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Democracy for Tomorrow

  • Read about our proposed changes.
  • Understand what this means for you as a Benenden Health member.
  • Put forward your ideas online.
What are the proposed changes?

Democracy for Tomorrow is a new way for you, to have your say.

It sets out our intention to modernise Benenden Health’s democracy to give you a stronger voice. 

This new structure will fit around your lifestyle and will open new routes to influence the products and services you receive as part of your membership.

But what do you really need to know about the proposed changes? 

What's next?
  • To be introduced, these proposals must be voted on by a majority of delegates at a Conference under our current process later this year.

  • Before Conference, we’ll be holding special member meetings where you can influence how your delegates vote on the future of our democracy.

  • Branches may be talking about Democracy for Tomorrow at other meetings, you can find your nearest branch meeting in the My Branch section of My Benenden.

  • If you would like to share your ideas with us please complete our feedback form. 

The Democracy for Tomorrow proposal puts forward a new way for you to have a direct impact on the products and services you receive by introducing Direct Member Voting.

Direct Member Voting, gives every member a vote so instead of instructing branch delegates to vote at a Conference on your behalf, you'll be able to have a direct impact on the strategic direction of the Society from the comfort of your own home by voting online or by post.

By giving every member a vote, we’re making sure decisions are representative of our entire membership base, not just the ones who attend branch meetings and vote at Conference.

Find out more about how Direct Member Voting will work. 


You’ll be allocated to a Benenden Health Community based on where you live. These communities will act as channels to gather member views and share them with the Society.

Currently, the route to sharing your views is by attending meetings. We recognise this has served us well in the past, but the world is changing, and our members are busy people with different life priorities.

We're introducing new ways to get involved with the Society which fit around your busy lifestyle. Not only will you be able to share your views in person, you’ll also be able to interact online, at a time and place that works for you.


The proposal introduces a Member Council which will acts as a channel between your Benenden Health Community and the Board.

This means you won’t have to wait for our Annual Conference to put forward new ideas. As long as the idea is put to the Member Council it can be considered, explored, progressed and developed at any time.

This works both ways too, as the Member Council can share Board proposals with you to gather your views.


Our purpose at Benenden Health is to improve the nation’s health and the Democracy for Tomorrow proposal puts that at the forefront of everything we do.

Our annual Conference, and the Society’s Annual General Meeting, will move away from bureaucratic decisions to focus on the Society’s strategic direction and health and wellbeing issues. Representatives will participate in a varied programme of guest speakers, presentations, workshops and breakouts focused on health and wellbeing.

Benenden Health Communities will also be used as a forum for members to discuss health and wellbeing issues, both in-person and online. The Society will support your community to encourage guest speakers and presentations focused on particular health topics that are of interest to you and the rest of your Community.


The proposal is backed by member research. We asked a representative sample of 4,325 members what they think of the new proposals, and here’s what they had to say:

• 88% would be in favour of moving to the new structure.

• 71% prefer the new communication channels suggested.

Direct Member Voting was significantly more appealing to respondent with members citing inclusivity, convenience, and relevance, as reasons to support the proposed new structure.