A kind word from Ambassador Markus Leitner, SBS PatronWednesday, December 20th, 2023
The Swiss Benevolent Society London might not be the most visible and most spectacular Swiss association in the UK. But for more than 300 years – in different configurations – the Society has supported, discreetly and efficiently, Swiss citizens in need of assistance.
It is this hands-on support and the immediate impact on the lives of vulnerable Swiss compatriots that make the Society such an important element of the Swiss community in the UK and a key partner of the Swiss Embassy.
When I arrived in 2021, the Society organized a virtual Christmas for its members which I gladly joined. The COVID period with its lockdowns and economic challenges still has repercussions today and the Swiss Benevolent Society continues to support Swiss members with economic needs and mental health issues.
Last year, I joined the Tea Party that celebrated compatriots who have turned 80, 85, 90 etc. Each participant told a different life story of leaving Switzerland and settling in the UK. Many still have family ties in Switzerland. This get-together provided a sense of community that all the participants visibly enjoyed. I hope that we will see another Tea Party next year.
I would like to thank the President, the Board, the Social Workers and all the volunteers for their tremendous contributions throughout the year. We are fortunate to have such a vibrant and active Swiss Benevolent Society in the United Kingdom.
I wish the Society and all its members all the best for 2024.
The Ambassador Markus Leitner
Ambassador of Switzerland to the United Kingdom