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The BCC Support Fund

October 14, 2021

In June 2020, the "BCC Support Fund" was set up to provide funds to member associations who developed a project to assist British Citizens resident in France with needs arising from Brexit or Covid-19.

Applications were reviewed by members of the BCC's Executive Committee, and three member associations were successful in obtaining a grant of €2,000 each.

The Old School - to help vulnerable British nationals who struggle to understand - or who do not currently fit - the necessary criteria for application for a residency permit in France.

Cancer Support France - whose existing client group is vulnerable due to their own cancer diagnosis and treatment, or because they are the carer or a close family member. Many have lived in France without fully integrating into official systems or into the community. Many are not IT literate. There is the potential for feelings of extreme isolation, especially at a time of personal or national health crisis. The further support would be of direct benefit to this group and will be opened to those in similar situations but who are not suffering from Cancer.

The British Charitable Fund - Sadly, cases of the loss of a partner, through death, divorce or separation, are not infrequent, and often lead to the severe diminution of the surviving or remaining partner’s income. The BCF can intervene by the payment of domestic bills, to give time to the person supported to establish their new direction. In certain cases, that will involve repatriation, in which case the BCF may assist with the costs. In others, the BCF may provide income support while the person seeks employment.When the person’s age means that employment is not a likely option, the BCF may supplement their pension income, if it is inadequate to support an acceptable quality of life. A donation of € 2,000 allows the BCF to support five families for a month; it may seem small,but it’s of enormous importance to them, and it means that other resources can go that little bit further.

At the BCC's Quarterly Meeting on 13th October 2021, Louise Cossey, Chair, gave the following update on the BCC Sipport Fund:

"We have received some questions in the last quarter about the Support Fund and whether any further grants are planned. In 2020, there was the twin impact of Brexit and the pandemic and so the Executive Committee determined it would provide financial support to member associations who provide direct assistance to British Nationals with problems arising from a major change in their situation such as loss or rights due to Brexit, or the need to be assisted with the registration process for a "titre de séjour", the loss of a partner, serious illness, changes in circumstances due to Covid or any other life-changing issues arising as a result of Brexit, Covid or both. At the moment, the Support Fund is dormant but it could come up again and be reinstated in the future if similar widespread, exceptional, life-changing issues are encountered in France."