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Join the RNA (its now free)

All, in December the RNA decided to remove the need to pay annual subs, therefore to be a member is now totally free. You don't need to be a member of a branch, you can join the HQ roll instead.

Please see the link above.


War Hero
All, in December the RNA decided to remove the need to pay annual subs, therefore to be a member is now totally free. You don't need to be a member of a branch, you can join the HQ roll instead.

Please see the link above.
I’m only joining if our Norman is a member.


War Hero
Super Moderator
RNA must be desperate for members, I would imagine most have had to listen to Norman and his cohorts spinning dits and cadging wets so they've done a runner...or worse, hari kari in the car park!


War Hero
Found my membership card over the weekend.
San Diego 1994 - membership lapsed.

Well it was a good idea after being grippo'd
From the RNA (sorry a bit longwinded and broken down due to message length constraints ):

A Special online meeting of the National Council was held to discuss the specific issue of switching the RNA’s funding model from subscription based to donation based. It is of note that the Royal Marines Association has gone down this path and has already significantly grown its membership numbers. The National Council unanimously agreed that this model gave the best opportunity of allowing the RNA to arrest its declining membership numbers and allow it to grow and become sustainable. It was also agreed that the sooner it was implemented the more its chances of success. The time for collecting 2021 subscriptions is imminent. Members need to be told soon if they are no longer required. Moving to donation based funding is of such significance that Conference approval is appropriate. Therefore a Special National Conference will be held online, 21 December 2020, 1400, to consider the following National Council motion:

To move that the RNA annual subscription, for all membership categories, is zero (GBP0.00) with effect from 1st January 2021.


2. An important catalyst for this change has of course been Covid and the very real possibility that Branches will still not be able to meet come the New Year. This leaves the pragmatic problem of the collection of subscriptions but notwithstanding, membership numbers have been creeping South in recent years and despite many initiatives and attempts at recruiting, the numbers continue to decline. The RNA has lost over 1000 per year for at least the last 6 years reducing to a total membership at 31 Dec 19 of 11230 shipmates.
3. At a meeting of the NC in December 2019 declining membership was
discussed and the NC resolved that they were not content to allow the Association to wither to a core. All felt that the RNA brand deserved more and that we ought to be more ambitious for our Association. A vision was thus agreed:

To have established and maintained the RNA on a sustainable footing which still meets the original Objects of the Charity while maintaining relevance and respect in modern society.

4. Taking this vision, during 2020 the Strategy Group within the NC developed a strategy which was defined simply as:

A strategy to provide the RNA with a capability update to make it accessible and attractive to a wider cross section of the Naval Family.

5. During the development of this strategy, Covid appeared and the Association switched from our usual routine of meetings and events where we could meet like-minded folk for social gatherings to a support network linking in shipmates and ensuring that our Oppos were looked after and had the support they needed to fit their circumstances.

At this point, the RNA was approached by the RNRMC1 to ask for help in achieving their objectives by reaching more of the naval veteran community and especially those veterans who might be described as hidden, lost or lonely. The RNA was the obvious Association to do this as membership was not restricted to Arm, Branch, Type, sex or ship. It is envisaged that by deleting annual subscriptions we can bring about a situation of "why would you not join the RNA? Furthermore it also offer the possibility of automatically enrolling Naval personnel something that is not possible for a subscription based organization. It was suggested that the RNRMC would support the RNA while it increased its donation base to make it self-sustaining. A partnership was envisaged with the following intent.

7. To grow the RNA from its current membership base of circa 11,000 members to reach much more of the veteran community to allow them to share in the benefits of RNA membership and especially to reach hidden, lost and lonely naval veterans in the community to enhance their lives and allow them some dignity and respect while recognising society’s debt to them for their service to the nation. Also, recognising the positive effect that camaraderie has on wellbeing, it will allow individuals to reinforce their mental health resilience through their friendships within the RNA and other Naval Associations. By making the RNA a "Free to Join" organisation, it would improve accessibility and attractiveness making it complementary to the extensive network of smaller and more restrictive associations and allow the RNRMC to communicate more effectively with the veteran community. With the establishment of befriending networks and working with partners like ASDIC2, VOS3 and Silverline we hope to reach more of the naval veteran community. The intent is also to improve the benefits of membership to reduce the average age of the RNA membership so that it is more relevant and appealing to veterans in the community of all ages, not just the elderly.

