Scope in bid to slash 10m deficit

The charity Scope is to embark on an urgent cost-cutting programme in a bid to stave off financial ruin. Front-line services and 50 of its 300 shops are expected to close.

A confidential internal briefing, seen by Community Care, reveals “the situation is now very serious” and warns the charity “will not exist in the future” if current losses continue.

A deficit of 10m is forecast for this year, up from the 8m predicted in September, as a result of shortfalls in trading and fundraising income.

The document says the charity must reduce spending “as quickly as we can” or it risks reaching a position where it is unable to pay its bills because of cash flow problems.

It says there will be “no sacred cows” when it comes to cost-cutting and management are having “some frank conversations about the things which Scope could stop doing”.

The briefing says all services are to be reviewed this month, with a view to “re-engineering” the organisation to improve cost-effectiveness and increase income.

About 50 long-term loss-making shops are expected to close and overhead spending reduced by 3m.

A Scope spokesperson said that while no organisation could live with a 10m-a-year deficit, the measures would reduce the loss and the future of Scope was not in jeopardy.

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