What you want from your BBE membership | Brass Bands England

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What you want from your BBE membership

Tuesday, 20 February, 2024

Late last year, you told us more about what you want from your Brass Bands England (BBE) membership as well as what you’ve been finding useful so far. We were thrilled to receive largely positive feedback in this membership survey, alongside important information on what you and your band will need in the coming months and years.

What’s going well?

Of those who responded, 90% agreed that BBE membership gave good value for money, and we’re pleased to be able to continue to offer membership benefits to all members of your band within our Band Membership price.

On that note, don't forget that we have some fantastic insurance deals available via our partners - you could earn back your membership fee and more from those savings alone! Members can also benefit from recently introduced financial savings on things such as band clothing and first-aid training. Log into your Member Resources library to see what’s on offer.

Membership satisfaction also scored highly (91% either satisfied or very satisfied) with many members making the most of our staff advice, online resources and free member events - your most-used member benefits. If you’re not sure you’re making the most of your membership, you can refresh your memory of your member benefits here, or get in touch with us for personalised support.

We know that good safeguarding continues to be a vital part of ensuring the well-running of your band. Alongside the popular BBE Events and Training programme, the resources most important to you are the BandSafe Policy Writing Toolkit, use of the BBE BOPA, and free DBS-checks as part of your membership. We will continue to work with partners at the NSPCC, DBS, DfE and DCMS to keep our advice up-to-date as legislation changes in time, develop our admin support systems to ensure you spend your time on the practical measures that matter most.

Our bespoke Fundraising Service for bands has seen a number of grant-application successes helping bands receive significant sums of money to enhance their activities, so it isn’t a surprise to see that many members plan to make use of it going forward. Capacity within our fundraising team is limited, so we urge you to act on this now if this is an immediate priority for your band. The first step is to book a free consultation to find out the type of support that might be available to you. 

What more is needed?

When it came to youth banding, there were a number of areas which you flagged as of ongoing importance. These included working with local music hubs and primary schools to encourage an increase in the take-up of brass in bands and lessons, providing linking projects between schools and tutors with community bands and signposting children to musical organisations. Our Brass Foundations scheme, now part of our core programme as of 2023, will continue to address all of the above whilst also championing bands more widely in our annual Proms in the Playground initiative.

You also wanted more subsidised performance opportunities for youth bands. Our new Youth Fest is completely free to enter and will take place in a different location each year. Youth Fest and the existing Youth Champs (which is also subsidised significantly via grant funding) will always take place in different regions in order to provide an annual opportunity for young people to perform without the need to travel across the length of the country.

Members were also looking for guidance on how to embed young people’s views and opinions into their organisation. Our recent Youth Voice funding has allowed us to strengthen our own expertise in this area and we’re looking forward to supporting our members to do the same, with training and initiatives to follow in 2024.

How will we deliver it?

You told us that you want banding to be more visible, with almost all members asking for BBE to be advocating bands to the government or general public. Our new national Brass Band Week (6 - 14 July 2024) has been designed to raise awareness of banding and encourage participation, whilst recognising and celebrating the contribution brass bands make to local, regional and national communities. You can help by participating in the week by registering an event and making the most of the promotion we can offer you online via your member profile, event listings, and vacancy adverts.

You told us that you're passionate about community banding. Whilst community is important to all bands, around a third of members who completed the survey were non-contesting bands with their own particular needs. This year’s Brass Band Conference on 19 October in London will be on the theme of Creative Communities and will feature a number of expert speakers and successful banding programmes on this important topic.

We are proud that BBE’s work covers the breadth of all types of banding. We are excited to continue broadening and developing initiatives to ensure the future of banding and adding to our member support, based on your requests.

If your band is a BBE member, all of your players can create an account on bbe.org.uk and click register as part of a member band in your members dashboard.

If you have questions or comments about your BBE membership or about Joining BBE please get in touch at info@bbe.org.uk.