All About Membership

A message to the BEJSC family on ‘critical’ membership income

BEJSC Chairman Matthew Todd explains why membership fees are so vital in these challenging times.

It’s the one topic that people have asked me about more than any other in recent months.

Why is BEJSC not deferring its membership fees in 2021? Can we have a fee holiday until my sport returns? Why should I pay my fees this year?

The answers to all these questions are something we have pondered long and hard over, particularly as we recognise the difficult situation some members may find themselves in as a result of the pandemic’s impact on the economy.

As a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation, run by local volunteers, we are extremely reliant on the income we receive from membership fees to help fund our work in and around Bourne End.

It’s not an understatement to say that our membership income is critical to enable us to continue to support all the grassroots sports we offer, such as football, swimming, climbing, badminton, basketball, canoeing and table tennis.

We understand and sympathise with members who feel they have not had value for money as events have not taken place.

We want nothing more than to see you all in the hall or pitches or pools we use, learning, competing in matches, galas and competitions and enjoying the sports you love so much.

However, your membership fees don’t just fund the cost of staging events.

Legal & Ongoing costs

It helps fund the unavoidable costs associated with a business or charity such as lighting, property maintenance, equipment maintenance or replacement, building security, training, finance, telephony & website management amongst other things.

It funds membership to vital organisations both local and national such as Action for Youth, or Swim England or the FA or BCA to name but a few. These organisations provide vital support to us, our members and other areas of the community.

Our focus is currently on pushing local and national government for the hall to be reopened as soon as it is safe to do so across all tiers and for the resumption of club activities in all tiers for all members.

Importantly, it also funds our legally required club insurances including the personal insurance our members receive, which remained in place throughout this period and is non-refundable.

We are required to pay the insurance premium in December to ensure all our sections, internal and external locations of use and members remain covered and this is a very substantial item of expenditure.

The other membership fee questions I keep receiving are all valid and we recognise the challenges facing many of our clubs and members.

We are incredibly mindful of the impact Covid-19 continues to have on many people up and down the country.

Priceless to us

Therefore, we have frozen the cost of membership fees in 2020 and will do so again for 2021 but I hope our members can understand why we cannot go further.

As a local charity, supporting the community, yet operating to government law, advice and guidelines for the safety of our members and local community we have not been immune from the financial pressures of this pandemic.

It has had a significant impact on our finances and, last year, all of our celebratory plans and most of the costs associated with them were lost.

Without your continued support, we will face further severe financial challenges which will impact on our work.

As the vaccination process is rolled out across the country, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and we can see a return to grassroots through to competitive action on the horizon.

We are working on a programme of celebratory events which we hope will be able to take place in 2021 as the restrictions are eased.

A membership, which all club members require, costs only £28.00 a year – the equivalent of around 77p a week.

Every penny of this is priceless to us and the future of BEJSC.