designed to help newcomers settle into their new life in the Bay Area.
This  program designed to assist English-speaking newcomers to the Bay Area, features speakers and panel discussions on various topics from health, education, emergency preparedness, property, finance and need-to-know subjects, and just plain fun facts about the Bay Area. Bloom helps with understanding cultural differences, creating a new life in the Bay Area, and getting connected with friends and organizations throughout the Bay Area.
Attendance at Bloom includes:
- exciting talks presented by expert speakers
- a light breakfast and strong coffee
- a delicious lunch
- networking opportunities
- a gift bag with giveaways and useful information
 Members and Friends Welcome!  
REGISTRATION 1st August 2016

Brexit - What next?

On Friday 13 May prior to the referendum we organized with the Commonwealth Club, and the Anglo American Studies Program in Berkeley a panel discussion about Brexit. The panel discussion moderated by Richard Waters, West Coast Editor, Financial Times, had panelists Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California Berkeley,Doug Rivers, Professor of Political Science, Stanford; President and CEO, YouGov/Polimetrix. 

Following our pre referendum meeting at the Commonwealth, we are working towards another panel discussion we hope will take place at the Commonwealth in July.  

Once we have been able to firm up on dates and participants, we will let you know in a separate email. 

Event Cancelled:   Why was the Reagan-Thatcher Relationship so special?
We regret to inform you that the event organized on Thursday 212 July at 4:00 pm with Charles   Moore , author of the widely acclaimed  biography  of Margaret Thatcher about the special relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan has been cancelled until further notice .  

Queen's 90th Birthday Ball

We had a huge turnout at the Queen's 90th Birthday Ball. 265 participants and a lot of fun and dancing to the Sun Kings.  Thank you to all those that joined us to make this event so outstanding.  

Nathan and Louisa Invictus Games Athletes presenting at the Queen's Birthday Ball. 

Front row (L to R) :  Dana Beldiman-Karlsons,  Hon. CG Romania, Cmdr David Slayton, Hoover Institution Researach Fellow, Liga Hoy, Honorary Consul General Latvia, Ken Linton (Frankin Templeton Investments) Hilde Skorpen, Consul General Norway, Patrick Larvie, (Google), Aleksandr Krotenko, Deputy CG Ukraine and Mrs. Olena Krotenko.   
Back row:  Ole Stubben, husband of CG Norway, Kathleen Kimura, President British Benevolent Society,  Stuart Bagshaw, Chief Executive, BAB Leap

BBS Branding Update
The project continues as we build our Brand Essence and work hard to fully portray our mission and vision.  Thank you Cynthia and Chelsea at CBA, and Rob LeBras Brown for your hard work and contribution.  We at BBS are immensely grateful.  Our branding project will continue through to October where we plan to launch our new look and feel. 

San Francisco Pride Parade - Love is GREAT 
Pride month was upon us, and the BBS joined the British Consulate General San Francisco to march in the  San Francisco Pride Parade  for the second straight year on Sunday, 26 June. We were  representing the UK's Love is GREAT campaign to showcase the UK as a champion of LGBT equality and as a global leader in human rights across policy, business and tourism.  

In case you didn't know, the UK is one of the most progressive countries in the world for LGBT rights, recognising same-sex marriage since 2014, allowing full legal recognition for transgender people to change their gender since 2005 and granting same-sex couples adoption rights since 2002. 


A lot of BBS' relief work providing emotional and financial aid to those in need is very personal and not always possible to talk to our members about.  Suffice it is to say that daily volunteers and members have stepped up to help our community when in need,  making a real difference one person at a time, one step at a time.  As we enter the summer BBS wants to especially thank all those that have helped us help others, and to wish all members, volunteers alike a wonderful summer.

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