Online Membership Joining is now open. The new membership system is explained - see link for details. Also see Membership Renewal Options.
The following link now applies to renewals as well as joining. https://selfservice.britishlegion.org.uk/
Membership Renewal Options
Members have more choice of payment: by Direct Debit, cheque, credit or debit card, bank transfer, continuous payment, by cash with PayPoint or at a branch. Please keep MSO informed of any issues and any other information that you or your members need. See details. The following link now applies to renewals as well as joining. https://selfservice.britishlegion.org.uk/
Failed Direct Debits
Some of you may have been contacted by your members and advised that their direct debit has still not been taken by the RBL for their membership. These members were all contacted in December via letter from HQ. The following applies for these members;
- If a member responded to the letter by phoning/going online and setting up a new DD, their direct debit will be taken on the 24th February 2016. Their payment will continue to be via direct debit for their 2016 renewal.
- If the member hasn’t phoned or gone online to set up a new direct debit, it is now to late to do so. Therefore the member will be required to pay using a different method; cheque, online or over the phone. As the member will have paid by another payment method (card etc.), their 2016 renewal will not automatically be taken by Direct Debit. Instead they will be sent a renewal letter in 2016 asking them to make payment but they will be given all of the payment options including Direct Debit (the specific payment preference letters sent this year will be scrapped).
Remembrance Parade Assistance
Every year we hear reports that a handful of local authorities and police forces have sought to charge Legion branches for providing logistical assistance at Remembrance parades and commemorative events. Whilst such reports are usually rare and isolated instances, it must be frustrating to deal with unhelpful local officials. With this in mind, the Legion recently produced two letters concerning Remembrance parades and commemorative events, which will go some way to improving the experiences of branches and members.
Copies of the letters that Head Office recently put together with support from the Local Government Association (LGA) and National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) can be viewed at LGA and NPCC. The letters are primarily intended to prevent Legion branches being charged for logistical support at Remembrance parades and commemorative events, but they also remind local authorities and police forces of their civic duty in relation to organising these important community occasions. Members are free to share the letters with relevant local officials in the hope that any disputes or disagreements might be more swiftly and easily resolved. Should you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the Public Affairs team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact with the Media
There have been a number of recent stories in the press with comments from members. The position regarding such contact is stated in The membership handbook at: Chapter 1.2.3 PUBLIC RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS; paragraph 2. Media
2.1. No Legion Member should speak in public on a matter outside his own area of responsibility unless he is in possession of a PR brief issued by the Marketing and Corporate Communications division. Anyone contacted by the television news, national or local media should notify a member of the PR team in order to get some key messages or a statement agreed in advance. Members should not approach the national media without first talking to the PR team. The team should also be contacted if a crisis occurs and a person is unsure how to handle the issue.
The contact details for the Legions Public Relations Team can be found at http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/about-us/media-centre/
If a member does speak to the press, then it needs to be clear that they are not speaking on behalf of the charity and that they can only offer their personal opinion as a branch member.
Branches are encouraged to advertise their meeting and events through the local media and report the outcome. The County Publicity Officer will give assistance if requested, however, it is presumed that Branch Commitees will undertake this task themselves. For a list of Press and Radio contacts within the County see link. For advice on speaking to media see document
MAP & O365
UPDATE: The new Membership Administration Portal is now up and running, MSO will be contacting all those who have already signed up for this new project. Any Branches not yet signed up can do so at any time by contacting MSO with email addresses. Please note MSO would encourage every Branch to have at least one member signed up as there are many documents stored on this site for your use, including a weekly membership listing (once the new system goes live).
Branch Guide To Membership Administration Portal (MAP) see link
Branches can sign up to a new Membership Administration Portal, enabling Branch Officers to access online membership listings using the new system as well as a number of other benefits including use of the Microsoft Office programmes. This will enable your Branch to receive an official RBL email address and access to Microsoft Office applications and a secure document storage facility
See introductory letter and FAQs for detailed information.
Please note this will not be done automatically. Branches must confirm to MSO their wish to sign up to this project by Sunday 12th April and provide the following information; Branch Name, Branch Role, Officer’s Name and personal email.
See links to: Public speaking: Improving your newsletter; Publicity Presentation
Recruitment and Retention
See brief for useful information to assist in speaking about the Legion and guidance on attracting new members. Page 1 & 2 provides background facts on the Legion; Page 3 gives advice on Retention & Recruitment; Page 4 is a summary of Health & Welfare. Membership Form - see instruction
See Ways to increase membership; RBL Information Flier; What the Legion Does Flier; Recruitment Presentation
Assistance from County Committee
Each branch has been assigned a County Committee Member to be their point of contact. They will be able to report to the County Committee meetings any concerns or comments that Branches may have. This person will also endeavour to visit the branch at least once if not twice a year; this could be to Branch meetings or to social events in order to meet branch members. It is hoped that this will increase communication between Branch and County, provide support to members and to give guidance as and when appropriate. In addition this will enable issues to be accurately communicated to Branches and where necessary enable discussion with branches to ease the flow of information. A list of County Committee Members detailing the branches for which they have mentoring responsibility is available here.
County Web Site
Branches are encouraged to make use of the County Website to advertise their branch activities. Where branches have their own websites, links to specific information held on those sites can be added to the county web site. Where branches do not have their own web site details of upcoming events or reports on events that have been held can be added to the county webpage. For further details see link.
The County Plan is a dynamic document. Branches are encouraged to use it to generate their own plans. In addition the County Committee welcomes comments or suggestions on amendments to its content. The Plan (updated 1 Dec) can be viewed here. For its current status see link and the Report to County Conference for a summary.
For gazebo details see link; Tables and Chairs