Leonard Cheshire helping far more people, despite lower income and spending

The charity's accounts for 2018/19 say it reached 46,000 people, compared with 30,000 the previous year, though income fell from £25.1m to £14.9m

Leonard Cheshire's annual report
Leonard Cheshire's annual report

The disability charity Leonard Cheshire helped more than 50 per cent more people in 2018/19 than in the previous year despite a slight fall in income, its latest accounts show.

The accounts for the year to 31 March 2019, filed with Companies House last week, show the charity reached more than 46,000 people in the UK and abroad, an increase from approximately 30,000 the year before.

In an interview with Third Sector last year, Neil Heslop, chief executive of Leonard Cheshire, said the charity had plans to grow the number of people it helped to 150,000 by 2022.

Heslop said at the time that he hoped between 80,000 and 100,000 of the total number of people helped by the charity by 2022 would be living outside the UK.

Hugh Fenn, executive director, UK services at Leonard Cheshire, said: "Last year was one of significant growth as we widened and increased the range of support we offer in communities, both in the UK and internationally.

"After working with partners to identify need, we expanded our key community programmes. In the coming years, we will continue to make a bigger difference to the lives of people with disabilities, transforming the opportunities available in communities."

Fenn said the expanded community programmes included the opening of seven new Discover IT centres and four more Can Do locations across the UK, which provided opportunities for disabled people.

Internationally, Fenn said, the charity supported more children with disabilities to get mainstream school places, as well as more than 13,000 adults to gain work opportunities.

The charity’s increased impact came despite income falling from £175.9m to £162m, with spending also falling from £171.5m to £167.7m.

The main reason for the fall in income was a large legacy of almost £15m that the charity received in 2017/18, which meant voluntary income fell from £25.1m to £14.9m in 2018/19.

Despite a significant fall in legacy income as a result of the previous year’s record donation, donation income excluding legacies almost doubled from £3.8m to £7.4m.

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