Booking Policy

Benevolent Fund Apartments

The RUCGC-PSNI Benevolent Fund owns nineteen holiday apartments in Portrush and eight holiday apartments in Kesh, County Fermanagh.

The apartments in Portrush are in blocks comprising of ground, 1st and 2nd floor accommodation accessed by stairs.  (a lift is fitted to block 1).  An accessible disabled apartment is available on the ground floor for three persons and the remaining accommodation is a mix of two and three bedroom apartments for 4, 5 or 6 persons and one four bedroom apartment for 7 people. 

The apartments at Kesh consist of a detached building with 8 apartments over 2 floors. The apartments accommodate variously 4 or 6 persons. 2 apartments are ground floor, 2 are first floor and 4 are 2 storey.

All facilities are furnished including the provision of cooking utensils, crockery and television. Bed linen, towels and consumable toiletries are not provided.

The apartments are available for 1 week holidays excluding the winter period (both sites typically closing around Mid November with Portrush reopening mid February and Kesh Mid March dependent on scheduled maintenance works and so forth).

Use of the apartments is governed by this policy document and by the rules attached at Appendix ‘A’. This policy document will be accessible via the Benevolent Fund website and a copy of the Rules supplied to every person applying use of the apartments or cottages

Eligibility for use of the apartments

The facilities are available as indicated above free of charge, to those in eligible groups. These groups are defined as follows.

All persons should fall into one of the following categories to be eligible.

  1. Widow(er)s/ Bereaved Partners

The apartments are available for the use of widows, widowers and bereaved partners.

These are defined as follows; widows, widowers or bereaved partners of members who died in service for whatever reason from 1969 to date.

This category will also include widows, widowers and bereaved partners of medically retired ex members who died within one year and one day of medical retirement from 1969 to date.

Widow and widower will include those who are married or in civil partnership.

This category will also include bereaved partners. Partner is defined as any person who although not married or in civil partnership with each other, were living together as husband and wife (including a same sex relationship) for the entire two years prior to that member’s death).

To be eligible, the member should have been a subscribing member of the Benevolent Fund at date of death.

Where a deceased officer is survived by more than one widow/ widower or bereaved partner, entitlement to use of the apartments will normally be allocated to the person with whom the deceased officer resided at their death.  Only one person may be eligible for use of the apartments by virtue of this qualification.

It should be noted that where a serving officer is in this category they are fully eligible to apply as a widow(er) or bereaved partner.

  1. The apartments are available for the use of the parents of a deceased single officer (i.e. a deceased officer who is not survived by a widow, widower or bereaved partner).
  2. The apartments are available for the use of retired officers and widows/ widowers and bereaved partners of retired officers (not within the definition of category 1 above) 

This is defined as being retired officers (including medically retired) who were subscribing members of the Benevolent Fund at their date of retirement or their widow/ widower or bereaved partner.

Remarried widows still retain the eligibility to apply for apartment places; however, on their death their bereaved widow(er)/ bereaved partner will have no remaining entitlement to use the apartments.

Where a deceased officer is survived by more than one widow/ widower or bereaved partner, entitlement to use of the apartments will normally be allocated to the person with whom the deceased officer resided at their death.  Only one person may be eligible for use of the apartments by virtue of this qualification.

  • Serving Officers

The apartments can be made available to serving officers in extreme welfare circumstances

An eligible person may make a maximum of 2 bookings in any calendar year

Resignations

Where a member has resigned from the service rather than retired no entitlement to use of the apartments exists.

Occupancy

Eligibility for use of the apartments is based on the applicant in whose name the booking has been made. This person must be present throughout the duration of the booking.

The only exception to this rule will be where the person who would be eligible to book is in constant medical care and cannot leave their place of treatment to attend (for example in permanent residential care). In these circumstances their spouse or partner may apply for use of the apartments. That person will then assume responsibility for the keys and so forth.

Occupancy capacity must not be exceeded and only occupants notified to the Benevolent Fund at time of booking may stay in the property.

The person making the booking is responsible for the behaviour of any guests they invite to use the facility and for the condition of the premises at the end of the holiday. They must ensure that any and all breakages are reported to the caretaker before departure and that the apartment is left clean and tidy.

The Benevolent Fund expects that costs incurred by damage or neglect will be met by the applicant in whose name the booking was made.

