Major job losses announced at leading charity


Organisation reports an income drop against rising demand for services 

10th September 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Lifeboat charity RNLI is making 135 staff redundant in a bid to stem the tide of rising costs amid a drop in income.

Most of the jobs will go at its headquarters in Poole, Dorset – equivalent to 8% of its overall staff.

It comes as the charity reports it is the busiest it has ever been with lifeboats launched a record 8,964 times last year.

The job losses translate to 95 permanent roles and 40 temporary posts or vacancies.

Mark Dowie, RNLI chief executive, said: “The RNLI is facing some major challenges — we have a shortfall in funds but more people than ever need our help. It’s a perfect storm and that means we’re having to make some very difficult decisions.”

In its 2018 annual report, the RNLI said income from legacies had reduced by £8.5million – or 6.4% – as money from donors’ estates took longer to release. It expected the problem to be short-term but said “executors are struggling to sell properties in the current climate and estates take longer to process.”

Its investments reduced in value by £10.1m in an “uncertain” economic climate.

The charity’s spending was up 2.8% to £4.5m at the same time. Its RNLI’s final salary pension scheme, which is closed to new contributions, has an overall liability of £46.5m.

RNLI was the first big charity to take the bold step to stop cold calling donors, deciding instead to only contact those who expressly allowed the organisation to do so.

Last year however it was revealed more than 500,000 people had signed up to receive communications from it. 

The move to opt-in fundraising on 1 January 2017 was projected to cost it around £50m in lost donations over three years, such was the reliance on the method.