/Annabel Lavielle

About Annabel Lavielle

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So far has created 23 blog entries.

Lim Innovations to Host Invictus Event with BBS

In support of Invictus and the 2 British servicemen who are coming to San Francisco on 9th June as part of their journey in recovery, please support and watch Invictus Games:

SAVE THE DATE: Please for those of you that are there put in your diary a happy hour on Sunday 12th June at 5-7pm. We are doing an event at LIM INNOVATION – 5 amputees will be there, Invictus, Lim and BBS will present and amputees will tell their stories and explore the road to recovery. If you are interested please contact annabel.lavielle@britishbenevolentsociety.org for more information about this event. 

Please remember to join us at the Birthday Ball for the Queen, register at www.Queens90birthdayball.com

Silicon Valley Networking Group – Wednesday, 6th April 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Wednesday,  6 April, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Join our networking meeting with a twist and meet newly arrived Brit, Katy Zwetsloot-Hyatt who will share some of her talents in ceramics and invite us all to work with clay and make something.  The meeting will take place at
 Little House Activity Center
800 Middle Avenue | Menlo Park, CA 94025
Members and Friends Welcome!
$18 per person

BBS News and Updates – March 21 2016

Dear Friends,

Please join us at our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 5th April at 5:00 pm followed by a reception at the Bay School   We hope to see you there.  Registration is now open for BBS members and guests:

Save the dates and register now for our events, learn about our members and those we serve.  Contact us to volunteer, or to share ideas as we move the BBS into a new era.  The culture of peer-to-peer support that I have observed since serving as the BBS Executive Director is one of the profoundly honorable achievements of our organization.  I hope you will consider
Enjoy the newsletter!
Service Spotlight
Dear Supporters consider a donation, and keep spreading the word about Simon’s campaign. I think he deserves to succeed!

Last month we introduced you to Simon. BBS Member Mark Whelan and BBS Executive Director Annabel Lavielle went to meet Simon and hear first hand his story and learn about his business venture with a strong social focus.   Formerly a homeless Brit in the Silicon Valley, Simon is looking for a loan to start his cleaning business. Read about Simon’s story here

Through Kiva Zip Simon is hoping to get a loan of $10,000.

He  is currently 84% funded, and has 6 days left at Kiva. Simon needs to hit the 100% goal to get the loan, and he needs to do this in 6 days.  Please consider helping Simon.  He has worked out a few scenarios as to  how he could be successful:
  • 8 people @ $100 each
  • 16 people @ $50 each
  • 32 people @ $25 each
For every $ leant to Simon it will be matched by Reid Hoffmann.  Remember by contributing to Kiva Zip and giving your $ contribution, this is a loan to Simon,  not a donation.  Please support Simon by clicking here 

Furthermore you can meet Simon – when we organize a meeting at KIVA ZIP and learn more about Kiva Zip and their work helping connect people through lending to alleviate poverty in the Bay Area at KIVA offices on Tuesday 19th April at 5pm.  See the event details later in the newsletter!

