Coronavirus - Membership Information

Covid-19 - Membership Information

Information from the Royal British Legion is being cascaded to Branches, however the County Committee felt it important to put all up to date information on our website.  This will be placed in date order as received.



Members of The Royal British Legion must follow the guidelines and advice issued by the government or their local authority*. 

Branch activities

Branch activities may now be resumed as long as they are conducted in accordance with the latest guidance issued by their relative governments and local authorities.  

Branches must not undertake any activities that could potentially put at risk themselves, their members or members of the public. Generally we should aim to limit interaction and time spent together as much as possible, and keeping group sizes to the minimum required to undertake necessary activity. Additionally, detailed guidance will continue to be published by Head Office in relation to specific Legion activities e.g. VJ Day and Poppy Appeal.

Before undertaking any activity you should ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Is the activity absolutely necessary? Can the objectives be achieved via other means, e.g. online or via telephone?
  • Will it be attended by people who are more vulnerable? Can they be involved in a different way, i.e. where their health will not be put at any risk?
  • Is the location safe? Can you ensure social distancing is in place? Can you ensure the area is properly cleaned and disinfected before and after the activity?


Funeral attendance is still restricted by Government advice to specific groups and individuals, therefore Standard Bearers should not attend unless they fall into any of the allowed categories of people, but lining the procession routes is now allowed. Standard Bearers should keep safe distance from other people.

If the funeral takes place outside England, local guidelines must be followed.

Branch Occupied Properties (not Clubs)

Branches occupying their own premises should not use them and cannot hire them to third parties. The Legion Estates Team are reviewing government statutory compliance responsibilities on a regular basis and may require the help of some branches to open up properties for inspection purposes only, although it is envisaged this will not be before 31 August 2020. Any further questions about branch occupied properties and their usage can be sent to: 

Beneficiary support

Home and hospital visits are currently not allowed and Branch Community Support activities are limited to Telephone Buddies. As previously stated, this will assist in controlling the spread of the virus.

Remember to follow the common advice 

  • Wear face coverings while travelling on public transport, in shops and supermarkets
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser; this is particularly important after taking public transport
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Always carry tissues with you to cover your cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in a bin
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment

UK Government (advice which mainly applies only to England), all information on coronavirus is brought together @

A series of Frequently Asked Questions about some of the latest announced measures is available @

Scottish Government:

Guidance including on distancing and shielding is @

Welsh Government:

Guidance on staying at home and away from others:

Northern Ireland Executive:

Guidance on staying at home and self-isolation can be found @

Isle of Man Government:

Government of Jersey:

States of Guernsey:

Republic of Ireland:


Message from The County Chairman - Reviewed 26/06/2020 - sent to members 19/06/2020

This message is to clarify the recent email sent out by Sandra Fruish, Assistant Director Membership to all Branches.

Currently and until things change at a national level, the position of the Royal British Legion is as per the Government's guidance. To remind yourselves and further clarify the details, please follow this link, for Covid19.

The Royal British Legion official line remains; no gatherings or meetings are allowed as yet.

This also means that no ceremonial events can take place as yet.

A Standard Bearer can attend a funeral with the Standard and parade accordingly, for a family member ONLY!

Branches are not to Parade at a War Memorial, Cenotaph or any public event!

I wholeheartedly urge you to follow the guidance and stay as safe as you possibly can. Please act responsibly, as I know that the vast majority of you have done during the last 88 days.

Continue planning for events later in the year, as it is easier to cancel than rush around at the last minute trying to throw something together. Lockdown will continue ease but let us allow that process to happen safely, carefully and not rush it...

We are familiar with Covid 19 spikes across Countries where lockdown has been relaxed further than in the UK and we’re currently awaiting results to see if we ourselves, will suffer a spike due to recent protests across the country, this means that we’re far from safe as yet.

Please follow Government advice and stay at home as much as possible, to ensure that you and your family stay safe and healthy.

