Benefactor who saved thousands honoured

The British Charitable Fund has, in 2018, been celebrating the bicentenary of the birth of one of its most famous benefactors, Sir Richard Wallace, who gave both his money and time to help starving British men, women and children during the Prussian siege of Paris, between September 1870 to June 1871.

Wallace funded clean drinking water fountains for Parisian poor
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He was chairman from 1870 until his death in 1890.

The British Charitable Fund was founded in 1823 to help British residents living in hardship in France. It has no government or institutional funding but depends on donations, legacies and fundraising events.

The charity gives top-up long or short-term monthly grants to help with outgoings such as rent, electricity, food and heating. They sometimes also pay for essential repairs, basic household equipment, clothing, medical expenses, education and training to help someone get back into the job market. In December, they will send out Christmas and heating grants.

BCF chairman Julia Kett said: “Sir Richard was an extraordinary man, a great art collector and philanthropist whose commitment to the well-being of the poor in Paris should never be forgotten. At the BCF we aim to carry his spirit forward, addressing to the best of our ability the changing but ever-growing need within the British community in France.”

The charity said applications have increased sharply since 2006. Now there is the added anxiety of Brexit and what it may bring. The Connexion supports the BCF by giving some of the proceeds of the sale of calendars to the charity.