About being a Member of BfN

BfN is a membership organisation.  All our volunteers automatically become Members when they start training with us.  Complimentary membership is provided for two years from the date you start training with membership fees usually being paid by whomever is funding your initial training course.   After two years each Member/volunteer is asked to pay their own membership fee in order to maintain their registration as a BfN volunteer.  Currently this costs £20 or £1 for low-income/unwaged for 12 months – please see below for more details.

What does membership mean?

Being a Member of BfN is an important role and comes with a number of rights.  These are set out in the Articles of Association and include the right to:

  • Attend the AGM
  • Elect people to serve as directors
  • Take decisions in relation to the articles themselves
  • Propose resolutions
  • Vote on matters relating to the running of the Charity, including the annual cost of membership

In addition all Members should have access to the following:

  • Regular supervision and support
  • Mandatory training and ongoing learning keeping you up to date with everything you need to be able to support families and babies safely
  • Opportunities to train with us further, with many of our courses accredited with Open College London
  • Free DBS/PVG checks where applicable – to give assurances to the mums and families that we work with that we take their safety very seriously
  • Low-cost entry to our annual conference providing access to high quality ongoing learning as well as the chance to meet up with friends and colleagues
  • Subscription to our BfN Newsletter and Central Line (subject to consent) giving you access to research and other updates from across the field of infant feeding

Please contact centralsupport@breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk if you are having any difficulties accessing these services or if you have any queries.

Membership fees also make a valuable contribution to core costs including:

  • Insurance for everyone who volunteers with us, whether face to face with mums, on the helpline or even at local events
  • Delivery of a high quality annual conference at different locations across the UK
  • Availability of safeguarding training for volunteers via Virtual College
  • Training of new tutors and supervisors to enable us to continue training and supporting new volunteers
  • Continuous professional development of tutors and supervisors to ensure the highest standards for all volunteers
  • Development of online training and other services for volunteers in areas outside our peer support projects
  • Provision and maintenance of the BfN website, providing unlimited access to valuable information 24/7
  • Continuation and further development of the Drugs in Breastmilk Information service, a highly valued, essential service for many mums, families and health professionals
  • Continuous maintenance and development of our charity, not only enabling us to support more mums and families but also helping us to keep up to date in areas such as employment law, information governance, cyber security and safeguarding, enabling us to provide you with relevant policies and guidance on current issues relevant to your volunteering

Current rates and how to pay

The current rates, as agreed by Members at the last AGM are as follows:

Members = £20

Unwaged/Low income rate = £1.  This applies to anyone who considers themselves eligible.  We don’t set any criteria or ask for any proof of income and we leave it to the discretion of each individual to select the rate to pay.  This information is not shared with anyone and is treated in the strictest confidence.

You can choose from two payment options.  The easiest way is by setting up a recurring payment in PayPal.  This means that the payment will automatically be deducted every 12 months from the date of the initial payment.  You can choose to unsubscribe at any time should you no longer wish to continue your membership.

Please note that PayPal does not provide a payment reminder so please make a note that your membership fee will be deducted automatically in 12 months time unless cancelled by you. 


To cancel your recurring payments you can Unsubscribe at any time. Please be aware this may affect your registration as a Volunteer.

Alternatively you can make a one off payment which will give you membership for 12 months.  You will need to remember to make another payment in 12 months time to maintain your membership.

To make a one-off payment please visit our Shop.

If you are not comfortable paying online, we are happy to accept cheques posted to the Paisley office.  Alternatively please contact us to arrange a payment in cash (via your local project, group or at one of our events).

Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer and you agree to complete a declaration form, BfN can reclaim 25% of your membership fee from HMRC.  This does not cost you anything extra.  If you would like us to do this for your membership payments please complete a Gift Aid multiple donation form and return it to centralsupport@breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk or post it to PO Box 11126, Paisley PA2 8YB


Why have I never had to pay before
All trainees who have previously completed the Helpers course have received two years complimentary membership as part of the training package. After two years each individual is asked to pay a membership fee.
I am a volunteer in a local peer support project/I am employed by BfN – why do I need to pay?
All volunteers and staff employed in peer support projects are required to be a current member as one of the requirements of maintaining registration. You could speak to your local project lead or supervisor to find out if funding is available to cover membership fees but due to the current limitations on funding this cannot be guaranteed.
I already have a current badge – why do I need to pay?
Holding a current badge means that you have completed all the necessary steps to be re-registered as a volunteer, such as attending supervision, completing your annual return and being up to date with your IG training. Being a current member is one of the requirements of registration so if you choose not to renew your membership your registration cannot continue and this may mean that you can no longer volunteer with us.
What happens if I don’t/am not able to pay?
If you feel that you are not able to pay the current rate of £20 or £1, please speak to us. If we do not receive a payment from you and we have not heard from you regarding this we will contact you and ask for your membership fee to be brought up to date. If we still receive no response, after a period of one month from the date of our letter to you, you will be removed from the newsletter distribution lists and will no longer be eligible for low-cost entry to our annual conference. Non-payment may also affect your ability to volunteer with us in future.
What if I am no longer able to volunteer?
If you are no longer able to volunteer with us you will automatically become a Friend of BfN as a thank you for everything you have done. This will expire on your next renewal date. You should cancel any recurring membership payment to us to avoid any unexpected charges. If you would like to stay up to date and would like to continue supporting our work you can pay to remain a Friend of BfN. More information is available here..

Thank you!

Page last updated June 2019