Trading boost pushes Sense’s income to four-year high

09 Jan 2023 News

Record trading income at Sense has driven the deafblindness charity’s income to its highest in four years, according to recently filed documents.

Sense’s income was £82.5m in the year to March 2022, up from £75.2m the year before.

An almost £8m increase in its trading income drove the increase, reaching its highest ever level of £12.4m in 2021-22.

The charity’s income was also boosted by its bargain purchase of a home for adults with learning disabilities in April 2021. The Otterayes Trust purchase accounted for £1.2m income of negative goodwill. 

Sense’s income grew despite Covid-19 government support declining from £5.4m in 2020-21 to £1.8m in 2021-22.

Money from donations and legacies also dipped from £13.7m in 2020-21 to £13.0m in 2021-22.

The charity spent £88.2m in 2021-22, almost £8m more than the year before and also the highest in four years.

Employee costs rose from £46.5m in 2020-21 to £53.8m in 2021-22, while average employee numbers remained relatively flat at 2,557.

The charity’s highest paid member of staff earned between £130,000 and £140,000 in 2021-22, up from £120,000-£130,000 the year before.

Sense paid £8.5m less than it expected to on its defined benefit pension scheme, while it paid £4.2m more than forecast the year before.

CEO: ‘Our most challenging time yet’

In his introduction to the accounts, chief executive Richard Kramer wrote about the “challenges of recruiting staff”.

“Social care is more fragile than ever. Yet, it is vital to supporting the most vulnerable members of our society.

“That’s why we’re working hard to make the case to government for increased investment in social care and its workforce, as we face possibly out most challenging time yet.”

He added that Sense has introduced a cost-of-living fund for the charity’s beneficiaries and their families.

“But more is needed,” Kramer wrote, “in particular by way of long-term financial support from government”.

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