Name of £60m charity partnership revealed

Enable Scotland and Sense Scotland hope other charities will join the venture

Details of a new strategic partnership between two disability charities with a combined annual income of more than £60m have been revealed.

Enable Scotland and Sense Scotland agreed in March last year to form the partnership, which they believe will save £10m over three to five years by sharing back-office functions.

Now the charities have said the partnership, which came into existence this month, will be known as the Piper Group.

Theresa Shearer, chief executive of Enable Scotland, has been appointed group chief executive and Andy Kerr, chief executive of Sense Scotland, has been named chief operating officer.

The Piper Group will be based at Inspire House in Lanarkshire, which is where Enable Scotland is based.

Some back-office staff at Sense Scotland, which is based in Glasgow, have already transferred to Inspire House.

The charities employ a total of about 3,000 employees. 

A spokeswoman for Enable Scotland said: "While other charities have opted to merge, the Piper Group structure is different.

"We are two established organisations coming together from a position of strength to realise greater efficiencies through joint working to address proactively the current challenges in the market."

The spokeswoman said demand for services was increasing and no redundancies were planned. 

"The Piper Group is more than a back-office merger," she said.

"Efficiencies are being achieved via property co-location, cost avoidance, joint procurement, shared costs of operational systems and software, and shared opportunity costs in digital investment, which will directly benefit our front line.

"Where roles become subject to change, we are committed to avoiding compulsory redundancies by looking at redeployment, retraining and sharing resources to focus on delivering growth and development within our current portfolio."

It is hoped that other charities will join the partnership.

"This venture is the first of its kind in terms of scale and significance for the third sector.

"We are confident in the model and believe it has the potential to impact more widely on the landscape of social care delivery in Scotland."

The Piper Group brand will be used for the delivery of information technology, human resources, learning and development, digital, finance and payroll functions for each organisation that is a member of the group.

Services delivered by Enable Scotland and Sense Scotland will continue to be branded under their separate names.

According to their latest accounts for 2018/19, Enable Scotland had an income of £39.3m and Sense Scotland's was £21.6m.

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