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What is democracy?

  • Learn more about our mutual status and why democracy is important to us.
  • Understand how this benefits you as a Benenden Health member.
  • Put forward your ideas online.
Why democracy is important to us

The Democracy for Tomorrow proposals set out a new way for Benenden Health’s democracy to benefit all our members. But what is democracy?

In this article we explore Benenden Health’s mutual status and explain why retaining it is so key to what we do as a Society.

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. 

Let’s begin by sharing a bit more about Benenden Health’s mutual status. We’re a mutual which means we’re run by you, our members.

Every Benenden Health member pays exactly the same price each month. All that money goes into a pot to support our members when they need help. Our mutuality enables our members to be one big community; a community that’s there for each other every day and a community where everybody is equal.

Benenden Health may not be the only mutual you are part of, other big mutual brands include The Co-op and Nationwide Building Society.


As a mutual we’re run both by and for our members which means you can have your say in how the organisation as run. Benenden Health has been a mutual since it was founded in 1905 to bring people together to pay for medical care when they need it. We exist for the sole benefit of our members, not-for-profit.


When you become a Benenden Health member you are entitled to have your say in how the organisation is run under our mutual status. You have that say through our democratic process which currently involves attending meetings through our branch structure and culminates with decision-making at our annual Conference.


The Democracy for Tomorrow proposal puts forward a way for more members to get involved with our democracy in ways that suit them best. Rather than attending meetings to have their say, and changes only being able to be made at our annual Conference, the proposal gives members the power to influence change all year round and get involved in-person and online at a time that works around their day-to-day commitments.

Ultimately this opens the door for more members to get involved. The more members that get involved, the more views and ideas we have and the better we can make the health and wellbeing services you receive.