CLIC Sargent Chief Executive, Rachel Kirby-Rider discusses the proposed restructure at the charity:
CLIC Sargent is currently facing the biggest challenge in its history. The COVID-19 outbreak has had a devastating impact across the charity sector and will continue to have a long-term impact on charities’ ability to raise money and provide services.
At CLIC Sargent we are looking at a financial shortfall of £9million this year alone. For a charity which needed to raise around £28million this year, this is a devastating blow. It is clear that the fundraising impact of COVID-19 is set to continue, and we cannot afford to think short term.
In July the charity launched a change programme in direct reaction to the immediate impact of the outbreak on our fundraising and trading arms. At that time, we informed our staff that we would need to make a further organisational restructure with a view to our medium and long-term sustainability.
We need to make significant changes to the way we operate in order to protect our front-line services and ensure that we are still here for the young people, children and families that need us now and into the future.
It is because of this that yesterday myself and my leadership team began this further change consultation with our teams, as we look to ensure that the organisation continues to maximise support to young cancer patients on a lower income.
The proposals under consultation would see a reduction in current staffing levels of 7%. Together with the redundancies announced in July, this equates to a 15% reduction in staffing levels. This change could see approximately 39 roles made redundant.
Every single member of staff at CLIC Sargent is dedicated to making sure children and young people with cancer and their families get the support they need. Which is why it is very difficult to lose people who have worked so hard and shown such team spirit – especially over the past few challenging months. But the sad reality is that this change cannot be avoided.
If we want CLIC Sargent to still be here in the future then we will need to change our ways of working, refine our focus on the key support we provide, and put ourselves in the best position to seek out opportunities to grow back stronger than ever.
This been a difficult time for everyone at CLIC Sargent. But we know that cancer is not stopping for COVID-19. As lockdown eases and we settle into our ‘new normal’, for those children, young people and parents facing the terrifying reality of cancer diagnosis and treatment, this pandemic is one more huge obstacle for them on an already incredibly difficult path. It is our responsibility as a charity to change so that we can ensure we are still here for them all.
September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) and although we are having to make these difficult decisions during this time, we are determined to make sure that children and young people with cancer and their families aren’t forgotten and that their voices are heard. We need your support more than ever, so if you would like to help during CCAM please make a donation; sign up to support us regularly or like and follow us on social media. For more info visit www.clicsargent.org.uk.