A little about

Our history

Way back in 1834 we were called The Ancient Order of Foresters. Very grand, don’t you think? Although we are now simply known as Foresters Friendly Society, our ethos hasn’t changed.

Foresters is there for you too

Take out any of our financial products and you’ll automatically become a member.

Our first members came to recognise they had a duty to assist their fellow men and women who sometimes needed help “as they walked through the forests of life”. This need arose principally when a breadwinner fell ill, could not work and received no wages. Providing financial and social support to our members has been the main purpose of Foresters Friendly Society throughout our long history. Back then, Members recognised that by paying a few pence a week into a common fund, they would be able to offer sick pay and funeral grants when needed.

Over 185 years of
helping our members

  • Paper in very bad condition and torn

    The Ancient Order of Foresters is founded.

    1834
  • Vintage drawing of a man in formal attire

    Legal status attained under the new Friendly Societies Act.

    1850
  • Military men posing for a picture

    Our members set up the UK’s first voluntary Lifeboat Fund.

    1864
  • Vintage postcards

    After the National Insurance Act of 1911, we became an ‘Approved Society’, allowing us to get involved in the state system of National Insurance, which virtually doubled our total membership.

    1912
  • Foresters War Memorial Benevolent Fund box

    The Foresters’ War Memorial Benevolent Fund is established to provide financial assistance to members and their families who have been severely affected by the losses of the First World War.

    1918
  • Silver medal badge on green background

    Centenary celebrations include a thanksgiving service, held simultaneously at over 500 locations while around 1,135 delegates attend the AGM, including visitors from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Holland and the United States.

    1934
  • Souvenir brochure 125th anniversary list of delegates

    We celebrate our 125th anniversary.

    1959
  • Antique plate displaying Ancient Order of Foresters inscription

    Over 600 members attend the 150th anniversary celebrations.

    1984
  • Old family picture in black and white

    Payments by the Foresters’ War Memorial Benevolent Fund reach £1 million.

    1988
  • High-rise building with transparent exterior and blue sky

    The Society is regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

    2000
  • Pen on contract papers

    We acquire Tunstall Assurance Friendly Society.

    2003
  • People signing a contract

    Acquisition of Leek Assurance Collecting Society.

    2005
  • 175 Years Logo

    Our 175th anniversary is celebrated at our AGM in Manchester, close to where the Society began.

    2009
  • Woman in red shirt doing archery

    We team up with Archery GB (the governing body for the GB Archery Olympic and Paralympic teams) as their Performance Partner in the run up to London 2012.

    2010
  • Bank of England building In London

    Following the change in financial services regulator, we are now dual regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA).

    2013
  • Bundle of archers

    Our partnership with Archery GB is renewed and we continue as Performance Partner for the next 3 years.

    2013
  • Introducer scheme icon

    Our Introducer Scheme is launched.

    2013
  • 180+ Years Logo

    Celebrations for our 180th anniversary take place at our AGM in Torquay.

    2014
  • Acquisition of the POIS.

    2014
  • 19million icon

    Foresters announces record sales results in 2015 with a 32% increase in premium income to £19million.

    2015
  • 1 Million Icon

    The Society also paid out over £1million back to its members in the form of dental and optical grants, discretionary benefits and charitable donations.

    2015
  • 1.9 Million + pound Icon

    This is in addition to the £1.9million paid out in the form of final bonuses to its policyholders and £0.7million in annual bonuses added to their guaranteed benefits.

    2015
  • Guide to save for something big

    Our Lifetime ISA is launched, as one of the first in the market place.

    2017
  • Cover of Front Magazine of Investing in children tomorrow and today

    We launch our Junior ISA.

    2018
  • Nurse holding hand of an elderly woman

    Our new Help at Home Service, part of our enhanced member benefits package, is unveiled.

    2018
  • Best in Class Icon

    Our with profits fund maintains best in class performance in the independent Barnett Waddingham with profits fund survey.

