Jubilee Sailing Trust ponders long-term future after successful emergency appeal

The appeal generated more than £1m and has secured the short-term future of the organisation

Jubilee Sailing Trust
Jubilee Sailing Trust

The Jubilee Sailing Trust has set up a working group to find ways to secure its long-term future after an emergency fundraising appeal generated more than £1m in a week.

The charity had said it was likely to close, with the loss of 51 jobs, if the appeal was unsuccessful.

But the appeal, which is set to raise about £1.25m when all donations, including Gift Aid, are accounted for, has ensured its short-term survival.

About a third of the money was raised on the online donation platform JustGiving. Two existing supporters pledged the largest single donation of £100,000 between them.

Duncan Souster, chief executive of the charity, told Third Sector that the board agreed on Monday the appeal had raised enough to ensure the charity continued operating and the focus was now on "looking at the viability of the operating model" and coming up with a more sustainable strategy.

Souster said none of the appeal funds would be spent until the charity had agreed a way forward.

He added: "We have only a small amount of working capital left, so we are keen to draw down funds as quickly as possible, but we want to be as sure-footed about our plans as possible before we do so."

Souster said the trust, which offers disabled and disadvantaged people the opportunity to sail, had a "challenging business model" because of the high running costs associated with maintaining its two large ships.

He added that it had reported a serious incident with the Charity Commission in January about its financial situation and updated the regulator last month.

The charity, which was founded in 1978, had income of £3.7m in the financial year ending 31 March 2018 and expenditure of £5m. It has no reserves.

Souster said last year's loss was mainly due to costs of £1m on unplanned engineering works.

He said the charity had not been able to generate sufficient income to build up significant reserves, but the 2019 accounts, which are still unaudited, were likely to show it breaking even with income of about £3.9m.

Asked about the impact of the financial uncertainty on staff, he said: "Obviously it's put people under pressure and it has been a challenging time, but there is good team spirit and resilience. We are used to operating in a difficult environment."

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Latest Jobs

RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Markel

Expert hub

Insurance advice from Markel

How bad can cyber crime really get: cyber fraud #1

Promotion from Markel

In the first of a series, we investigate the risks to charities from having flawed cyber security - and why we need to up our game...

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now