Blood Cancer UK proposes cutting a quarter of its workforce

Blood Cancer UK has proposed cutting more than a quarter of its workforce in a bid to deal with the anticipated loss of about 40 per cent of its income. 

Gemma Peters, chief executive of the blood cancer charity, said the organisation, which had an income of £15.3m in the year to the end of March last year, was facing a £6m drop in incoming funds because of the coronavirus pandemic.

There was also the prospect that it could take another three years for income to return to previous levels, she said. 

The charity cut operational costs by £2m this year and furloughed 40 per cent of staff in response to the pandemic, said Peters. 

“But none of this was enough, and so it became inevitable that we would face a difficult decision about the size and shape of our charity,” she said. 

“So today, I talked to the team here about a proposal to reduce the number of people we employ from 120 to 87.

“It’s only a proposal at the moment, and over the next month I want to hear the thoughts of the team about how we can improve it. But it’s clear that we’ll lose a significant number of brilliant, dedicated, people. 

“And this, together with having £1.8m less to spend on research this year, means we’ll be able to do less for people with blood cancer in the short term.”

Peters wrote in a blog on the charity’s website that she was determined that the charity would emerge from the pandemic strong and focussed on its mission to beat blood cancer. 

“If, like me, you know too many families that have been devastated by blood cancer, you’ll share my determination to do whatever it takes for our charity to emerge from the pandemic able to increase our research spending as quickly as possible.

“This determination has guided every decision contained in the proposals I presented to our staff today. I promise you that this same determination will guide everything I do in the coming months.”

The 60-year-old charity changed its name from Bloodwise in March after less than five years because the name proved to be confusing to the public

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