CSV to have new senior management team in place from October

The volunteering charity makes the changes to deal with financial losses totalling more than £3m over the past two years


The volunteering charity CSV has appointed a new senior management team after a restructure to deal with significant financial losses.

The charity said yesterday that Lucy de Groot, its chief executive, would retire in October after three and a half years in charge. Oonagh Aitken, the charity’s director of social action and volunteering, will be promoted to chief executive when de Groot leaves.

CSV has said that Jo Day, its director of finance and resources, will also leave and from October the charity will be led by a new senior executive team.

This will consist of Aitken; Laura Doughty, deputy chief executive of Stonewall, who joins as director of external affairs and fundraising; Kate Morris, head of group finance at the British Heart Foundation, who will be CSV’s director of finance and resources; and Is Szoneberg, a senior manager at CSV, who will be promoted to director of volunteering operations.

The charity said that Jacqui Oughton, its managing director, learning, would leave because it is closing its learning operations, but she would remain with the charity during the changeover period.

Sir Jon Shortridge, chair of CSV, paid tribute to de Groot’s work at the charity and said it was in a strong position for the future.

The charity, which has experienced unrestricted losses totalling more than £3m over the past two years, said in March that it planned to close all 12 of its learning centres, which help young people find work, putting 110 jobs at risk. It said at the time that it would instead focus solely on social action and volunteering programmes, and said the restructure was necessary because of the "tough financial and economic environment".

The charity has sold its offices in Islington, north London, and will be relocating to office space it already owns in nearby Hackney, probably in November.

CSV’s annual report for the 16 months to the end of July 2013, filed with the Charity Commission in May after a change in its year-end related to the restructure, said that CSV had faced a "very difficult financial situation made more acute by the loss in 2011 of the annual strategic grant of more than £1m received from the Cabinet Office".

"In 2011/12, the group made an unrestricted loss of £2m," the report said. "For the 2012/13 16-month financial period, there was a further unrestricted loss of £1.1m. In the current period, 2013/14, there are continuing losses, albeit at a lower level.

"So while the group has increased income, improved its performance and impact and made reductions in the level of the deficit, the overall level of financial risk that the group faces remains too high. In addition, the group has minimal reserves, no independent income streams and carries a significant pension deficit. Therefore, since the end of the financial period of these accounts, trustees have taken action to secure a sustainable future for the charity and have put in place plans for significant further change and transformation."

Shortridge said in a statement that the charity could look forward to a "very positive, financially stable future for CSV".

"We have gone through a restructuring of the charity and we are now ready to make even greater impact," he said. "The current senior team, led by Lucy de Groot, has created a dynamic, growing charity with a clear business plan, and I’m pleased that we will have an equally strong team in place to take us to the next stage on our ambitious development."

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