More than 140 roles at risk at Help for Heroes

The armed forces charity expects to make up to 90 redundancies as its restructures because of the coronavirus pandemic

More than 140 roles are at risk at Help for Heroes as the armed forces charity restructures to deal with an anticipated drop in income of almost a third.

The charity, which employs 318 people, said three out of its four recovery centres would remain closed for the foreseeable future as part of a review that had put 142 staff roles at risk. It anticipates making up to 90 redundancies from the at-risk roles. 

It said the restructure was necessary to protect its recovery services from the devastating financial impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It relies on public donations for 97 per cent of its income, which was nearly £27m up to September last year, according to the Charity Commission website.

This funding has reduced dramatically over the past few months, said the charity, as all planned face-to-face fundraising events and activities since April were either cancelled or postponed. 

Help for Heroes is also anticipating a 30 per cent reduction in regular income over the coming years with the ongoing economic recession.

But demand for the charity’s services increased by 33 per cent in terms of new people coming forward for support with their mental health in May and June compared with the same period last year. There was also a nearly 30 per cent rise in new referrals into Help for Heroes' physical health service.

Melanie Waters, chief executive of Help for Heroes, said the decision was extremely tough, but the charity had a responsibility to continue its services throughout the pandemic.

“The crisis has had a devastating impact on the whole UK charity sector, with lasting consequences, and it has hit us hard. 

“These tough decisions have been made to protect the future of the charity and have been taken with our beneficiaries in mind.”

The charity said it had been quick to adapt its support in March, despite having to furlough nearly 40 per cent of staff for up to seven months, and hoped to focus on face-to-face community and digital services.

Its recovery centres at Catterick, Colchester and Plymouth will remain closed, while Tedworth House will reopen.

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