Income down a quarter at the National Children’s Bureau

The NCB raised £12.4m in 2021/22, down from £16.2m the year before

Accounts for the National Children’s Bureau show the charity’s income dropped by almost 25 per cent in the most recent financial year.

Documents filed with the Companies House show the charity’s total income for the year to March 2022 was £12.4m, down from £16.2m the previous year. 

However, the charity finished 2021/22 with a surplus of £3.5m, compared with £700,000 the year before. 

The accounts also reveal a drop in expenditure by the charity, to £12.9m from £16.2m in the previous year. 

A breakdown of NCB’s income for the past two financial years shows that while it received more money from donations – £209,000 compared with £163,000 – the charity received significantly less from its charitable activities, which fell from £16.1m to £12.2m. 

The charity incurred £70,000 in redundancy costs in 2021/22, compared with £22,000 in the 12 months before. 

Writing in the foreword of the report, Alison O’Sullivan, the chair of NCB’s trustees, acknowledged that the charity’s “future has been strengthened by reducing our core costs which has sadly meant losing some staff”.

Despite this, the accounts show the overall number of staff at NCB rose from 107 in 2020/21 to 113 in 2021/22. 

Staff costs increased from £4.9m to £5.4m in the same period.

Chief executive Anna Feuchtwang acknowledged in the accounts that the charity ended a number of programmes this year, including an independent advice and support programme run through local authorities to support families of children with additional needs in England.

She added that another programme with The National Lottery Community Fund, which worked on wellbeing and mental health in schools, also came to an end.

NCB chief operating officer Rachel Rand told Third Sector: “NCB has strong foundations and I am very confident about our future as we embark on a new five-year strategy development process and prepare to celebrate our 60th anniversary.

“As shown in our accounts, last year a number of our major programmes came to the end of their cycle, leading to a fall in NCB’s income and the loss of some excellent members of staff. 

“However, after this anticipated fluctuation in our income, we are now building again for the future. I am delighted that NCB has already secured a number of new multi-year contracts, including a programme to deliver stronger practice hubs for early years settings and to develop a What Works Centre for children with special educational needs and disabilities.”

Elsewhere, NCB’s accounts show that its total reserves increased to £4.9m by the end of the financial year, up from £1.5m. The annual report said the recent sale of a freehold property and subsequent investment in a new property has put the charity in a “strong reserves and cash position”.

The NCB sold its London headquarters in 2018 as part of a previous restructure.

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