Disability charities unite in £50m group structure
Two disability charities have announced they are entering into a “overarching” partnership which would see them share facilities and frontline delivery staff – but have stopped short of a full merger.
Enable Scotland and Sense Scotland made a joint announcement over the long weekend, saying the two organisations had entered into an “innovative group structure, thought to be the first of its kind in the charity sector in Scotland”.
The two charities will share “property and resources in an overarching group structure,” which the organisations say will “enable them to reach even more disabled people throughout Scotland”.
Both organisations would continue to have separate chief executives and trustee boards, and will retain their individual charity brands as part of the arrangement. The move is expected to take a year.
Possible redundancies in back offices
The organisations have said that “all frontline jobs will be protected” but conceded that “a small minority of affected back office staff” will be asked to “explore alternative career options across both organisations”.
The charities would not say how many back office staff would be affected.
Both Sense Scotland and Enable Scotland say this “collaboration” will help the two organisations to “reach even more disabled people throughout Scotland” in the future. It will also help the organisations share costs so that “frontline services and jobs” can be protected.
According to its accounts, Sense Scotland employed 839 staff. Enable Scotland’s accounts do not share staffing information, but a comparison of salary information suggests it employs around 1,200 people.
Other charities invited to join ‘collaboration’
Andy Kerr, chief executive of Sense Scotland and Theresa Shearer, chief executive of Enable Scotland, have also called on other Scottish disability charities to join the “collaboration”.
Kerr and Shearer said: “ENABLE Scotland and Sense Scotland are joining together to further boost the quality of care and help for more disabled people.
“Our shared vision is delivering the support needed for disabled people to live the lives they choose, in their own homes and local communities.
“By bringing two strong charities together, we will accelerate change and improvement for disabled people, and for the dedicated staff who care for them.
“Ultimately, we are doing this to help share the cost of continuing to deliver quality care and support to those who need it in their own homes.”
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