Thursday 23 October 2014

Barnardos turns around fortunes with €1m surplus

Gordon Deegan

Published 01/05/2014 | 02:30

CHILDREN'S charity Barnardos has turned around its fortunes after enduring two years of cutbacks that involved two separate shutdowns.

The charity's 2013 annual report shows that Barnardos recorded a surplus last year of €1.05m, after two years of combined losses totalling €2.83m.

The report states that "2013 has been a positive year financially, which will return Barnardos to a sustainable operating base for 2014".

In a bid to address decreases in revenues in 2012 and 2013, the charity shut down its services for one week last summer and the previous summer, with a pay freeze remaining in place in 2013

The lay-off of its 359 staff for one week last year had the effect of a 2pc salary cut while numbers employed by the organisation last year reduced from 396 to 359 through a voluntary redundancy programme.

"In 2012 and 2013, we took steps internally to restructure Barnardos, reduce our cost base and ensure that we could deliver a break-even budget for 2014. We achieved what we set out to do and we were able to do that through the support of our donors and funders, who continued to stand by us," the report states.

"We are planning not to repeat the one-week closure of our services in 2014, which we had to do in 2012 and 2013 as a cost-saving measure.

CUTS

"We have implemented an extensive restructuring programme, which unfortunately was very painful for some of our service users and many of our employees. We are still facing cuts in income in 2014 from our statutory partners. However, we are moving towards a better model of cost recovery for services we deliver under service level agreements from 2015 onwards."

The accounts disclose that Barnardos CEO Fergus Finlay last year received €111,711 in salary.

"The CEO earns additional income through a regular newspaper column. This income is processed by Barnardos for taxation purposes, and the CEO pays a monthly fee to Barnardos in this respect. Further income generated by the CEO through speaking engagements is all donated to Barnardos."

In his report, Mr Finlay said: "In recent months, there has been a cloud over the charities sector in Ireland. It was put there by the behaviour of a few people, but it has meant – and maybe this is no bad thing – that we can't take trust for granted."

The accounts show that the amount raised from fundraising last year went down by 6pc, from €5.17m to €4.88m.

The figures show that the profits from Barnardos last year increased by 81pc, from €152,000 to €276,000, with shop revenues increasing from €1.15m to €1.21m.

The largest proportion of the charity's revenues last year came from statutory agencies, decreasing marginally from €15.08m to €14.99m, with the HSE providing €8.84m of that income.

Irish Independent

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