Wednesday,  23 March, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
 Join us CAFFE ROMA in Millbrae and meet BBS Members and Friends over a cup of coffee and learn more about BBS our work and outreach.
                               Members and Friends Welcome!
                                    REGISTER NOW
Friday, 1 April, from 5:00 pm
Where: Presidio Yacht Club, at Horseshoe Cove, Fort Baker.
Nic Meridith and I will be there from 5:00 pm and look forward to welcoming BBS Members and Friends.  No need to register.
For more information please contact Nic
Wednesday,  6 April, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Join our networking meeting with a twist and meet newly arrived Brit, Katy Zwetsloot-Hyatt who will share some of her talents in ceramics and invite us all to work with clay and make something.  The meeting will take place at
 Little House Activity Center
800 Middle Avenue | Menlo Park, CA 94025
Members and Friends Welcome!
$18 per person
                                    REGISTER NOW
SF Boat Race Dinner:
Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race
Thursday, 14 April 2016
The 81st San Francisco Boat Race dinner celebrates the 162nd Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race. It promises to be a fine affair in the elegant ambience of the University Club atop Nob Hill in the heart of San Francisco. The University Club is located at Powell and California Streets, adjacent to the Fairmont Hotel.  Sir Christopher Hum KCMG, former British Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China (2002-2005) and former Master of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge (2006-2012), will be the distinguished guest speaker.
Tickets are $98 each and selling out fast.  To purchase your tickets click here, or if you would like to join
BBS on a table, please contact Annabel Lavielle directly before 1 April
Kiva.org and Reinserting Relationships into our Financial System :
Tuesday, 19 April, 5:00 pm
875 Howard St, Suite 340
How about this for a great connection.  BBS and our members are supporting Simon with his loan to get his cleaning business off the ground.  Well, in this tremendous chain of solidarity our new member Jonny Price is leading the KivaZip initiative to help people like Simon.
Jonny grew up in Harrow, but married a “southern belle” from Nashville, Tennessee, and now finds himself living in the Mission. After traveling in Africa for a year, reading history at Cambridge, and starting his career in management consulting, he now leads the Kiva Zip program at the non-profit Kiva.org.
Kiva Zip is on a mission to reinsert human relationships into our financial system. They do this by crowdfunding loans to small business owners that might not qualify for regular bank loans, and lending them the money at 0% interest. A $10,000 loan to a barbecue joint owner in the Bayview might be crowdfunded by 400 people lending $25 each. Imagine “It’s a Wonderful Life”, but super-charged by modern technology!
On Tuesday April 19th, we will be joining Jonny at Kiva’s office in SOMA to hear him talk about the vision of Kiva Zip, and some of the successes and challenges that he has enjoyed and endured over the last five years since launching the program.
We will also be hearing from Simon Brooks, another Bay Area-based Brit, who is currently fundraising for a Kiva Zip loan of $10,000 to build his cleaning business in Palo Alto, and who has been getting some great press around his campaign!

The meeting will take place in Kiva’s headquarters, 875 Howard Street, Suite 340. Over a friendly cocktail, Jonny will present the work, we will meet Simon and learn together about how this initiative can help some of our community.  Please join us at this behind the scenes meeting, and register now.

SAVE THE DATE: 19 May 2016

Brexit?: Its Meaning for the UK, EU and the US
Friday, 19 May at NOON
at the Commonwealth Club
The June 23rd Brexit referendum deciding whether the United Kingdom leaves or stays in the European Union will have profound implications for the United Kingdom, the European Union, and the United States. This program will examine UK voters’ attitudes toward the European Union, the strategies of the two sides leading up to the referendum, and the substantive arguments of each side. It will also examine the possible consequences of a victorious “Remain” or “Leave” vote on the British economy, immigration policy, and Cameron’s government, as well as the referendum’s likely effects on the EU and international community.
Are you a British expat?  #YourVoteMatters! Register to vote in the upcoming UK Elections
Saturday, 11 June 2016, 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm
A spectacular dinner and dance evening
For sponsorship opportunities or any other enquiries, contact Annabel Lavielle
SAVE THE DATE: 24 June 2016
Why was the Reagan-Thatcher Relationship so special
Thursday, 24 June 2016, 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Location TBD
Charles Moore, author of the widely acclaimed biography of Margaret Thatcher, will be speaking about the special relationship between Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan.
BBS joins GooglersGive
Good news on the donations front we have become eligible for Google’s Employee Hiving Program, “GooglersGive”.  We were nominated by a Goole employee for inclusion in their Employee Giving Program, GooglersGive.
Any of our Google friends and members can now make a donation through the platform GooglersGive.
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 mission is to serve British people moving to, transient or resident in the consular territories supported by British Consulates in California.  Drawing strength from decades of experience and a strong resource base, we provide a comprehensive service to our community., helping with:
  • Financial relief, care coordination, community and support for those in need
  • Transition support for British Citizens moving to the US Pacific West Coast
  • Emergency relief awareness and preparedness, including an emergency registry
  • Connection to the UK, including strong links to cultural and educational events
We pursue our mission with compassion, respect and integrity because we are committed to our founding mandate of turning responsibility into action.
Our founder Sir William Lane Booker, CMG established the organization in July 1865 to look after British Citizens in California.  Since its beginning the BBS had continuously focused on helping British citizens transient or resident in the US Pacific Coast

Simon, a Brit in Silicon Valley: From entrepreneur, to homeless to entrepreneur again

Another relief case for the British Benevolent Society, supporting our community in need.

