St John Ambulance plans over 200 redundancies

18 May 2020 News

St John Ambulance has warned that it may make 250 staff redundant due to the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The majority of the redundancies are likely to affect first aid training staff, the charity told Civil Society News, as it is forced to “reduce costs substantially” during the crisis.

A spokesperson also confirmed that St John Ambulance has furloughed around half of its 1,584 workforce.

'Major sources of income dry up'

It has raised £2.7m towards a £6m funding appeal launched last month, including pledges for future donations. The charity told ITV News that its projections show losses of £45m over the next two years.

Martin Houghton-Brown, chief executive, said: “St John Ambulance is playing an important role in supporting hospitals and ambulance services with the national fight against Covid-19. However, we are a charity and have seen major sources of income dry up over recent months.

"This means that we need to reduce costs substantially, which might see around 250 roles being made redundant in order to secure our survival and continue serving communities in future. We have benefited from government support as well as the furlough scheme but it is clear that we need to act sooner rather than later to protect our charity.

“We are consulting our employees and engaging with them in the process of finding the most appropriate solutions to reducing our costs. We want to ensure that those affected are dealt with fairly and transparently and will seek to minimise the impact of this as much as we can.”

St John Ambulance was one of the individual charities singled out for financial support when the government announced its £750m support package for the sector last month, although the level of that support was not made public. 

Editor's note - 19 May

An earlier version of this article said 1,584 of its staff have been furloughed, around half the total workforce. SJA has 1,584 staff, and around half have been furloughed. 

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