I would like to say a very personal thank you, for the incredible work that you are performing in line with BCS, Branch Community Support. Please continue your efforts in assisting our members, our beneficiaries and everyone in our communities. The difference  that you are making and the support that you are giving, is at the very core of our organisation and you are proving every day, how valuable and worthwhile are your commitments…

Stay safe - Marc

3rd June 2020 - Information Only and General Awareness


The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has had over 600,000 reports of scams related to COVID 19.  So if you get a “Track and Trace related contact, how do you know it’s real? 

How the real Track and Trace works.

If you have symptoms of COVID 19 you get tested.

If you test positive, you will be contacted by the NHS within a week, by text, email, or phone.

At this point the NHS will not ask you for any personal information upfront.

You will be given a unique ID Number to log on to the NHS Test and Track website.

Once logged in, you will be asked basic information, name, address, date of birth, the names of the people you live with, places you have recently visited, the names and contact details of people you were in touch with around 48 hours before you developed symptoms.


A Smartphone app that automatically alerts people if they have been in contact with someone with the virus is still only being tested in the Isle of Wight.

If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive.

NHS Test and Track will get in touch with you via phone, text or email. They will ask that you Self Isolate for 14 days. You could be asked to do this multiple times.

They will NEVER ask for personal details, or bank/payment details.

You will not be asked to pass on the details of others you have been in contact with.

Always check the caller/senders information. The only number used is; 0300 0135000. The only website is

If the call, text, or email comes from any other address, it is a scam.

How to report a scam.

Contact ACTION FRAUD, tel 0300 1232040

If you have already given out bank details, contact your bank immediately, and keep an eye on any unexpected bills/ invoices and your credit report.


13th May 2020

On Sunday the Government announced its latest guidance on Covid19 and social distancing; however, because of the ongoing threat to individuals the Legion is not changing its position and the previous guidance for members still stands, in that all non-essential meetings should be cancelled or postponed.  These include branch and county/district meetings and remembrance events at war memorials. 

We continue to urge members to follow the government advice, particularly guidance on social distancing for the over 70’s and vulnerable people, which includes avoiding large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces.  

For further information and advice members should refer to the website;  however, there are some variations in the advice and guidance provided by different governments. Below are some helpful links to official information:

UK Government (advice which mainly applies only to England), all information on coronavirus is brought together @

A series of Frequently Asked Questions about some of the latest announced measures is available @

Scottish Government:

Guidance including on distancing and shielding is @

Welsh Government:

Guidance on staying at home and away from others:

Northern Ireland Executive:

Guidance on staying at home and self-isolation can be found @

Isle of Man Government:

Government of Jersey:

States of Guernsey:

Republic of Ireland:

Others overseas should check the relevant websites of their national and/or regional government.


24th April 2020

This message is sent on behalf of the Director General.  

Dear All,

Over these last weeks I have spoken to many people who are doing all they can to keep our country and communities working, from those in the big supermarkets to friends trying to run their own small businesses, from those who are Serving to politicians and to delivery drivers, from other charities to staff working across the Legion and with members who are supporting our beneficiaries in communities across the UK and Europe. We are all facing real and fundamental issues with huge unknowns and many common challenges and shared concerns. All are doing their very best to understand and navigate this new world. None have all the answers. None expect to get everything right but all I have spoken to are determined to play their part as best they can and build stronger communities and nations as we emerge from this.

The Legion was created as a response to massive challenge and change. The red poppy took root and grew as a national (indeed international) symbol of remembrance and hope. This short message reflects those challenges and that shared determination. Please forgive the rather home made recording.


21st April 2020


This message has been sent on behalf of the Chairman of the Membership Council. Please share with all of your branches.

Good afternoon - We have recently received a number of enquiries from branches and members about the possibility of holding branch meetings and attending War Memorials on the 8th May to lay a wreath and hold small services. The Legion continues to have the health of our beneficiaries, volunteers, members and employees is our priority. We are taking our lead from government advice on social distancing, which is:

Stay at home
· Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)

· If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times

· Wash your hands as soon as you get home

· Do not meet others, even friends or family.

