Help for Heroes plans up to 90 redundancies as part of 'major restructure'

17 Sep 2020 News

Help for Heroes expects to make up to 90 staff redundant as it starts a “major restructure” to deal with the financial impact of the pandemic.

The charity said in a statement yesterday that the coronavirus pandemic had “hit us hard”, and expected to lose around a third of its income over the long-term.

Help for Heroes also said that demand for the charity’s mental and physical health services had both “surged” at the height of lockdown, at the same time that fundraising income was falling.

One in three jobs at risk

The charity has cancelled or postponed every face-to-face fundraising event since April and furloughed 40% staff, according to the statement.

However, the worsening financial situation means that 142 roles in total are at risk, or around a third of current employees.

Up to 90 redundancies are anticipated as a result of the restructure.

Chief executive: Covid-19 has had 'a devastating impact'

Help for Heroes said that the number of people coming to the charity for mental health support rose by 33% in May and June compared with last year. Referrals for physical health services were up 30% in the same period.

Melanie Waters, chief executive, said: “In 2007, we made a promise on behalf of the nation to provide lifetime support to wounded veterans and their families, and we are striving to keep that promise.

“The crisis has had a devastating impact on the whole UK charity sector, with lasting consequences, and it has hit us hard.

“These tough decisions have been made to protect the future of the charity and have been taken with our beneficiaries in mind.

“We remain absolutely committed to our wounded and their families and will continue fighting for, and changing the lives of, those we support for as long as they need it.”

Three out of four recovery centres to stay closed

The charity’s income was £26m for the financial year ending September 2019, according to the latest accounts published with the Charity Commission.

It has helped around 27,000 people since it was established in 2007, according to the charity's annual report.

Help for Heroes said that three of its recovery centres will remain closed “for the foreseeable future”, based in Catterick, Colchester and Plymouth.

However, the charity plans to reopen its fourth recovery centre in Tedworth House in “the coming months”, and is working to reopen its community office in Wales.

A spokesperson told Civil Society News that the charity is conducting a collective consultation process with staff in their recovery centres and will hold individual consultations with other affected staff.

The consultation period is expected to conclude in early November.

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