What is BAWA?

Chairman's Foreword - About BAWA

Now in its 76th year, BAWA is an unincorporated members' association that has been growing and developing since 1942. We are a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation offering healthcare and leisure services and facilities with the aim of promoting good health and wellbeing for our many thousands of members.

Rolls-Royce Plc, Airbus UK, BAE Systems, MBDA and GKN Aerospace employees make up the traditional core of our membership however more and more local employers have realised the benefits of offering BAWA membership to their staff and the list is growing considerably. We now include the likes of South Gloucestershire Council, North Bristol NHS Trust and John Lewis Partnership employees amongst our members, to name but a few. This growth in the constituent company base is beneficial as it allows further enhancement to the services we offer all of our members.

Besides our provision of excellent healthcare cover, our extensive Leisure Centre complex hosts premier entertainment acts and we offer ever-improving Sports and Leisure facilities along with a superb Conference and Events centre.

Our website aims to help you find out exactly what BAWA has to offer and how our services can benefit you and/or your organisation.

Personal Message


“In my role as Chairman I aim to continue to improve and develop the facilities and services that BAWA offers its members and customers. The Ballroom is regularly refurbished to a very high standard and the last major refurbishment included replacement of the air-conditioning equipment, additionally a new roof has recently been installed over the Sports Lounge area.. The Pavilion was enhanced with the redecoration of the lounge, Conference Room 1, the stairway and the Concorde Room. We have refurbished three of our squash courts and are looking at further improvements to pedestrian access to the leisure centre from Airbus. Site security has been beefed up with the installation of an electronic entry barrier and improved CCTV system.

With regards to membership, the cost of our bargain Sports Membership option which is available to any Constituent Company employee is just £1.84 per week. This offers BAWA membership including up to £200 annual medical cashback at a truly remarkable price. 
The Prize Draw is open to all BAWA members and costs just £1 per week for each four-number entry. We offer fantastic prizes including a monthly first prize of £10,000, second prize of £5,000 and third prize of £2,500 as well as many other prizes from £1,000 down.
2017 was a special year for BAWA as we reached the significant milestone of our 75th anniversary at the beginning of July. Do have a look through this website to see all that we offer our members - you will be surprised!
I finish by thanking all of our staff for their invaluable contribution in making BAWA the success that it is.”
Jim Bishop, Chairman of BAWA

Past, Present & Future

The sports ground at Filton showing the old Pavilion

Sports ground at Filton with old Pavilion

The Bristol Aeroplane Company Welfare Association was founded by Sir G Stanley White in 1942 to provide a centralised service for sickness pay and sports and social activities for employees of the Bristol Aeroplane Company. The “Welfare” soon became a very integral part of life at the “BAC”.

In 1959 Bristol Aeroplane Company split to become the British Aircraft Corporation and Bristol Siddeley Engines. During the following years various divisions and takeovers occurred, with the Welfare Association remaining central throughout.

In 1973 the Bristol Aeroplane Company Welfare Association underwent a subtle name change to become the Bristol Aerospace Welfare Association and the acronym BAWA was born.

In 1992 the Bristol Aerospace Welfare Association had a further name change and became BAWA Healthcare and Leisure.

War Relief 1940-45 pamphlet

Today, the major companies which evolved from the former Bristol Aeroplane Company are Rolls-Royce plc, BAE Systems plc and Airbus UK. These companies are at the heart of BAWA Healthcare and Leisure’s membership and additionally we have members employed by our newer constituent companies. The conference and leisure facilities generate enough income to enable BAWA to continually enhance its services, hence the recent major refurbishments of the Ballroom, Pavilion and Fitness centre.

Members of the BAC drama club in a performance of "Burning Gold"

Members of the BAC drama club in a performance of "Burning Gold"

A policy is in place to ensure ongoing maintenance and development of the services and facilities at BAWA Healthcare and Leisure. This means that members will continue to receive the best value and the highest possible quality.

BAWA is exceptionally keen to support the local community. Every year many generous donations are made to a variety of local charities.