Drug and alcohol charity cut 40 jobs last year as programmes ended

We Are With You, which changed its name from Addaction last year, says many of the job losses were related to funded programmes drawing to a close

More than 40 jobs were cut at the charity We Are With You last year as a result of some programmes coming to an end.

The drug and alcohol charity’s latest accounts up to 31 March 2020 show total income fell by more than £3m to £63.5m.

Spending fell by about £5m to £63.7m, which left the charity with a small deficit of £150,000.

The number of staff at the charity was reduced from 1,444 to 1,315, and spending on wages and salaries dropped by more than £3m to £41m. 

Included in this expenditure were redundancy and termination costs of £263,000.

A spokesperson for We Are With You, which changed its name from Addaction last year, said: “The redundancy and termination costs relate to 41 members of staff over the financial year. Many of these were related to funded programmes drawing to a close, such as the Drink Wise Age Well programme funded by The National Lottery Community Fund."

The charity was criticised by the trade union Unison in February after it pointed out that its £140,000 rebrand could have been used to keep an alleged promise from the charity to increase former NHS workers’ pay in line with that of other health service workers.

The charity also set aside £437,000 for dilapidations and other potential legal matters.

We Are With You said that as it leased buildings to deliver its services, it calculated a provision every year in its annual accounts for dilapidations. 

The provision for potential legal matters was estimated based on this, it said, as well as any other expected legal costs for properties, staffing, advice and any other matters associated with the 2019/20 financial year.

A We Are With You spokesperson said: “As a charity that is commissioned to provide services by local authorities, we don’t rely heavily on voluntary income and have therefore been less impacted by the pandemic compared to many other charities. 

“We don’t have any plans at this time to make any redundancies as a result of the pandemic, but we anticipate that local authority budgets will continue to be stretched, which could have an impact on our finances in the coming years.”

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