The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says it is considering shedding 300 jobs due to the “devastating” fall in its income caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The charity says that it intends to consult with staff on reducing costs “which may involve losing up to 300 roles at the charity”.
The move comes as the charity says its net income will fall by 50% this year due to the outbreak and closure of its 750 shops for four months during lockdown. Most of its fundraising events also had to be cancelled.
The sudden fall in income will also force it to cut support for new research by around £50m this year, says the BHF, which believes it could take “many years” for funding to return to pre-pandemic levels.
The coronavirus crisis is the single biggest challenge @TheBHF has faced in our 60-year history. Whilst it has been the worst of times, we have seen the best of the BHF and its people. But sadly, we now have difficult decisions to make. https://t.co/3OL5ZgBeAq— Charmaine Griffiths (@iCharmaine) July 30, 2020
“The coronavirus crisis is the single biggest challenge we’ve faced in our 60-year history and, despite the tireless commitment of our BHF team and supporters, threatens our life-saving work for the coming years,” said BHF chief executive Dr Charmaine Griffiths.
“In addition to the health impact of the crisis the financial shockwaves from this will be profound, threatening scientific progress and the discoveries that ultimately transform diagnosis, care and support for patients.
“We’ve left no stone unturned in finding new ways of generating income and reducing costs, but unfortunately, we must consider reducing our activities and the size of our workforce as we chart our recovery.
“This has been an incredibly difficult decision and it will be even harder for those people who may leave our BHF team. We deeply regret the impact this may have on those colleagues who are affected and will explore every avenue to minimise the number of job losses, including through the re-allocation of roles within the organisation.”
The income fall comes amid a surge in demand for the charity’s support services. BHF says that at the peak of the pandemic calls to its helpline rose by 400%.
BHF reopened its shops this month as it looks to recover from the pandemic and lockdown.
This comes as health charities are being hit hard by the pandemic. Around 60 scientists wrote to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson this month calling for urgent support for charities that fund medical research. They warned of a “catastrophic fall in charity research funding”.
Charities across a raft of sectors are being impacted by closures and cancellations amid Covid-19. This week the National Trust announced it is planning 1,200 redundancies due to £200m losses.
Also this week, Comic Relief revealed it is considering cutting one in four jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis. Up to 60 people face redundancy out of a total workforce of 240.