Barnardo's income fell by almost £10m last year, accounts show

The drop was due in part to a fall in voluntary income and the fact that the charity had sold property in the previous year

Total income at children’s charity Barnardo's fell by £9.5m last year, driven in part by a reduction in donations and legacies.

The charity’s accounts up to 31 March 2020, filed with Companies House last week, show total income was down to £296.5m, compared with £306m in the previous year

Total spending was £219.3m, slightly more than £6m down on 2018/19. 

Income available for charitable purposes fell by a similar amount to £219.3m.

The drop in total income was partly driven by a reduction in donations and legacies, which fell by about £4m to £41.9m.

In addition, the charity reported about £3m less from property sales compared with the previous year, because it did not dispose of any buildings.

It also said it had lost £3m in shop income because of the first lockdown, imposed eight days before the end of the financial year. 

The charity’s pension deficit has also been reduced significantly, by £25m to £117.6m, the accounts show. 

Barnardo’s had an appeal rejected by the Supreme Court in November 2018 that would have allowed it to use a lower rate of inflation to calculate rises in its pension scheme.

The charity’s accounts report a number of concerns as a result of the pandemic which Third Sector reported in June last year.

It warned last year that it expected its income would fall by about £50m in 2020/21.

A spokesperson said that gross income was now likely to be down by more than £60m over the course of the year after the second UK lockdown, although this would be partially offset by support from some of the government's coronavirus programmes, including the furlough scheme. 

Year-on-year income from Barnardo’s trading subsidiaries was down by about £6m in 2019/20, the accounts show. 

The total number of employees at the charity fell slightly to 7,865.

- This article was updated on 20 April 2021 to reflect the amount of retail income lost as a result of the first UK lockdown 

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