Desired Outcomes

8. The desired outcomes of this arrangement between the partners are:

• To have established and maintained the RNA on a sustainable footing which still meets the original Objects of the Charity while maintaining relevance and respect in modern society.

• To have improved communications to reach more of the veteran community and wider naval family.

• To have created the opportunity to build mental health resilience within the membership

• To have created the framework to allow a sense of dignity for hidden, lost and lonely naval veterans

• To establish an organisation which is seen as the "go to" Association for camaraderie

• To enhance the Transition process by giving Service leavers access to a network of RNA mentors (sea daddies or, rather, sea civvies)

• To pursue the goal of extending the concept of joining not just the RN but a wider, life long, Naval Family

• To improve accessibility by withdrawing subscriptions and allowing auto-enrolment of naval personnel.

• To make the Association more attractive by introducing a mentoring scheme for those leaving the Service, by introducing more activity-based Groups and by better using the diary and events available to us to exploit opportunities for comradeship.


9. The RNA would cease collecting subscriptions and move to a donations based income sharing the risk by using RNA strategic reserves along with RNRMC funding which would reduce on a tapered scale until the RNA is able to declare itself self-sustaining. It is estimated that this will be achievable within 4-5 years. The RNA would be "contracted" to achieve the desired outcomes with SMART4 objectives set through agreement.


10. The National Council has, for some years now, set a deficit budget to achieve its objectives. In most years until recently this deficit has been reduced or eliminated by legacies which has masked the decline in revenue through subscriptions. But in recent years this effect has declined such that in 2020 legacies have amounted to less than £1000 of income. Every year that legacies do not cover our losses, we must nibble into our reserves. Unless any miraculous legacy income appears in the next 5 weeks, we stand to run at a loss of £130k this year. All of these losses inevitably come from our reserves. The point here is that rather than frittering away our reserves with the current model and allowing a slower decline, the concept is to use those reserves for a deliberate action which would allow us to set ourselves up to be able to achieve a sustainable financial model.

11. Without subscriptions, the RNA budget for 2021 shows a deficit of £280k which it is proposed is shared between RNA Strategic Reserves and RNRMC funding. The grant request therefore sits at £140k which is considerably more than we might expect from subscriptions if they were retained.

12. Analysis suggests that a donations based funding model could in time produce significantly more revenue than retaining subscriptions. This is borne out by Royal Marine Association experience to date.


13. Clearly, there is a risk in changing to a donation based income model. However the National Council consider that the risk of maintaining the status quo is greater. The recent move of Central Office to a refurbished independent building within Portsmouth Naval Base, indicates that the RN is not about to make the Association’s administrative offices destitute therefore, using an element of the strategic reserve currently held in the Property Fund since the office moved from London in 2008, to establish the new model is deemed a sensible way to re-launch the Association out of Covid.

14. In addition, the RNRMC Board is yet to approve this funding stream, however, this initiative stems from their Chief Executive, Adrian Bell, and is being strongly pushed at a Funding Board on 3 December as supporting the RNA to achieve the reach to support the naval veteran
family which RNRMC is obliged by their Charitable Objects to achieve. The funding the RNRMC would grant to the RNA in 2021 represents a relatively small element of a £3m deficit budget for RNRMC in 2021. On the basis of numerous discussions at Chief Executive level between the RNA and RNRMC the National Council believe that it is reasonable to plan on this grant being provided and that it is therefore appropriate for The RNA to anticipate it in order to line itself up for immediate implementation in 2021 rather than wait until 2022. Hence the need for a Special Conference.


15. Those who saw this year’s scaled back commemorations at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Sunday will have witnessed our National President lay a wreath on behalf of all naval veterans. You will also have noted that, of the 26 veterans who were permitted to march past the Cenotaph this year, the only naval veteran representation were the 2 members of the RNA. This underlines the special position of The RNA within the Veteran community. We are the only naval association representative of, and open to all, naval serving and veterans, and their families. The National Council of the RNA are proud of their ambition for our Association and believe that it must seize this opportunity for growth and sustainability.


16. The National Council unanimously recommends that Branches support this Motion.


  • RNA membership numbers have been falling by 1000 per year for the past 6 years.

  • • We’ve been trying to arrest this for 20 years but have not found a route.
  • The RMA have already dispensed with subscriptions and moved to a donations based funding model and a close relationship with the RNRMC.

