Children's Society income up for first time in five years

Its latest accounts show an income of £49m, compared with £38.4m last year

The Children’s Society last year increased its income for the first time since 2013/14, new figures show, even when the funds raised from the sale of offices, including its £17m London headquarters, are discounted.

The charity’s accounts for the year to the end of March, filed with Companies House this week, show that income reached £49m, compared with £38.4m in the previous year.

The charity’s income had been in steady decline since 2013/14, when it was £49.6m.

The latest accounts say the income includes £9.1m of "gains on disposal of fixed assets" because the charity had sold four properties, including its Edward Rudolf House HQ, over the past couple of years.

The £9.1m is the difference between the "carrying value", or how much they were previously valued at in the accounts, and the amount they were sold for, which in the case of Edward Rudolf House was £9.2m. The charity has since moved into a rented central London base.

Overall income from donations and legacies rose from £17.4m in 2017/18 to £18.3m last year, the accounts show.

This was driven by a £1.3m increase in legacy income to £8.1m while income from donations fell from £10.6m in 2017/18 to £10.2m.

This echoes findings from research conducted by Third Sector earlier this year that showed increases in legacy income were masking reductions in general donations at the largest charities.

Overall expenditure by the Children's Society was £37.7m, up from £36m in the previous year.

Spending on raising funds, including the costs of direct fundraising and the charity’s shops, increased by £1.4m on the previous year to £18.4m.

Janet Legrand, chair of the charity, wrote in her introduction to the accounts: "The charity has made some important decisions about infrastructure this year, with the sale of Edward Rudolf House in London, moving to a new headquarters and the relocation of the Manchester office.

"Changes of this nature ensure we work in the most efficient manner, maximising the value of our assets for the charity while also creating a modern, agile working environment and culture for our staff."

The accounts say the charity worked with almost 10,000 young people through direct practice and youth engagement throughout the year, and concluded a five-year legal challenge against the Ministry of Justice after the department conceded that unaccompanied and separated children should be eligible for legal aid with their immigration cases, helping an estimated 15,000 vulnerable young people.

Former chief executive Matthew Reed left the charity during the year to take up the same role at Marie Curie.

He was succeeded by Mark Russell, who joined the charity this week after 13 years in the top job at the Christian charity Church Army.

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