Our History

The history of the Swiss Benevolent Society London can be traced back to 1703 when the Société des Suisses was formed. Over the subsequent three centuries, it went through a number of transformations, but its objectives have always remained the same: to render mutual aid to its members in case of illness, during convalescence and in old age.

The Society has always adapted to socioeconomic changes of the times. For example, in the 19th century, there were periods of considerable immigration from the poorest regions of Switzerland with new arrivals seeking employment, the economic downturn in the UK in the early 20th century and an influx of au pairs in the 1960s.

Today, with increased life expectancy, assistance is frequently sought by our older compatriots. In addition to our traditional forms of financial support, the Society now also arranges an annual Tea Party for Swiss compatriots celebrating their 80th, 85th, 90th, etc. birthdays.


  • Swiss House, 34–35 Fitzroy Square, London, W1
  • Swiss Benevolent Society, 1870–1959
  • Swiss Hostel for Girls, 1957
  • Au Pair Meeting at Swiss Hostel for Girls
  • Swiss Hostel for Girls, bedroom, 1957
  • Au Pair arriving at Victoria Station
  • Au Pairs arriving at Victoria Station
  • Miss Rosie Preiswerk, 1st Warden of Swiss Hostel for Girls
  • Miss Marguerite Wolfer with Au Pair
  • Miss Wolfer interviews Miss Renée Becker, shoes home town is Zurich, with reference to her employment in London. 31/01/1950
  • Miss Marguerite Wolfer, Welfare Officer with an Au Pair at a British family's home
  • Miss Marguerite Wolfer, Social Worker, Welfare Office
  • Miss Marguerite Wolfer with Au Pair
  • Swiss Hostel for Girls, Belsize Grove, NW3, London 1975
  • Opening Swiss Hostel for Girls, London 1957


A more detailed history of the Swiss Benevolent Society London can be seen here.