The girls and young women’s charity GirlGuiding announced a month-long redundancy consultation with staff late last week, saying it was facing a deficit of more than £4m due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The charity’s overall income, according to its most recent annual accounts for the year ending December 2018, was £25m, £3.4m of which was generated by Girlguiding activity centres, and £2.7m from donations, legacies and grants.
But in a statement, the charity’s chief executive Angela Salt warned that GirlGuiding’s activities had been severely impacted by the pandemic.
“We are collectively living through a global crisis. Like many other organisations, Girlguiding’s activity and services have been badly hit,” Salt said.
“Our deficit is now over £4 million and we anticipate there could be further losses in 2021. We are acting now to secure the long-term sustainability of Girlguiding.”
The charity was unable to confirm the number of roles that had been placed at risk of redundancy, saying the final number of redundancies would not be known until the consultation had concluded.
However, the charity said it would attempt to minimise redundancies wherever possible.
“We are deeply saddened that we are in this difficult financial position, like many others as a result of the impact of Covid-19, and are now having to take cost saving measures to sustain us for the future,” Salt continued.
“We are not alone in the charity sector in needing to make valued staff redundant and reduce costs.”
Salt added that the charity remained committed to supporting girls and young women throughout the process, and that safeguarding resources would be protected as a priority.
“The safety and wellbeing of our members in guiding and the value they get from their membership remain our priorities as we enter this stage of recovery from Covid-19,” she said.
“We are proud of our robust safeguarding procedures which underpin everything volunteers and girls do in guiding and we will protect resources for this and other key functions.”
Salt concluded her statement by thanking the charity’s funders, “without whom we would be in a far worse position today”, and said the charity was working with government to secure “critical investment” to ensure young people were not “left behind and disadvantaged by the pandemic”.