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Helping families in dire straits

The British Benevolent Fund was founded over a century ago to provide financial help for those Britons in extreme difficulty and with no other resources.

For over 100 years the BBF has sought to help people with nowhere to turn – many times exasperated by ill health.

We presently have a case of a British family in dire straits. The father, in his 40s, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer late last year and has been unable to work. The mother, distraught is trying to keep everything together – helping him get through the day as well as her three young children.

The father was the only breadwinner, although self-employed, was behind his social security payments and has been battling to get his full entitlement – which he can only do once his arrears have been settled. In the meantime, the family have been applying for other state support, but it doesn't cover the bills – all of which are now in arrears.

The family are in a terrible situation where day-to-day family life has been broken by the lack of income, not to mention the awful diagnosis and medical condition that has taken over their lives.

Now the regular doctors' appointments, tests and rounds of treatment are their weekly lives.

Working with partner charities such as those on the embassy supported the BBF is desperately looking for a longer-term solution. If his treatment of him is successful, it is hoped that he will be able to return to work – and if not – then planning should be in place for the worst.

The BBF is clearing the utility bills and granting a subsistence amount so that basic necessities can be provided and the family can keep their heads above water. In addition, money for the frequent round trip to the hospital and, of course, for the children.

But it's not a solution and it's not enough – we are working to find a solution with the landlord to see if something can be done – and in the meantime our hopes and prayers for a recovery.

If you would like to help with a donation for this and so many other cases that we have at this time – please visit to see how you can help.

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