Founded in 1946, the British Residents’ Association of Switzerland (BRA) is a non profit organisation, for British, Commonwealth and Irish Citizens.
The Association organises numerous cultural, recreational, and social events in each of its regions for the benefit of its members.
The BRA also promotes friendship between its members and the people of Switzerland, helping the membership to know Switzerland’s different regional cultures and assisting them to integrate into Swiss life.
We look forward to meeting you soon at one of our regional events.
UK State Pension and Benefits post Brexit.
The BRA Council thought it would be useful to publish the following extracts from the UK government’s website gov.uk. They concern the UK State Pension and Benefits payable to UK expats living in Switzerland. ““Living in the EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 If you are a UK national living in an EEA state or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. You will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions. If you are working in the EEA or Switzerland, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension. You will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive in the EEA or Switzerland for as long as you continue to live there, and continue to meet all other eligibility requirements.”” The full text can be found by googling “Benefits and pensions for UK nationals in the EEA or Switzerland”. Pension boost protected by new bill The Government has moved to avoid a State Pension freeze. (Press release […]
MESSAGE FROM YOUR CHAIRWOMAN
Dear Members, By now you will all have read that Graham Robertson has stepped down as Chairman and as Vice Chairperson I have stepped up and taken over as Acting Chairwoman until the next AGM. Our thanks go to Graham for all he has done for the BRA since he became Chairman 4 years ago especially his hard work in taking us forward and keeping the BRA afloat through the difficult times. He has always kept you the Members up to date with his interesting and informative mails which I know have been very much appreciated. We look forward to seeing Graham and his wife Di at future events. Taking on a new post is a bit like being in a relay race you take over the baton, run on and hope you are as good as all the previous runners, of course each one us of will run in our own way, but the end result is the same, to succeed. I would like to thank you all for your messages of support and goodwill. I am extremely lucky to have the support of the Council and hopefully be holding our next Council meeting on the 29 October, this […]
Personal Message from Graham Robertson
Dear BRA Members, I regret that personal circumstances have led me to resign from the BRA Council and as your Chairman. Although I was working towards retiring some time next year, I have had to bring my plans forward. Let me assure you that this in no way results from any reduction in my continuing regard for the BRA or by ill health. Simply stated, over the last few years I have pushed back non-BRA matters which now require my time to implement them without further delay. In leaving the Council, I would like to put on record that I have felt honoured and pleased that you allowed me to be your Chairman for so many years. I am grateful for the kindness, guidance and support afforded me by the BRA membership and by your hard-working Councillors. I must pay especial tribute to the honorary officers and the editors of the BRA who have done so much over the recent difficult period to keep the BRA alive. Although disappointed at leaving prematurely, I go remembering the old dictum that we are each just like a hand in a bucket of water: When the hand is removed the water finds its […]
HEIDI MICHELLE BIGMORE. NEW BRA SECRETARY.
Heidi Bigmore, our new BRA Secretary, has UK and Swiss nationality, was born in England, educated in Scotland and lives with her family near to Schaffhausen. When younger, she lived in a number of European countries and she moved to Switzerland to work in 1994. Heidi is fluent in spoken and written German, has a good working knowledge of French and speaks basic conversational Italian, Spanish and Portuguese. With qualifications and wide experience in the tourism, hotel and catering industry, she more recently branched out to teaching English to adults and now runs her own British Shop and German-English language centre in Schaffhausen. Heidi is a committee member of the English Speaking Club of Schaffhausen and works to promote British culture and language locally. She came through as the preferred candidate in a selection process which included a large number of high-quality applicants. Once we have the opportunity again to arrange BRA National Events, you will have the chance to meet Heidi in person. Until then, she will be your new contact for emails, letters and telephone calls to the Secretary — but please give her a chance to adapt to our way of doing things. For my part, I […]
CORONAVIRUS UPDATE FROM UK EMBASSY, BERNE
Dear Friends and Colleagues, I hope this message finds you well despite the challenging circumstances we are living through. I should like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued commitment, resilience and the hard work for the British Residents’ Association, an organisation which plays an important role in bringing together some of the over 40,000 Brits living in Switzerland and Liechtenstein. We are grateful for your engagement, especially in times like these. You may be interested in some background on what the UK is doing in response to current pandemic. We are leading the way in tackling the spread of the virus as one of the biggest donors to the international response. We have already pledged £744 million of UK aid to help end this pandemic as quickly as possible. That includes £250 million towards the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations to rapidly develop a coronavirus vaccine. At home in the UK, it has been especially rewarding to see the overwhelming support for our NHS and other essential workers. Over 750,000 volunteers have registered to support the NHS in one of the biggest challenges it has ever faced, and every Thursday our country shows its appreciation by […]
Around Europe, all countries have been implementing measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection. Please click on the blue link below to find the latest restrictions introduced by the Swiss Federal authorities. New coronavirus Remember: Your local canton or commune might introduce further measures which affect you. You will find a separate message on this site giving information on the responses by the UK and French authorities. BRA will provide additional information on this Website when it becomes available. Graham Robertson, BRA Chairman
BRA POLICY ON COVID-19 VIRUS
BRA is monitoring the propagation of Covid-19 in our area and taking seriously the effect that it could have on our members and BRA activities. Based on Swiss government advice, there are currently no plans to postpone or cancel any upcoming BRA events but we need to keep the situation under review in case that advice should change. Although the Federal Government has published its restrictions on gatherings, each Canton, Commune or Municipality has the authority to decide more stringent regulations of its own. Both the Canton of Bern and the City of Coire (Chur) have done so and others are likely to follow. Therefore, it is important that BRA Regional Chairmen remain aware of regulations in their area and comply with any restrictions imposed when planning, organising or cancelling events. In line with WHO advice, all should accept that some attendees may be reluctant to greet by shaking hands or with gestures involving physical contact. Members are advised to monitor the BRA diary on the website in case the authorities advise that an event must be cancelled. Any member who decides that it would not be sensible for them to attend an event is requested to inform the organiser in sufficient time to […]
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