Combat Stress increased fundraised income by 30 per cent last year

The latest accounts from the charity for veterans show income from donations and legacies rose from £10.3m in 2017/18 to £13.3m in 2018/19

The veterans charity Combat Stress registered an almost 30 per cent increase in fundraised income last year, its latest accounts show.

The charity’s accounts for the year to the end of March, filed with Companies House this week, show that income from donations and legacies rose from £10.3m in 2017/18 to £13.3m last year.

The increase was partly down to income from legacies more than doubling year on year, from £2m in 2017/18 to £4.2m last year.

The charity said the uplift in legacy income was largely due to the gift of a "living legacy" – a way for wealthy people to make substantial tax-effective gifts of assets and cash during their lifetimes – consisting of a flat valued at £1.25m.

Combat Stress also secured increases in the grants received from some of its strategic partners, including the Royal British Legion, which gave £1.5m to the charity compared with £1m the year before.

The rise in fundraised income was partly offset by a £2.4m fall in income from charitable activities, mainly because the charity lost a £3.2m contract with NHS England to provide residential support services for veterans.

This meant that total income was up by about £600,000 over the course of the year to £16.4m, with expenditure down by about £500,000 on 2017/18 to £14.9m.

"During 2018/19, we continued our programme to review our activities and spending in order to balance our books," the accounts say.

They add that the charity was carrying out an HR strategy review to meet the challenge of recruiting and retaining "excellent employees in a competitive market".

Sue Freeth, chief executive of Combat Stress, said that despite the increase in revenue the charity was still vulnerable to fluctuations in income.

"In recent years we have focused on a recovery plan to bring our finances back into balance, while not affecting the standard of treatment we provide," she said.

"In the past year we have seen a significant change as statutory income has reduced substantially to 10 per cent.

"The investments that we have made in fundraising and brand awareness over recent years have enabled us to grow voluntary income and we continue to invest in these areas."

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