In accordance with this instruction, and as previously advised, we strongly recommend that all non-essential meetings are cancelled or postponed. These include branch and county/district meetings and remembrance events at war memorials.

We also urge that members follow the government advice, particularly guidance on social distancing for the over 70’s and vulnerable people, which includes avoiding large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces.

The Membership Council will be considering how the lockdown may affect branch compliance this year and providing guidance if it becomes necessary.

Keep safe.

Jason Coward
Trustee and Chairman of the Membership Council

11th April 2020


The Board of Trustees met yesterday, on the 7th April 2020 for their usual board meeting. As you can appreciate, the meeting focussed on the challenges facing the organisation in light of Covid-19 and we felt it important to update you on some key decisions that will affect the membership.

Election Results for New Trustees

We are pleased to announce the results of the election for new trustees. The new trustees that we look forward to welcoming to the Board in May are:

Lynda Atkins (elected after appointed term)

Rod Bedford (re-elected)

Helen Owen (newly elected)

Tony Goodwin (newly elected)

We would like to thank our departing Trustee Denise Edgar for all of her hard work on behalf of the Royal British Legion in the ten years she has held the role.

Annual Conference

You will already be aware that due to the Covid19 pandemic, and subsequent measures imposed by Government to prevent social interaction, the Board of Trustees agreed not to proceed with the RBL Annual Conference 2020 in its current format. We have sought legal advice on how we may proceed in order to meet the legal obligations of conference and as a result we voted to exercise our right to make a simple amendment to the Rules; limited to this year only. This amendment will enable the new Elected Trustees to take office when they were expecting to had we not had to postpone Conference.

We intend to hold an Annual Conference to undertake the remaining business of conference later in the Autumn. Due to the logistical challenges of delivering such a large event, the look and feel of this conference is likely to be very different to the norm. Options are now being explored as to how this can be undertaken and we will update you with information as decisions are made.


This is an area close to all of our hearts and we are acutely aware of the financial difficulties that clubs are facing at this time.

Since the original direction to close pubs and clubs the Government has made available several very significant initiatives to provide support and assistance to private businesses; many of those will be of benefit to Royal British Legion Clubs. We all want what is best for our clubs and that is why we believe the best thing to do would be to take advantage of the government schemes set out to look after all those affected in this sector. We will of course, continue to work with all affected clubs and provide assistance wherever we are able. We are also currently considering a range of different measures and assistance that we hope to use when clubs can re-open.

7th April 2020

COVID-19 - Message from the Director General

It can all feel like a roller coaster at the moment. There are real challenges for us all as we try look after our loved ones and do the best we can in our work. The global news is tough and it is impossible not to worry for the future. But this week I have been speaking to members and colleagues across the Legion, and whilst of course there are challenges, all I have heard is how we are facing them and fixing them step by step and delivering amazing support, drawing strength from our families and caring for those in our communities.

One of the people I spoke with this week was Jo-Anne Wilson, Manager at Galanos House. Our care homes are on the very front line at the moment, caring for the most vulnerable. Please watch this short video as Jo shows us how they are getting on:

Resilience is not just about how we just endure, but rather it comes from understanding how we recharge ourselves. Listening to and sharing these stories gives me great hope for the future. Whatever lies ahead this is how we build a strong community and country and we all have a part to play.

Thank you for your courage and commitment in this time. I hope you get the chance to recharge over the next few days. 

Best Wishes

Charles Byrne 
Director General

27th March 2020

Coronavirus and BCS

As you can no doubt appreciate, the way we work in this current climate is having to be adapted at a fast pace in order to continue supporting our beneficiaries. 

Many of you, Membership  and volunteers are approaching us with ideas and offering greater support in these challenging times and such generosity and comradeship is hugely appreciated. Many individuals are seeking guidance as to how you can volunteer in your locality safely and effectively. In addition, there are some questions being raised around the ability for Membership to deliver BCS, in particular supporters who have not attended training or received a DBS check. 