  • • They have since grown their membership numbers.
  • The RNRMC have approached the RNA for assistance in reaching more naval veterans especially the hidden, lost and lonely.

  • The larger our numbers the more effective assistance we can provide. The corollary of this is that with a declining membership the sooner we clinch the deal with the RNRMC the more attractive a partner we are to them.

  • A no subs/donation based funding model holds out the prospect of marketing membership as "why would you not join the RNA?" and also the possibility of auto enrolling all naval personnel. That could not be done with a subscription based model.

  • Subject to the approval of their Board the RNRMC envisage a substantial financial contribution to the RNA while its donation based funding model finds its feet.

  • There are of course risks but the National Council consider that posed by the status quo is at least as big and probably bigger.

  • Our financial reserves have avoided reduction commensurate with falling subscription revenue largely through legacies. But we are not receiving many now- less than £1K in 2020. A donation based model will make it much easier to approach corporate donors.

  • This move offers the only way the National Council can see of achieving the holy grail of increasing membership numbers.

  • By achieving greater membership numbers we can implement a wide range of initiatives to make the RNA offer broader and even more attractive. (paras 8 and 11 above).

  • • So please support the National Council Motion at the Special Conference.
Used to be one in Toronto, Canada, which I joined though I live over three hours drive defunct, which seems the way many branches have gone in the UK too.....


War Hero
Used to be one in Toronto, Canada, which I joined though I live over three hours drive defunct, which seems the way many branches have gone in the UK too.....
Can I PM you? I’ve been offered a job in Canada. Toronto.
Off thread I know.
JFH - I live in Bexhill-on-Sea and there doesn't seem to be one around here ??
@Dusty70 - From a few mins at the RNA's Website

Going Westwards along the coast road for 34mins (& calling in at 'Normans Bay' if so inclined...) would fetch you up at Eastbourne's RNA

No. 03 Area: Eastbourne Secretary Bill Whaley Email [email protected] Phone 01323 658481

Address RNA Eastbourne Branch
Eastbourne Fisherman's Club
Royal Parade
Eastbourne East Sussex BN22 7AA

OTOH, proceeding Eastwards for 50 mins will find you at RNA No. 2 Area's Lydd & Dungeness's RNA Branch: Mick Inshaw 01797 320765.

See also = Join the Royal Naval Association today

The Royal Naval Association is the biggest collective group of Royal Naval veterans and serving personnel, with over 250 branches in the UK and overseas. The Association provides those with a link to the Royal Navy access to a life-long community of like-minded and supportive individuals. Our community provides companionship, resilience, comradeship and unity to anyone and everyone with a Naval story, supporting them through life's highs and lows.

Some of the benefits RNA membership provides
Receive our official membership card
Access to 260 branches across the UK and overseas where you will be surrounded by camaraderie and a lifelong Naval family
Access to welfare advice and signposting
Exclusive access to online Zoom meetings and Tot nights with Shipmates during Coronavirus shielding
Inclusion in our online Facebook community page for RNA Shipmates
Exclusive access to our online ‘Fireside Chats’ with prominent serving and veteran spokespeople
Travel, retail and lifestyle brand discounts
Join us at key RNA and Royal Navy events
Free or discounted tickets to sports, theatre and music events
We have three minibuses that are free to loan out to members - getting to special events, socials or appointments has never been easier
Receive news from around the membership and wider Naval Service
How much is membership?
As of January 2021, membership is now free!

You have the choice of joining a local Branch (listed here) or the HQ Roll, which is a virtual branch led by the team in Central office.

Some individual Branches may also charge a small annual subscription, which will be payable on their request.

Once you become a member you will then be able to use or visit any of our 250+ branches across the world.

We look forward to welcoming you to the RNA.

Moi? Made particularly Welcome by a fellow RR contributor @skyvet during a holiday visit to East Cyprus a few years ago with the result than I finally joined the RNA myself, initially on the HQ Roll rather than at a particular Branch. Subsequently I visited our Local Branch, met a few people I knew from way way back so I then shifted allegiance from the HQ Roll to Membership of that local Branch who meet monthly in a pub's room in town. Cracking bunch! Like any social gatherings COVID has put the dampers on suchlike activities but Roll on the lifting of Lockdown and a long delayed surgical procedure and then I'll hopefully regain mobility and travel again.
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