    2018
  • 1.1 Million Icon

    We paid £1.1million back to our members in discretionary grants and charitable donations. This is in addition to the £2.2million paid out in the form of final bonuses to our policyholders and £1.1million in annual bonuses added to their guaranteed benefits.

    2018
  • Top performer Icon

    Our with profits fund is again recognised as a top performer in the independent Barnett Waddingham with profits fund survey despite tough market conditions and is listed as the top performing fund in the small and medium categories with a 5 year annualised return of 5.39 per cent.

    2018
  • AXA Investment Managers Picture

    After a stringent selection process, we partner with AXA Investment Managers in order to provide us with additional investment diversification and potential return for our policyholders.

    2019
  • Insurance Investment exchange award winner 2019

    We are announced as winner of ‘Best Small Insurer’ at the Insurance Investment Exchange Awards 2019.

    2019
  • 1.6 Million Icon

    We awarded over £1.6m in discretionary grants to our members in 2019, including over £330,000 in Healthcare grants covering dental and optical care.

    2019
  • We signed up to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) so our members can be confident that their investments will be managed in a responsible and environmentally conscious way.

    2020
  • One to Watch 2021

    We are accredited as a ‘One to Watch’ employer as part of Best Companies nationally recognised and respected scheme. One to Watch is a special status awarded to organisations where workplace engagement shows promising signs.

    2021
  • £1.7 million+ Foresters Friendly logo

    We paid over £1.7million back to members in the form of discretionary grants and charitable donations. This is in addition to the £4.68million paid to policyholders in final bonuses and £1.96million in annual bonuses!

    2021
  • We maintained our ‘One to Watch’ accreditation for the second year– a special status awarded to organisations where workplace engagement shows promising signs for the future.

    2022
  • Best Companies Top 25 Q1 2022

    Building on our staff engagement survey, we achieved outstanding rankings as a Best Company to work for in the Q1 2022 listing, published by Best Companies.

    2022
  • DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal

    Our members raised a staggering £49,393 for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), including a £10,000 Board donation that we promised to add, to support the people of Ukraine.

    2022
  • Foresters Friendly Help at Home Flyer

    We re-launch our revised Help at Home member benefit, to help towards the cost of Help at Home domiciliary care, providing financial respite and support

    2022
  • Investment award for Best Junior ISA 2022

    We are announced as winner of Best Junior Investment ISA Provider 2022 at the Inaugural YourMoney.com Investment Awards 2022.

    2022
  • Personal Finance Winner 2022 - Over 50's Life Insurance Foresters Friendly

    We are announced as winner of Best Over 50’s Life Insurance Provider at the 24th YourMoney.com Personal Finance Awards 2022.

    2022
  • Over 50s Life Insurance 2023 promotional image

    Our Over 50’s Life Insurance is independently awarded 5 stars by Fairer Finance for a third consecutive year.

    2023
  • Foresters Friendly Society Junior ISA Awards 2023

    We are announced as winner of Best Junior Investment ISA Provider for the second consecutive year at the YourMoney.com Investment Awards.

    2023
  • Foresters Friendly Society's Accreditation 2023 Image

    We are awarded Best Companies ‘One to Watch’ accreditation for a third consecutive year – a special status awarded to organisations where workplace engagement shows promising signs for the future.

    2023
  • We achieved outstanding rankings as a Best Company to work for in the Q1 2023 listing, published by Best Companies.

    2023

There are two ways to become a
Foresters member

FREE membership included

Take out one of our financial products

You might want to put something away for your children. Or save up for your future. Every one of our products includes free membership with access to a range of benefits.

£25 per year

Membership subscription

Don’t need a financial product? Don’t worry. You’ll also be welcomed as a member by taking out an annual subscription. For only £25 every year you can enjoy all the benefits of Foresters Extras, including financial support, practical help, as well as social and community events.