Simon had fallen into poverty and found himself homeless in SV without any support. It’s been two years now and he is turning things around. Six months ago he launched a startup without a cent in his pocket. Recently his new startup moved in it’s own office and has grown to a team of 12 people. Their mission: to clean up the cleaning industry. That means offering real living wages and offering a safe working environment.

Please do consider joining the British Benevolent Society and giving a small loan to Simon via Kiva Zip – he is trying to raise $10,000 by the end of the month. For every donation given Reid Hoffmann is graciously matching each individual donation up to $100 per donation. Lets help Simon get going.

BBS Networking for Good: Save the Dates

At BBS it’s always been in our DNA that our success helping those in need directly correlates with the well-being and participation of our members and contributors. That’s why earlier today we were proud to launch our very first ‘networking for good’ meeting in San Francisco where we invited members to come and mingle and talk about our outreach efforts and new programs.  13 of us gathered together in an informal atmosphere to meet and also talk about BBS and our future service to our community.

We are all part of our ever expanding network:  Today we were 13 members 1 brand new member, and 2 potential guests interested in membership. We discussed the BBS developments, ideas for newly arrived British citizens, and some needy cases that may require our help in the immediate future.

Photo 3 for blogPhoto for BlogPhoto 2 for blog

Thank you for coming and we look forward to our next meetings where we hope you will be able to join us and buy a cup of coffee and meet fellow BBS Members.

Save the Dates:

Marin:             Wednesday 9th March 10:00 to 12:00 pm

Anchorage cafe at 475 Gate ‪ ‪5 Rd, Sausalito, CA

Peninsula:      Wednesday 23rd March 10:100 to 12:00 pm

Caffe Roma, 143 S El Camino Real, Millbrae, CA

We will be sending out an evite to members who live in the Marin and Peninsula, if you have an interest in these networking events and do not live in the area please email us and we will register you. You are most welcome!  We do this to avoid sending too many emails to our members!

Finally, please feel free to bring friends along to these events who have affiliation to our mission helping those most in need, and please consider making a donation to the BBS by clicking here.  If you are interested in volunteering contact us to arrange a meeting.   We need your continued support for BBS’s important work.

Best wishes

Annabel and the BBS Team!

Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th Birthday Ball


Register Here

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to our BBS Community!  Thank you for supporting the British Benevolent Society (BBS) throughout 2015 and thank you for your renewed membership for 2016.

I am delighted to introduce myself as BBS’s first Executive Director with the aim to expand our membership and better serve our community.

As you know 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, crimes or other unfortunate circumstances to creating events that build our BBS community.

In 2016 we hope to build this community considerably, increasing membership, volunteer activities and establishing a vibrant network of individuals supporting our mission.  We want to increase the number of donors in order to expand our capacity to carry out our work.

You are a generous member of BBS and I would love to hear from you.  Please email me directly and set up a time we can talk or meet to give your thoughts on how we can support our community further.  We are eager to work with all our members to turn our vision of a just and compassionate community where everyone thrives.

We are preparing upcoming events for this new year including monthly BBS networking breakfasts which will take place at our offices in San Francisco (555 California, Suite 4925), meet ups, pub quizz’ and, of course one of the most expected events of the Year: Her Majesty the Queen’s 90th birthday celebration to take place on Saturday June 11th at the Fairmont: Save the date!  More details to follow.

Stay tuned for more in the coming months on our work—including blogs, events, and more.

Please consider making a donation to the BBS by clicking here

Please consider volunteering and contact us to arrange a meeting.  Please  renew your membership and encourage your friends to join.  We need your continued support for BBS’s important work.

A strong membership will insure a strong community that BBS promises to nurture.

I look forward to hearing from you and getting to know you all

Best wishes