At the National Conference 2018 we hosted a very productive meeting with those attending that indicated the need to consult with branches on 2 opportunities: The future distribution of available monies to fund branches and Consultation on the role of the branch moving beyond 2020.

  1. The Future distribution of available monies to fund branches.
  2. Consultation on the role of the branch moving beyond 2020.


The future distribution of available monies to fund branches.

It is an accepted principle that it is an ongoing duty of the charity to review the framework in which money is set aside to achieve the charities aims and that this includes the method of funding apportioned to support branch work.

In recent years the total income going to Branches has exceeded the expenditure recorded at HQ. The surplus income above expenditure for the period 2014 – 2016 was £92,000.

It was accepted that;

  1. centralised accounting enables an analysis to be undertaken of income/expenditure patterns of individual branches and
  2. overall, the total amount ‘sitting’ in branch accounts is steadily increasing. It was recognised that the current system is broadly inequitable and needs to change.

At the National Conference, it was explained that the aim is to explore opportunities for a more focused and fit for purpose methodology, ensuring that money is distributed fairly and encourages money to be spent locally to achieve the charities aims. It was recognised that this phase of the review is focused on how the money is apportioned each year. 

A range of alternative options were discussed by Branches.

We are asking that as an individual you review the options below and provide us with your preferred methodology and any supporting comments.

Click here to cast your vote.

Option 1

Reduce the branch proportion percentage from 2019. This would be a simple variation to the current scheme that can be reviewed annually based on the data for previous year’s actual income & expenditure figures; equitable to all branches. Branches with a small balance will be allocated money from a pot built up from the reduced overall proportion percentage.

Option 2

A fixed sum is made available each year, approved by Trustees - indicative example £100,000. 

Branches apply to draw down funds for projects. There will be fixed quarterly deadlines for funding applications. Decisions will be made on a quarterly basis.

The funding is made available on a per-project basis. A branch could apply for any sum they wanted, for any project they wanted, over any timeframe they chose, demonstrating any impact they desired (in accordance with charitable objectives). 

The option to explore two or three levels of funding which means a greater or lesser complexity of project management, and monitoring & evaluation. 

  • £0 - £1000: Quarterly pot. Single page form. Single page report. A simple process.
  • £1001 - £5000: Quarterly pot. More detailed project plan required. More detailed monitoring and evaluation.
  • £5001+: Six-monthly pot. Detailed project plan. Detailed monitoring and evaluation. Impact analysis.

 Option 3

Introduction of a structured funding proposal that would be based on/be a mixture of:

  • A - core expenses – allocated automatically based on a per member allocation plus core administrative allocation based on what Branches have authorised over the past 3 years.
  • B – core administrative allocation (as above) plus 'minimum' activity that Trustees may expect. Branches to submit by 1st November a costed activity plan for the following year supporting the delivery of one or more of the priority aims of the Business Plan. 
  • C - other projects/activities. The ‘saving’ from current proportions methodology is re-directed into operational budget and is spent on volunteer projects that Branches could bid for.
  • D - other sums raised at local level by Branch through its work

Option 4

Introduce a regional budgeting mechanism empowering the RLSS UK Ambassadors and encouraging partnership work between Branches.

Consultation on the role of the branch moving beyond 2020

The consultation is based on consistent feedback outlining that too much is expected of branches and there isn’t the available resource, at a local level to fulfil that expectation.

In 2016 and again in 2018 we released ‘Branch Guidance’ to help branches understanding their role in delivering the mission of RLSS UK. This guidance has been established well in some areas and others have struggled to meet the expectation of a RLSS UK branch.

It is essential that we walk in your shoes to understand how we can best support you and position you within the delivery of RLSS UKs mission so that your contribution is impactful and the ask of you is realistic.

We are opening up the consultation so that in 2020 we can republish branch guidance that reflects your responses. In responding we would like you to consider your role moving forward, in today’s environment and not focusing on what has come before. It is also important that you consider RLSS UKs mission now, as the Drowning Prevention Charity.

Ultimately, we want to understand -  What do you think is the role of an RLSS UK Branch?

Click here to complete the form.