Education and employment support charity Shaw Trust has reported record income of £263m after growing the number of contracts it serves and increasing the number of academy schools it runs, according to recently filed documents.
The charity’s latest accounts, published last week, show that its income rose by more than £40m to £263m in the year to 31 August 2021, while its expenditure grew to £235m.
Its income previously peaked at nearly £260m in 2018 before dropping to just over £200m in 2019 when its Work Programme and Work Choice contracts with the government ended.
In 2020, the charity unveiled a 10-year strategy, which helped boost its income for the year to £223m.
Shaw Trust said it continues to “outperform” against its business plan but remains faced with the impact of Covid-19 and ongoing economic challenges.
Shaw Trust said that after ten years of austerity and the Covid-19 crisis, demand for its services continues to increase.
The charity reported a surplus of £6.8m, an increase of £6m compared to the previous year. Cash-in-hand significantly increased by £21.5m to £55m.
It also recruited more employees and increased salaries, with 875 more staff last year (4,773) than in 2020 (3,898).
Resilience amid the pandemic
The charity said its stronger financial performance was driven by adjusted working practices, careful financial management and measured growth.
It wrote in its accounts: “Extensive risk assessment and modelling was undertaken throughout the pandemic to assess the impact on the trust’s business plan and contingency planning and required mitigation actions taken.
“These included renegotiation of income streams on major contracts, temporarily furloughing certain employees where necessary, particularly in our retail and enterprise operations due to intermittent lockdowns, and utilising reliefs as appropriate, in particular the temporary extra business rates relief.”
However, Shaw Trust acknowledged that the “knock-on impacts” of Covid, coupled with high inflation and rising interest rates, are still putting pressure on some income streams.
Income from its charity shops, which have been particularly hit by the pandemic, fell slightly, from £2.92 to £2.9m but remains much lower than it was pre-pandemic when it was £4.7m.
The charity now faces a pension deficit of £140m, up from £113m from 2020-19, after taking on three academies for its educational work and changes in actuarial assumptions.