Work is currently underway to develop a COVID 19 Response Guide for Branches which will look to answers these questions, and provide reassurance that support can continue to be available: Our hope is to have this guidance to you in the coming week. 

Until further direction is received your help to ensure your staff, Branches and volunteers are informed of this would be welcomed.  Please send a general message to advise that whilst the majority of BCS services have been suspended i.e. those that create gatherings/or F2F contact, Branches registered for BCS Telephone Buddy can continue to provide support to our beneficiaries through the Telephone Buddy service. In doing this, it is also hoped that Branches will continue to follow current BCS guidance on safety/GDPR legislation and continue to advise us of the tremendous work they are doing during this time within the BCS system. 

In closing, the organisation as a whole is working quickly to adjust approaches and therefore, your help to feed any BCS related questions through to the dedicated address would be welcomed.

Stay safe and best wishes

Gail Walters - Assistant Director Operations

25th March 2020

Coronavirus and Member Administration

The Membership Department are now all working remotely from home so we wanted to provide you with a few administrative updates as a result of our new way of working.  We will also ensure that this is put on O365/Yammer as usual.

Haig House and Area Offices

Haig House and Area Offices have now been closed with staff working from home where possible.  No post will be collected whilst the offices remain closed.  This may result in a delay in reply to enquiries sent to Head Office and Regional staff.  Please bear with us as we adapt to our new way of working.   


Any BFI or Legacy Forms arriving at Haig House through the post will not be processed until further notice.  Any forms received via LOMAS or email will be processed as usual. 

Policy & Admin

Please do not to post any cheques for youth badges or youth affiliation forms until further notice.   Expense forms and receipts can be scanned and emailed as usual. 


Please could Counties and/or branches ensure that all information they receive from Head Office and the Membership department is passed on to their associated clubs. 

Membership Services

There is likely to be a possibility of service reduction in call handling at the membership contact centre due to staff working from home.  Additionally, membership cards are now being printed once a week, and cheques being banked every two weeks.  We will advise when service returns to normal.

20th March 2020

Coronavirus and Member Question

Member Questions

We have created an email address where members can contact the department if they have any queries about Covid 19 in relation to membership activity.  We will be regularly monitoring it and will ensure that we provide timely replies.  This will also be share on O365 and Yammer. The email address is:

Standard Bearers at Funerals

Due to the exceptional nature of the crisis the Church of England has announced that public worship is suspended until further notice.   Accordingly we are asking that Standard Bearers do not attend any funerals they may have been asked to attend, and do not undertake any further public duties until advised.

Thank you for your support and forbearance during this difficult time.  I would ask you to share this information with all of your branches.

19th March 2020

BCS and Coronavirus

The current situation provides us with new challenges which require us to be more flexible in our approach to those we support. We need to ensure that while we maintain our service, we are also protecting both beneficiaries and our Branch Community Support volunteers. To that end, from now until advised otherwise, please avoid making any home visits to beneficiaries and instead explore all options of providing support remotely such as by phone, Skype etc.

Please note  that from the 17th March we have requested that no home visits are made by case worker volunteers to the homes of the people we support so it is appropriate that we apply the same measure to our BCS Volunteers.

There are of course many ways by which we can continue to provide much needed support to those who may be feeling more isolated than ever at this time. Our telephone buddy service is a vital route through which we can check that individuals in our community feel supported; are safe and well; and continue to have a connection.

We would also like to ask our Branches make regular telephone contact to those individuals who you know are, or maybe, particularly vulnerable at this time. We need to make sure that everyone has sufficient food and access to their medication, as well as the reassurance that their needs are being considered. The Royal British Legion has an important role to play in ensuring that if the most vulnerable in our society need to be more socially isolated, they will not be forgotten and a friendly voice is at hand.  If you need membership lists, and are unable to access them on Office 365, please contact your Membership Support Officer.

If you become very concerned about an individual, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0808 802 8080 and Area Welfare Team can provide appropriate support.

