More than 40 at-risk jobs saved at Christian Aid despite £13m income fall

More than 40 at-risk jobs were saved at Christian Aid last year despite a £13m drop in income driven, in part, by reductions in UK aid funding.

The charity’s latest accounts, up to the end of March 2021, show it spent £3m on a restructure aimed at reducing its overall cost base by £7m by March this year.

Third Sector reported in August 2019 that up to 200 staff roles were at risk as part of the review.

The charity paid out £1.7m in redundancy payments in 2020/21 and confirmed that 155 people had been made redundant, 45 fewer roles than first anticipated.

The charity said it had sought to fill vacancies with people who would otherwise have been made redundant, which enabled it to retain some staff.

The total number of employees at the charity stands at 866, at an annual cost of £27.7m.

Christian Aid’s latest accounts show that total income fell to £86.4m, a 13 per cent reduction on 2019/20.

This was driven by a fall in institutional grant income as a result of lower levels of UN humanitarian activity and reductions in UK government development opportunities.

Despite donations from Christian Aid Week falling by nearly half to £4.1m, this was offset by an increase in digital and legacy donations, including one “very generous” legacy gift of £5.4m.

But total donations still fell by four per cent year on year to £42.3m.

Total expenditure was reduced almost in line with the charity’s income, by £17m to £89.3m.

The charity said the decline reflects reduced activities, together with cost-saving measures due to the pandemic.

Christian Aid refused to provide comparable year-on-year safeguarding figures “due to consideration for the importance of a safe space”, but said it tracked each case and presented the figures during closed internal sessions.

The charity’s latest accounts also show that it asked an external consultancy, Xtend UK, to conduct a race equality report in 2020/21.

“The report highlighted a culture of colour-blindness in the organisation,” according to the accounts.

To address issues of racial injustice and work toward becoming an anti-racist organisation, the charity said it had committed to a number of actions over the next 18 months.

These included increased oversight of race and diversity by the charity’s board and regular training on these issues for all staff and trustees.

The charity had already announced the appointment of its first race and diversity lead, Kamna Patel, an associate professor of development studies and faculty vice-dean for equality, diversity and inclusion at University College London, in May last year.

The charity’s former chief executive, Amanda Khozi Mukwashi, previously described the race equality report as “painful reading” and thanked staff who “bravely shared their lived experiences in order that Christian Aid might do better”.

She announced she was stepping down in November to take up a new role at the United Nations at the start of this year.

In her foreword to the charity’s accounts she praised its staff for the sacrifices they had made during the pandemic.

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