Any breach of the rules will be dealt with by the Benevolent Fund and may result in the applicant being asked to leave the apartments and the future withdrawal of use of this facility.

Booking Procedure

Allocation

The Benevolent Fund aims to ensure the maximum and fair availability of apartments to those eligible as is possible.  Eligible persons are restricted to booking a maximum of two holidays per calendar year and may only book one holiday during the months of June to August in a calendar year.

Reserved Dates

To assist in ensuring that apartments are available for particular groups a number of block allocations are made

  1. A total of 8 apartments at Portrush are made available for applicants falling within Category 1 during the months of July and August. These are booked via either the online or written application processes set out below. Where an apartment thus reserved has not been allocated 4 weeks in advance of the date for which it has been reserved will be treated as vacant and released for the purposes of allocation to applicants outside category 1.
  2. One apartment at Portrush will be reserved for the first week of every month for use of serving officers for respite breaks in cases of extreme welfare need. Where this apartment has not been allocated 4 weeks in advance of the date for which it has been reserved it will be treated as vacant and released for the purposes of allocation to other applicants.
  3. One apartment is held at Portrush for one week during the months of April to June and August to October for the use of those who book in writing. Where an apartment thus reserved has not been allocated 4 weeks in advance of the date for which it has been reserved will be treated as vacant and released for the purposes of allocation to applicants outside category 1.

In certain circumstances holidays may be booked in advance (that is to say up to 6 months in advance of occupancy). Standard booking will be 4 weeks in advance of occupancy.

With certain exemptions bookings must be made via the Benevolent Fund website. Online bookings will require the applicant to have registered with the fund and logged on to the Benevolent Fund Website, www.policebenevolentfund.com.

Booking Process

An eligible person within Category 1 may advance book (up to 6 months before occupancy) one holiday per year. They may book a further holiday during the year in the standard manner i.e. up to 4 weeks in advance however, they may not do this before they have availed of their advance booked holiday.

Any other eligible person may book 2 holidays per calendar year in the standard manner i.e. up to 4 weeks in advance.

If an eligible person (not in category 1) has not availed of any holiday in a given calendar year, in the year following they will be eligible to advance book one holiday (6 month advance booking) and book another holiday in the standard manner (4 week arrangements).

Subject to reserved dates as described above, apartments will be released for booking on the Benevolent Fund website 6 months in advance of date sought (i.e. on the first working day of January the website will permit booking of the apartments for the month of July).

Where an eligible person has already made an advance booking for the current calendar year they cannot make a further booking until the first booked holiday has been taken. This applies to all categories of eligibility.

An eligible person (in any category) may only avail of one holiday in the months of June to August.

Where an eligible person (not in category 1) avails of a holiday during June to August in any year they may not avail of a holiday in June to August of the following year.

To illustrate; in 2022 the eligible person (not in Category 1) books 2 holidays. In 2023 they may book 2 holidays but not via advance booking.

If in 2022 they do not take any holidays, in 2023 they can avail of up to 2 holidays, one of which may be booked up to 6 months in advance. If they avail of any holiday commencing April 2022 they cannot avail of advance booking in 2023.

Bookings are allocated on a ‘first come first served’ basis and allocations cannot be appealed.

Written Applications

It is noted that some applicants may not have access to on line facilities. To ensure their access, an apartment is held at Portrush during the months of April to June and August to October for the use of those who book in writing.

 Written applications will be made to the Benevolent Fund office at Garnerville. An eligible person may only avail of this option if they cannot reasonably be expected to use online booking. A person must use either written or online booking arrangements. Bookings cannot be made by telephone.

In line with the booking rules, eligible written applications will be considered on the first working day of each month for the sixth month in advance. No written applications will be considered prior to this the first working day of the month six months preceding the date sought (i.e. January for a holiday in July).

Where written applications for any given week exceed availability applications will be prioritised as follows

  • Priority will be given to those in category 1 (bereaved widows and partners)
  • Second priority will be those who have never previously used the apartments facility
  • The next priority will be those who have not availed of a holiday in the current calendar year
  • The final criteria will be those who did not avail of a holiday in the preceding calendar year

Where, after application of the above weeding criteria there is still an over demand, the apartment will be allocated by means of random selection.