The government has announced a radical package of measures to protect renters and landlords affected by coronavirus and as a result no renter – in either social or private accommodation – will be forced out of their home during this difficult time.

Emergency legislation will be taken forward as an urgent priority so that landlords will not be able to start proceedings to evict tenants for at least a 3-month period. As a result of these measures, no renters in private or social accommodation needs to be concerned about the threat of eviction.

During the coronavirus outbreak the health and well-being of the people we support, our staff, members, and volunteers is, and will remain, our priority.

Our services are still available, and we are working on plans with partners and other organisations to support communities across the UK. Based on Government advice, we have made some changes to ensure we continue to support and protect our community as best we can.

Ways to get in touch
Our contact centre remains fully operational, so if you or someone you know in the Armed Forces community needs our support, please continue to contact us on 0808 802 8080 (8am to 8pm, 7 days a week). You can also email us at As of Thursday 19 March, our 15 Pop In Centres on high streets around the UK will be closed until it is safe to reopen them.

If your concern is Covid-19 related we would encourage you to contact NHS 111 or visit as they will be best placed to support you.

We want to do all we can to continue supporting those most in need, therefore we will still make limited home visits while taking sensible precautions to protect those we support and our staff.

Upcoming events
All of our fundraising events until the end of May have sadly been postponed and we will make efforts to reschedule these at a future date where possible. We will review any events planned after the end of May over the coming weeks. If you’re currently fundraising for the Legion, please contact our supporter care line on 0345 845 1945 for assistance with fundraising or donations.

Our Membership Annual Conference will not be taking place in its current form, however we are exploring other options. We will keep our members informed of our plans around this. In the meantime, please call 0800 307 7773 for help with Membership queries.
We’re encouraging all communities across the UK to join forces to ensure help and care is available for anyone who may be experiencing hardship, loneliness or isolation. Please do get in touch if you need us during this challenging time, and we stand ready to support you.

COVID-19 - update for counties and branches - sent on behalf of the National Chairman

Dear Member,

Further to my recent email about the Legion’s response and planning around the Covid-19 pandemic, I wanted to provide you an update on our Annual Conference.
I am sorry to say that we have had to make the decision to cancel this year’s Annual Conference in its current form. We will be exploring other options and next steps and will keep you informed of our plans around this. We have been considering this as the Covid-19 situation has been unfolding, balancing the desire to mitigate any cost of cancellation with a timely decision.
The Government has been very clear in their advice on self-isolating and social distancing, and as per my recent email to you, we are strongly encouraging all our members to follow the advice given.

I know many of you will be disappointed by this, as am I, but we really feel it is in the best interests of our members, volunteers and employees’ health and wellbeing.
With regards to the VE Day commemorations, we will let you know when we have more information from the Government and what they are planning to do given the pandemic.
We will continue our discussions and planning for how we can support our local communities through our operations and members. We will of course continue to keep you updated as we work through this challenging time.
Please do your best to share this information with all of your members, to help keep everyone up to date.

18th March 2020

All Training and Event

The County has taken the decision to cancel all Training and events until June, more information will be released as we find out.  Branches and County are contactable by Phone and Email to deal with issues during this time. For dates after this please look at the calendar on the County Events and Meetings page.  

COVID-19 - update for counties and branches - sent on behalf of the National Chairman

Dear Member

I wanted to write to you and explain what we as the Board of Trustees and Executive Board are doing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is an unprecedented situation and puts us all in uncharted territory. I understand that this can be a worrying time and wanted to reiterate what the Legion has been doing to plan and prepare as the situation continues to develop.

The health of our beneficiaries, volunteers, members and employees is our priority. We will continue to take our lead from the Government advice, responding to the expert guidance as that is issued, with planning and decisions that we think are right for the Legion.

Government advice is clear on wanting people to work from home where possible. Our offices are remaining open for the time being, however, across the Legion more employees are working from home and teams are swiftly undertaking planning and arranging work to keep the Legion going. We will review all of our events and make decisions on those over the next couple of days. 

