Bela's Story

When Bela and Olen Howden tragically lost their parents and youngest sibling in a car accident, the Architects Benevolent Society was there to help them rebuild their lives.

Bela remembers how we gave her and her remaining family hope and support when they most needed it.

“We thank the Architect[s] Benevolent Society immensely and hope they can carry on helping other families in the same way they have helped us.” Bela

Bela’s story

Bela wrote to thank us for all the help we’d given – here’s her story in her own words.

“My name is Bela Howden. I am thirteen years old, fourteen in January. I am writing to the Architect Benevolent Society to say thank you for helping to look after us since my parents died.

My father was an architect, and he had his own business called Simon Howden Architect. This was the business that he had started by himself.

I live with my younger brother, Olen and granny, Babi. We have lived together since 2008, when me and my family were involved in a car accident. This killed both my parents (31 and 43 years.) And my younger sister Amalka, (23 months).

After we had come home from the hospital, our house was still a mess, because we had only just moved in. The Architect Benevolent Society helped Babi fix up our house (she didn’t really understand English). They helped us buy carpets, windows, and decorate our house. They even helped replace a washing machine!

We lived there for six years, and we planted three trees in our garden, in memory of our parents and Amalka, and to remember how much the Architect Benevolent Society have helped us since 2008.

Now, we live together in a new house. We still have furniture and pictures, from when our parents were around, so we can still have them with us. Now I can fit into my mum’s jeans, and love her high heels!

The Architect Benevolent Society sends us a card each Christmas asking us how we are.

We thank the Architect Benevolent Society immensely, and hope they can carry on helping other families in the same way they have helped us.

Bela Howden”

How we helped Bela’s family rebuild

When Bela and Olen left hospital and their Grandmother came to live with them, we gave a significant financial gift to the family which immediately helped with living essentials (including school uniforms and meals). We also helped with the cost of the house repairs and some essential re-decoration.

We have been able to give them ongoing support too, with a monthly grant which helped to ensure that their Grandmother was able to support the family without having to worry about their financial situation.

Building new lives and a promising future

Now, Bela, Olen and their Grandmother live in a new home, where the promises of a great future lie ahead.

Share this:

  • Redundancy Support

    If in the current climate you are facing redundancy please see here for more information, including how the ABS can help you.
  • Here when you need us

    Click here for housing advice, financial assistance, mental health support or legal guidance. Architects Benevolent Society are here to help!
  • ABS Covid-19 Response

    Architects Benevolent Society would like to assure those in the wider architectural community that we are here to help and continue to offer our support services.