Scope income falls by £40m after sell-off of services

Income at the disability charity Scope has fallen by £40m after the charity’s decision to sell its regulated and day services as part of a strategy to focus on its campaigning work.

According to its accounts for the year to 31 March 2019, the charity had an income of £54.6m, down from £94.6m the previous year.

This was mainly due to a fall in income from regulated and day services, which dropped from £36.1m in 2017/18 to £2.5m in the latest accounts.

In 2018 the charity sold its regulated and day services to Salutem Healthcare for £23m, which saw 1,600 staff transfer to the company and affected services in 51 locations across England and Wales.

The sale was part of plans to focus on advocacy, information and support for disabled people and no longer provide care services itself.

Income from other trading activities held steady at about £22.9m, the accounts show, and donations dropped slightly, from £17.1m to £15.7m.

Expenditure also dropped in line with the reduction in income, at £53.1m compared with £85.5m the previous year.

Spending on staff wages more than halved year-on-year, from £45.3m to £20.7m, and the average number of employees at the charity went from 2,315 to 949.

The charity reached 2.1 million people in 2018/19, campaigned for changes to universal credit, work capability assessments and personal independence payments, and saw 177,028 people use its online information and advice on employment, the accounts say.

Mark Hodgkinson, chief executive of Scope, said: "The vast majority of the change is due to the transfer of our regulated and day services to another provider.

"Our current strategy is focused on growing our impact and delivering social change for disabled people.

"To make sure we reach the lives of more disabled people, we are investing in our digital infrastructure and working in partnership with disabled people, businesses and government."

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