The global covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the TSA’s immediate priorities, in particular on our finances. Now that we are over the first wave of the pandemic, our Board of Trustees has made further difficult decisions to ensure the long-term future of the charity. Louise Fish (Chief Executive) took some time to discuss these changes:
“Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the Board and I have acted in the best interests of the charity. However, it is with a heavy heart that I write this new update, which sets out further tough changes that have had to be made to protect our great charity.
Since coronavirus changed all of our lives earlier this year, I’ve been incredibly proud of how the TSA’s small and hardworking team has faced this challenge.
At the beginning of the crisis, we took the very hard step of placing half of our team on furlough. This allowed us some short-term economic relief from the Government. Our furloughed team-members have been incredibly patient during what must have been an unsettling and stressful time.
The six members of staff who continued working have been here for the TSC community throughout the crisis, rolling up their sleeves and working flat-out across all areas of the charity to provide support, information and income generation despite having significantly fewer colleagues to turn to. Senior team-members who continued working were also asked by us and voluntarily agreed to reduce their working hours and salary, which further helped the TSA at this time.
These proactive decisions meant that we were able to cut operational costs in 2020 by just under £200,000 to protect the charity’s finances. However, these significant savings have been made during an unprecedented drop in donations coming into the TSA. We’re forecasting that our income will fall by around a third in 2020, despite the generosity of our donors. This is due to coronavirus limiting opportunities for our amazing fundraisers and many funding opportunities being directed to front line services.
Sadly, this big drop in charitable income means that the TSA Board has had to make further incredibly tough decisions about the size and shape of our charity.
We will say a sad goodbye in the Autumn to three of our passionate and committed members of staff: Rachael Wyartt (Head of Support and Information), Julie Rainer (Information Officer) and Charlotte Strain (Communications Assistant). All three have played a key role in driving forward improvements in the TSA’s work over the past twelve months and they will be sorely missed by their colleagues.
This means that the TSA’s crucial work will continue with a smaller team of nine members of staff. The overall setup of the team will also slightly change, meaning that we can make the most of the talents of the staff that continue to be here for the TSC community. Support and information remains a crucial area for the TSA and the TSA Support Line will continue to operate, having helped many in the community during the first covid-19 wave and the current transition to the new normal.
Despite these changes, the TSA’s trustees and staff remain very ambitious about what we want to achieve for the TSC community over the coming years. We’re determined to ensure that coronavirus won’t stop us being here for you, and our mission remains unchanged: To provide help for today and a cure for tomorrow.”