/Event Past

Curry Night with the BBS

Curry Night with the BBS
Date:  Wednesday 24 May
Time:  6-8PM

Please join us in Mill Valley at Prabh Indian Kitchen for curry and socializing with fellow BBS members!

Members and non-members are welcome to come along and enjoy a night of curry!  Cost per person is $45 including tax and tip.  Tickets includes a variety of chicken, lamb and curry dishes along with one drink (wine or beer).

Please pre register on Eventbrite by 17 May.

British Benevolent Society 2017 Annual General Meeting

The Directors and Offices of the British Benevolent Society of California cordially invite you to attend the 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM)

The AGM will begin at 5:00PM and a wine and hors d’oeuvres reception will follow. Please note that there is no charge to attend the meeting only but there is a charge to attend the reception.


Thursday, April 6 at 5:00 p.m.


The Bay School San Francisco
35 Keyes Avenue
The Manson Room
San Francisco, CA 94129

We ask that all attending RSVP for both the AGM and the reception.

Please register for the event through EventBrite here

Veterans Event – The Journey Home – Nov 17

The Journey Home – A collaborative celebration of our veterans returning to Civilian Life

To register:



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

Two Invictus Games Competitors Receive Opportunity of a Lifetime Thanks to British Benevolent Society

Invictus Games Logo


London, 9 June 2016 – Two Invictus Games competitors have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to head to San Francisco where they will share their experience with other wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women and find out more about programs that actively recruit veterans into work.

The trip has been made possible thanks to a partnership between the Invictus Games Foundation and the British Benevolent Society (BBS).

Louisa Walker, who competed in the inaugural Invictus Games in 2014 and Nathan Cumberland, who participated in both the London 2014 and Orlando 2016 Games, were selected by a judging panel as the two competitors who would most benefit from this opportunity.

Nathan Cumberland was in the British Army for 10 years where he served in the Grenadier Guards and within the 3rd Battalion Parachute regiment in the Guards Parachute platoon. As well as Operational Deployments in Kenya and the Falkland Islands, Nathan was deployed to Afghanistan. It was there in 2009 that he stood on an IED which resulted in him losing his left leg below the knee and the right leg above the knee. For Nathan, taking part in the Invictus Games has been hugely beneficial in helping him train towards the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games and competing alongside injured comrades.

Louisa currently works in the National Cyber Crime Unit at the National Crime Agency. Prior to this she spent 16 years in the Royal Signals and competed in many sports, representing the Corps. Injured in the Falkland Islands in 2012, it took a while for the full extent of her injury to settle and accept that as well losing her favorite job, she wouldn’t be able to compete in the sports she enjoyed so much.

The jam-packed schedule will include exciting activities such as visiting Lucasfilm, the studio best known for creating and producing the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises. Nathan and Louisa will also have a video call with representatives from Disney’s Heroes to Work scheme, a company-wide initiative to hire, train and support returning veterans.

They will spend time at Google where they will meet some members of the organization’s veteran’s network. This 1,200 strong network is made up of veterans, reservists and family or friends who come together to create a community of support and service.

Their visit to San Francisco will also include two visits to non-profits supporting veterans – the Farmer Veteran Coalition whose mission is to mobilize veterans to help feed America and Swords to Plowshares, a community-based organization which provides essential assistance to roughly 3,000 veterans in the San Francisco Bay Area each year.

Nathan, who is one of only very few amputees in the UK trying out a prosthetic made by LIM Innovations, a R&D firm based in San Francisco, will have a chance to meet other amputees and hear from them on how they are adapting to their prosthetics.

The visit coincides with the British Benevolent Society’s Ball to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday, held in collaboration with the British American Business Council of Northern California and the St. Andrew’s Society of San Francisco. At this event Nathan and Louisa will be sharing their story to an audience of 250 people.

Nathan Cumberland explains: “The Invictus Games is so much more than just taking part in sport, it also gives you a huge boost in self-confidence and pride. I know that being involved in the Invictus Games has played a huge part in my recovery – it helped me realize that I do get a second chance at life and that I can make the most of it. I’m really looking forward to the trip to San Francisco and having the chance to share my experience with fellow wounded warriors.”

Louisa Walker adds: “I’ve had a lot of ups and downs with my recovery. In 2014 the first Invictus Games were held in London and there was a buzz of excitement in the air. Many others like me who strive to compete in sports and be part of a team were getting that opportunity to do so again. I realized that there was nothing to stop me getting involved in adaptive sports. I thank the Invictus Games for this opportunity and reminding me that injury is not the end, it’s the beginning!”

Dominic Reid, Managing Director of the Invictus Games Foundation explains: “We’re very grateful to the British Benevolent Society for giving two Invictus Games competitors this incredible opportunity. It’s a fantastic chance for them to share their story and experience but also learn a huge amount from other organizations doing such great work in supporting veterans. We look forward to hearing about all they learn on this trip and using this knowledge to help the Invictus Games Foundation support even more wounded, injured and sick Service personnel.

Kathleen Kimura MBE, President of the British Benevolent Society said: “The BBS is extremely proud and excited to have formed this relationship with the Invictus Games Foundation and looks forward to continuing to expand on that relationship in its mission to assist British citizens in need.”

The British Benevolent Society is a charity which raises and spends money for the aid, relief, maintenance and assistance of sick, elderly, disabled or financially distressed British citizens, who are resident or transient in California or who are resident or transient in any of the states covered by the British Consulate General office located in California.

– Ends –

For more information about the Invictus Games Foundation, please contact Julie Burley at Julie.burley@invictusgames.org or +44 (0) 7974302999.

For the latest information on the Invictus Games Foundation see:
Twitter www.twitter.com/weareinvictus @weareinvictus #invictusgames
Facebook: www.facebook.com/invictuslondon
YouTube: www.youtube.com/invictuslondon

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