The strength of the Legion is in our branches and counties and this is more important now than ever.  As a member, I know you fully understand and appreciate this and will want to continue in your Legion work, but we do ask you to follow government’s advice.  We strongly recommend that all non-essential meetings are cancelled or postponed, including branch and county meetings, and that members follow the government advice, particularly guidance on social distancing for the over 70’s and vulnerable people, which includes avoiding large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs and clubs.  If you have any cold and flu symptoms at all, the right thing to do is to stay at home and not to travel.

Importantly, as the Royal British Legion, we are committed to playing our part to support our Armed Forces Community and our nations. We have set up a separate working group to look at how members, volunteers and staff can help in their communities and we will be issuing advice shortly. That said, if you find yourself in need of support and are eligible for Legion help, please call the contact centre on 0808 802 8080.

No one will have all the answers in this situation but more than ever addressing these challenges together will make a difference.   This remains a rapidly changing situation and when we make any changes in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will of course let you know.  Please do your best to share this information with all of your members, to help keep everyone up to date.

Thank you in advance for your patience and continued support for the Legion and our beneficiaries during this time.


10th March 2020


 This information is intended to help you, as a member of The Royal British Legion to decide what steps you should take considering the spread of the covid-19 virus. 

What is the coronavirus? 

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. This strain, covid19, is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020. 

What are the symptoms? 

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has covid-19 infection: 

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

If you are worried about symptoms, please call NHS 111 or go to the NHS 111 coronavirus advice website*.  Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment. 

The latest advice and developments on the covid-19 situation can be found on the GOV.UK  website.

 What’s the best way to prevent the spread of covid-19? 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser; this is particularly important after taking public transport.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Always carry tissues with you to cover your cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home and work environment.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • If you or someone in your household suffers from diabetes or an ongoing respiratory illness (such as asthma) and the situation does escalate, you may want to consider not using the crowded public transport to travel, as this seems to be the most likely route to infection.
  • If you have the option of using IT or telephone systems for meetings, then please use them.

 What can you do to protect other members, volunteers, and those that we support? 

  • If you are feeling unwell or are worried that you may be at risk, please don’t come into Legion locations or carry out any visits. Let other members or staff know that you won’t be attending.
  • Take note of and share with other members and volunteers the information provided via our communication channels.
  • UK has published clear and printable instructions on handwashing techniques – display them in offices, meeting rooms, clubs and other Legion venues.
  • Viruses can live on hard surfaces for up to eight hours - frequently clean key areas including keyboards and door handles.
  • Download a ’Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ poster from the NHS website* for use in your home and or member/volunteer location.

 How can I support our beneficiaries/clients? 

Generally, infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. Some of our members, volunteers and people we support may be more at risk or highly concerned about the virus. Remember:

  • If carrying out visits to those we support in their home, check that they are well and if they have recently travelled to risk areas.
  • Ask members if they would prefer to carry out their roles from home (if they have the infrastructure and the role facilitates this).
  • What if I or someone I know has travelled recently or is about to?
  • Keep up to date on current travel advice. The Foreign Office has published information and advice on travel safety and the World Health Organisation is providing updated covid-19 travel advice.
  • The government has listed high risk areas/countries by category 1 (highest risk areas) and category 2 areas.
  • Members and volunteers who are symptomless but have returned from category 1 areas within the last 14 days should self-isolate for 14 days from their return.
  • Members and volunteers who have returned from a category 2 area within the last 14 days and who develop symptoms should self-isolate.
  • Let your contact at the Legion know if you are travelling or returning from travel, particularly if it is from a risk area.

What about the Annual Conference and other large Legion events/meetings?

At this stage we haven’t made any decisions regarding cancellations of large gatherings such as the Annual Conference or Membership Meet-Ups, but we will keep you informed of any changes to the current plans. 


Handwashing techniques

Catch it, Bin, it, Kill it’ poster




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