The British Council Association  

Stimulating visit and events with like-minded people: what’s not to like? The British Council Association (BCA) has dropped its original ‘retirement‘ label, attracted younger members and sought to change with the times.

Our website will give you an up to date snapshot of our activities and you can follow us on our Facebook page. Our Oral History project, in partnership with the British Library, is an example of activity of benefit to the British Council as a whole but which would not have happened without the experience and resources of BCA members; and plans are afoot for more projects in areas relevant to British Council work.

We have branches in the North of England and Scotland but need more members outside London and the South East of England. Just as employment in the British Council has changed, so too must the membership profile of the BCA. We warmly welcome anyone who has worked for the British Council in whatever capacity, and that includes the large cohort of teachers who deliver so much of the British Council’s activity.

Whatever your feelings about the organisation on leaving it, the BCA offers everyone the opportunity to mix with people who have shared your experiences of the British Council and of working in an international environment, whether based in the UK or overseas. In effect it provides a forum to continue the debate on cultural relations, but in more informal and sociable surroundings. 

We plan our visits and events to reflect the interests of members, and our speakers to keep members up to date both with what is going on in the British Council and in areas of interest to the British Council. The journalist, broadcaster and British Council Trustee Kirsty Lang was a recent speaker, and visits in 2015 included the Royal Opera House, the Supreme Court, Wells Cathedral and the Whitechapel Bell Foundry.  The Theatre group takes in a wide range of plays and the winter reception is just to be social.

Membership currently stands at around 650 and our regular Newsletter (New Horizons) offers a forum for debate, creativity, reminiscing and record keeping. The BCA maintains links with similar alumni associations run by the FCO, DFID, the CDC and others, with invitations to events. All in all, the BCA is open to ideas and change, and the more new members we have, the greater the energy and commitment we shall have to develop further.

You don’t have to wait for retirement—sign up now!


Ian Stewart – British Council Association