Volunteering Matters to lose 12 staff after reporting deficits

The volunteering charity had shortfalls in 2017/18 and 2018/19 that added up to a combined £2.4m

The volunteering charity Volunteering Matters is to make 12 people redundant as it changes the way it works and tries to tackle recent financial shortfalls.

The charity, which changed its name from Community Service Volunteers in 2015, has reported deficits in 2017/18 and 2018/19 that add up to about £2.4m combined.

The charity has completed a strategic review that will lead to the total number of employees falling from 130 to 118.

“As part of changing the way it works, and to help fill a short term financial deficit, the charity is to create a new, simplified staffing structure, with 12 roles being made redundant,” a statement from the charity said.

“Staff have been informed of the outcomes of the review, including the new staff structure, and consultations with those affected are under way.”

Existing volunteer programmes would continue, with volunteers and beneficiaries unaffected by the internal changes, the charity said.

“There are currently no plans for programmes or services run by Volunteering Matters to be closed following the review findings,” the statement added.

A spokesman for the charity said there would be opportunities for affected staff to move into new roles.

He said the charity wanted to complete the process as quickly as possible and the new ways of working would be in place by the end of March, in time for the new financial year.

The spokesman said he was unable to confirm the deficit in the current financial year, but said it would be less than last year because of the progress made by the charity.

“The changes we have announced today are the ones we need to make to ensure the charity can continue to grow again,” he said.

The charity’s statement said the review focused on ensuring sustainability and future growth for the charity, and it also wanted to turn its London office into a community hub that supports social change through collaboration and creativity.

The review, which ran between September and December, was initiated by Paul Reddish, who joined the charity as chief executive last year.

The charity said it would announce its strategic plan and vision once the staff consultation was complete and wider recommendations from the review had been put in place.

Reddish said: “We have something unique at Volunteering Matters. The fact that we tackle these big issues for so many people, in so many different communities, is a real strength.

“We’re changing the way we work so that we can build real change through communities.

“This charity can do wonderful things in the future, delivering amazing things for communities right across this country, at a time when inequality and division are major challenges.”

Volunteering Matters says it engages with about 20,000 volunteers a year in more than 100 programmes, reaching 85,000 beneficiaries.

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