Mencap’s income dips after £130m assets transfer to housing association

17 Nov 2023 News

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Income at learning disability charity Mencap declined by £23m last year after its demerger from Golden Lane Housing (GLH), according to its latest annual report.

Mencap’s income fell by 10% to £216m in the year to March 2023, despite an increase in revenue from its charity shops and more money for its core personal support services.

The drop was driven by the charity’s separation from GLH, which contributed £27.1m to Mencap’s record £239m income in 2021-22 when it was a subsidiary.

GLH was created by Mencap in 1998 and became a stand-alone housing association for people with a learning disability or autism in April last year.

Mencap also saw a £3.4m decline in fundraising income, with legacies falling from £8.26m to £5.50m.

Meanwhile, the charity’s expenditure fell by 5% to £222m, meaning it recorded a deficit of £6.42m.

Assets transfer

Mencap transferred £130m-worth of tangible fixed assets to GLH last year, £115m of which were freehold land and buildings, the accounts show.

This contributed to the charity’s total fixed assets declining from £157m to £38.4m.

“With effect from 1 April 2022 Golden Lane Housing ceased to be part of the Mencap group. With effect from this date, fixed assets, debtors, cash at bank and in hand and creditors of the charity were transferred as a going concern to Golden Lane Housing Limited,” Mencap’s accounts state.

Earlier this month, the charity moved 200 employees based at its main London offices at 123 Golden Lane, with the charity aiming to sell its former headquarters for £8.5m.

Employees with a learning disability

In Mencap’s latest accounts, former chief executive Edel Harris is quoted as saying: “In the non-social care part of our charity, about 6% of our workforce are people with a learning disability. But we can and should do better.”

Overall, the charity employed 7,534 people, a 6% annual decline, with 7,041 providing frontline services.

The charity’s employee costs increased by 3% to £192m, with pay for temporary staff more than doubling to £17.4m.

Regarding trustees, Harris said: “Though they’re not employed in the same way as staff, we want to have more people on our board with a learning disability. We need to be a charity genuinely led by people with a learning disability.”

Harris’s departure was announced in July, with Jackie O’Sullivan, Mencap’s executive director for communications, advocacy and activism, acting as CEO since August.

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