British Charitable Fund, Paris

A charity for the British community in France

Making a difference


© 2014 - The British Charitable Fund, Paris • Website design and illustration by Yukié Matsushita

Making a difference

Ben and Edith - Keeping warm

Ben and Edith retired to France in 2000. The unfavourable exchange rate reduced their pension considerably and by the end of last year, they were in dire straits. They had to borrow money for a major car repair, which was essential as they live 5kms from the nearest village, and then the heating system broke down. They no longer had hot water and the house was extremely cold but they had no possibility of raising a further loan to do any repairs.

They were relying on electric heaters which they moved from room to room, and Ben’s severe arthritis was aggravated by the cold. We were able to replace the boiler and install convector heaters.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at the BCF, Paris, for the magnificent grant which has been awarded to us. It’s amazing how we were able to actually sleep through the night the day we were told of the award. So, a very big thank you to all for that!”

Phyllis, aged 87 - living in a small village in Brittany
with her daughter

“When the phone rang the other day, I unfortunately could hear nothing except that a nice person was speaking to me in English. The only word I could really hear was Paris, so guessed who it was. At the end of the conversation, my daughter said ‘I think she said they would be trying to help us’. Then within a short time your wonderful letter and the news that your committee would indeed help us and in such a splendid way. After all our recent troubles, I feel so very blessed by your help and I can assure you that not one penny of your gift will be wasted.”

Jill’s family and the joy of being able to buy new shoes

Jill and her family came to live in France in 2006 but her husband left and stopped supporting them in December 2012. Jill had a desperate struggle to make ends meet and was referred to us by the Consulate. We helped with grants for food, basic living expenses and clothing for the children.

“I was completely overwhelmed when I opened my mail today, and found a clothing grant for Dan and Laura. They are greatly in need of clothing and shoes; we have been gluing our shoes with Super-Glue for an awfully long time now! And thankfully Laura is about the same clothing size as me, so we share clothes! We will be able to get some bargains because the sales have started! Thank you once again for helping us at this difficult time (It was totally unexpected).”

Bill, aged 55, a self-employed lorry driver, unable to work after a serious fall at home; living alone, savings almost gone

“I would like to express my sincere thanks and gratitude for the support the trust has given me over the last two years, a period when financially life has been very difficult for me, happily things are improving and I can see some light at the end of the tunnel. My heartfelt thanks to the trust.”

Caroline aged 70 and returning home after spinal surgery and convalescence

“Please convey my thanks to your committee for the ‘Get Well’ card and cheque I received when I returned home from my convalescence. I am also grateful for the Christmas card and cheque, a most welcome addition to funds at this time of the year, thank you. I have bought myself some extra logs and two more 20 litre bottles of paraffin in case the winter turns as cold as the last one. The last nine months have been very difficult but your grant will help me to put my life back together. I hope that my health problems will soon be something I can put behind me, and concentrate on my future! Thank you again for your help.”

A fresh start for Sandra’s family

“I received our passports today. I’ve booked the ferry and we are now on our way. Thank you for all your help in getting my children and myself home. Your kindness is greatly appreciated, and won't be forgotten. I wish you all well for the future, and again thank you so very much.”

And for single dad, Alan, needing temporary support to get through a serious bout of ill-health;

Unable to work for several months at his small gardener/handyman business, Alan soon found debts mounting and the family’s living expenses almost impossible to meet. He is now fully recovered and gradually building up his business again. Life is back on track.

“Thank you not only for the financial support you have given me and my girls but also the moral support as well. There have been times when without hearing a friendly English voice, I think I would have cracked up completely. Thank you for being who you are and for your great kindness. I will not forget you.”