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).

No animals with the exception of assistance dogs are permitted.  If you require to bring an assistance dog with you this must be notified to the Benevolent Fund office at the time of booking, along with appropriate proof of status, admission will be at the discretion of the Chief Executive.

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. In Service 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.

  • 2. 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).
  • 3. 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.

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).

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.

Appendix A

RUC GC PSNI BENEVOLENT FUND

RULES AND GUIDELINES FOR CLAREVIEW COTTAGES, KESH & RATHMORE

COURT APARTMENTS PORTRUSH

Booking and general arrangements

  • Booking and use of the Apartments must be in accordance with Benevolent Fund policy.
  • The person in whose name the apartment is booked will be responsible for the use of the apartment and must be present throughout the stay. The keys will only be issued to that person, the keys must be returned also by that person.
  • These apartments are operated by your charity. Please remember this and use the properties and their facilities with respect.
  • Non compliance with any part of these rules or policy may lead to the withdrawal of further use of the apartments at the discretion of the Benevolent Fund.

Occupancy

  • You will be allocated a booking in time on the day of your arrival, please adhere to this. There is no provision for collecting keys outside these times. 
  • On arrival the keys must be collected by the person by whom the booking has been made, on the day of departure keys must be returned by the same person. One set of keys is provided for each apartment, these must not be separated or given to anyone else. Keys must be returned to the person in charge at 10.00am on the day of your departure.
  • You must bring your booking letter with you. If you are unable to do so, you must bring with you suitable identification to allow for verification of your booking. If your booking cannot be verified you may not be permitted to stay at the apartments.
  • (Rathmore Apartments) There is an intercom system linking each apartment with the main door of the apartment block. The main door may be opened by pressing a button on the intercom. Do not let anyone in who is not a member of your party.  The rear hallway door must be kept locked when not in use.

The front entrance to the apartment blocks must be closed after entering or leaving the accommodation, doors should never be wedged open at any time.

  • When you attend the apartments pillows and duvets are provided, mattress, duvet and pillow protectors will be on the bedding. You must bring your own bed linen, bed sheets, duvet covers and pillowcases, these must be put on over the protectors.
  • Toiletries, cleaning/washing materials and towels are not supplied.
  • On arrival you must advise the person in charge of any noted damage or deficiencies in utensils, furnishings etc. Instructions for use of equipment can be found in the folder provided for each apartment. If you are unsure as to the operation of any equipment provided or any other matter please speak with the person in charge.
  • Please remember that the apartments are funded by the Service Charity and therefore when using the washing machine, etc please be economical.
  • No animals with the exception of assistance dogs are permitted. If you require to bring an assistance dog with you this must be notified to the Benevolent Fund office at the time of booking along with appropriate proof of status, admission will be at the discretion of the Chief Executive.
  • Please remember to lock all doors and windows, especially ground floor sun lounges after use.
  • You are advised if you are accompanied by children to be especially careful with regard to verandas/balconies. Children should never be left unsupervised.
  • The apartments and cottages are at all times non smoking.  The Smoking (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 applies to these premises. It is therefore against the law to smoke on these premises (including verandas/balconies.)
  • Whilst in the grounds of the apartments and cottages please respect others and dispose of your waste in an appropriate manner. Failure to comply with the above may lead to the withdrawal of further use of the apartments at the discretion of the Benevolent Fund.
  • You should respect other people’s use of the apartments and behave appropriately. You should keep noise levels to a minimum.
  • Any complaints about your behaviour or anyone in your party during your stay or misuse of the facilities in general will be considered and if upheld, may lead to the withdrawal of further use of the apartments at the discretion of the Benevolent Fund.

Departure

  • On the day of departure, you must vacate your apartment by 10.00am and return the keys to the person in charge.
  • Please ensure that the apartment is left clean and tidy and that any and all breakages have been reported to the person in charge.
  • In particular, please ensure that bathroom and kitchen work surfaces are cleaned and that the cooker, microwave and all dishes and utensils are washed thoroughly.  A vacuum cleaner has been provided in each apartment.
  • To avoid cancellation of your booking, any changes MUST be informed to the Benevolent Fund office by telephoning 028 90 764215 up to 4.00pm on the Friday before or by contacting the appropriate person in charge at the apartments, details provided in your booking pack.

General

  • These apartments are provided by your charity. Please treat them with respect.
  • The financial reality for the Benevolent Fund is that the average cost of operating the charity’s apartments is around £150 – £200 per week. The equivalent price of a private rental of an apartment or cottage in this area would be substantially higher than this.
  • We would therefore ask that you consider if you are able to make a donation towards the operation of these apartments and cottages going forward
  • The Benevolent Fund hopes that you have a great break; if you have any observations or comments to make on your holiday arrangements or accommodation, please do not hesitate to contact us and let us know.