Charity Commission contacts hospice about financial situation

Local media have reported that St Luke's Cheshire Hospice in Winsford has been over-ambitious with its fundraising projects

St Luke's Hospice
St Luke's Hospice

A Cheshire-based hospice has been contacted by the Charity Commission after receiving reports about the charity’s poor finances.

St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice, which is based in Winsford, has been the subject of local media reports about allegedly over-ambitious fundraising projects.

According to the charity’s latest accounts, it had an income of almost £4.9m in the year to 31 March 2016. In comparison, it spent more than £5.6m in the same period.

In addition, the charity’s chief executive, Andrea Ladeira, resigned earlier this month, having been in the role for less than a year.

A spokeswoman for the Charity Commission said: "The commission is in contact with the trustees of St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice on issues raised regarding its financial management. As this case is still ongoing, we cannot comment further until a conclusion has been reached."

In a statement directed to supporters on the charity’s website, the hospice said it had voluntarily reported its deficit to the commission and dialogue with the commission was ongoing.

It said: "Like many other charities, St Luke’s operates in a highly challenging fundraising environment and we rely heavily on support from local people. Our board of trustees understand these challenges and worked together to produce a five-year plan to strengthen our ability to sustain the future of the hospice.

"Like all good organisations, we have continued to monitor the progress of our finance plans and have increased and diversified our fundraising activities. In order to deliver a balanced budget for the next financial year, we are following best practice to review our income and expenditure, and to retain an appropriate level of financial reserves as advised by the Charity Commission."

The statement said that Richard Parker, chair of St Luke’s Hospice, would leave the charity when his three-year term as chair finished at the end of March, although the charity said this was standard practice and a recruitment process for a new chair was under way.

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