The Terrence Higgins Trust has confirmed that it is likely to make redundancies as part of an internal restructuring process, and is also currently looking to sell its main office building in central London.
A spokesman for the charity told Civil Society News that due to “budget cuts” from losing out on government contracts, the Terrence Higgins Trust was undergoing an internal restructuring process which would likely result in “a small number of redundancies” - potentially less than ten - but said the charity would be in a better long-term position for it.
“We are looking to restructure certain areas in our staffing and that is to save money," he said. "We have been losing out on some local government contracts and we’re being hit by cuts just like many other organisations are. So this restructure is due in part to budget cuts, but it’s also being done to make sure that the organisation can move forward and continue to be fit for purpose.”
The restructure should be completed “within a month” and would include “a living well lead, a new lead on ageing” and a revamped communications team, amongst other changes.
The changed internal structure of the organisation will “better reflect the work the charity does now,” said the spokesman.
Sale of London offices 'in the works for a long time'
The spokesman also said that the sale of the Terrence Higgins Trust’s Grays Inn Road head offices “has been in the works for a long time now” and was a separate issue to its staffing restructure.
“The offices have been too big for the organisation for about 10 years now,” he said. “We actually rent out half of the building to other charities. We’ve got around 90 staff working here in a building which can house hundreds of people. Given the size of the offices and the relative size of our staff, it just doesn’t make sense to be here.”
He said the organisation would move to new offices once the old headquarters have been sold.
Annual income down every year since 2013
The Terrence Higgins Trust has been losing annual income every year since the end of the financial year 2013, according to the charity register.
In its annual accounts for the year ending 31 March 2013, the Terrence Higgins Trust had an annual income of £20.1m. By the end of the 2017 financial year, the Trust had an annual income of £15.5m.
In the foreword of its most recent set of accounts, Jonathan McShane, chair of the charity’s board of trustees, said “The external commission landscape is changing, and we’re seeing a worrying trend of cuts or major reductions to funding for HIV support services”.
The accounts go on to detail reduction in some of its services “due to funding pressures” and mentions that the charity was in the process of “undertaking a systematic internal audit review of all of our services to ensure that they are fit for the future”.
The accounts show that the average head count of staff employed during the year fell to 317 in 2017, down from 336 in 2016. Full time equivalent staff numbers also fell to 258 in 2017, down from 295 the previous year.
Editor's note: This article has been amended to include a 'living well lead' as part of THT's restructure. Its lead on Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BME) has been in place at the organisation since before the restructure.