Jobs are put at risk as Brighton-based charity folds

First published in News by , Chief reporter

A charity that helped 10,000 people and hundreds of community projects in Brighton and Hove has gone into administration.

Administrator Price Waterhouse Cooper (PwC) has been called in at the charity People Can, which has an office at Community Base in Queen’s Road, Brighton, because of a £17milllion pension deficit.

In the last year alone the charity has supported more than 70 community projects in the city.

This year it gave grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to 11 organisations running projects for children in the city, as well as 29 health projects.

It also ran Healthy Neighbourhood Funds, helping cash-strapped residents access healthy food in 16 wards across the city, benefiting more than 10,000 residents.

The charity, which employs around 200 staff in London, Bristol, Somerset, Liverpool and Brighton, fell into financial difficulties as it struggled to meet its pension obligations.

Brighton and Hove City Council leader Jason Kitcat said: “It is a very tough financial environment for charities to secure funding at the moment.

"The news that People Can is going into administration is very sad and will have implications for many services across the city.

"The council is working hard with partners to reach as good an outcome as is possible for everyone involved."

David Hurst, joint administrator and director at PwC, said: “The charity’s significant pension liabilities dated back many years to its previous role as a registered social landlord.

"A range of restructuring options were explored – however, a deal could not be reached that worked for all stakeholders.”

Ian Oakley-Smith, joint administrator, director and head of charity advisory at PwC, added: “Charities are currently facing a tough environment in which to secure funding for their services.

"These pressures are exacerbated for those charities with defined benefit pension schemes which require further funding. In these instances some trustees are facing an increasingly difficult task in balancing their obligations.”

In Somerset, 17 employees have already been made redundant because the local authority is exploring alternatives for the provision of the charity’s services.

PwC said the future for remaining staff was dependent on discussions with the local authorities involved.

Comments (8)

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7:13pm Wed 21 Nov 12

Morpheus says...

They are not only finding it difficult to fund their services, it is even more difficult to fund their pensions. How many people giving to charity realise where their money is going?
They are not only finding it difficult to fund their services, it is even more difficult to fund their pensions. How many people giving to charity realise where their money is going? Morpheus
  • Score: 0

9:51pm Wed 21 Nov 12

alyn, southwick says...

Morpheus wrote:
They are not only finding it difficult to fund their services, it is even more difficult to fund their pensions. How many people giving to charity realise where their money is going?
Not all charities are run totally by volunteers.
Surely most people know that.
And why should the staff of charities not be paid a decent wage in line with current legislation. Current legislation now requires all employers to have a work-place pension.
If you have an issue with that it is voters you need to ask if they know what their vote is being used for!
I also doubt people would want charities to run a ram shackle, shoddy, thread-bare affair - so would be happy to donate to see the charities run properly. (I am - I contribute at least 10% of my meagre income to charity.)
[quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: They are not only finding it difficult to fund their services, it is even more difficult to fund their pensions. How many people giving to charity realise where their money is going?[/p][/quote]Not all charities are run totally by volunteers. Surely most people know that. And why should the staff of charities not be paid a decent wage in line with current legislation. Current legislation now requires all employers to have a work-place pension. If you have an issue with that it is voters you need to ask if they know what their vote is being used for! I also doubt people would want charities to run a ram shackle, shoddy, thread-bare affair - so would be happy to donate to see the charities run properly. (I am - I contribute at least 10% of my meagre income to charity.) alyn, southwick
  • Score: 0

10:10pm Wed 21 Nov 12

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Tragic that this has happened but this shows that forcing companies to have pensions for their staff is maybe not a good idea as many investments are not working at present due to the current economic downturn.

It also shows that "investing" in pension schemes is like throwing money down the drain as when things go wrong people are left without any pension.
Tragic that this has happened but this shows that forcing companies to have pensions for their staff is maybe not a good idea as many investments are not working at present due to the current economic downturn. It also shows that "investing" in pension schemes is like throwing money down the drain as when things go wrong people are left without any pension. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: 0

8:29am Thu 22 Nov 12

John Steed says...

the word charity has no legal definition, and being a "Not for Profit" organisation has no bearing on high levels of salaries that can be paid to the many "Professionals" within this sector. Some years ago a Brigadier I knew was appointed to a well known charitable hospital in london.. When discussing his expertise in medical and charity matters he replied "None" I,'ve been appointed to cut costs without emotional attachment.
The moral of the story is "charities" are no different from ordinary businesses, subject to all the ups and downs, and will fail from time to time, and not always the best of management but this is more prevelant in those that are "Busineses" as against small local operations reling on dedicated vollunteers. when times are tight everybody suffers. I this case however one question should be answered, "How did a social landlord get to have high pension liabilities and why was it then allowed to carry this forward to an effectively different operation.
the word charity has no legal definition, and being a "Not for Profit" organisation has no bearing on high levels of salaries that can be paid to the many "Professionals" within this sector. Some years ago a Brigadier I knew was appointed to a well known charitable hospital in london.. When discussing his expertise in medical and charity matters he replied "None" I,'ve been appointed to cut costs without emotional attachment. The moral of the story is "charities" are no different from ordinary businesses, subject to all the ups and downs, and will fail from time to time, and not always the best of management but this is more prevelant in those that are "Busineses" as against small local operations reling on dedicated vollunteers. when times are tight everybody suffers. I this case however one question should be answered, "How did a social landlord get to have high pension liabilities and why was it then allowed to carry this forward to an effectively different operation. John Steed
  • Score: 0

9:27am Thu 22 Nov 12

Point says...

Jason Kit kats words are so inspiring, "NOT" the Council leaks more money than any other organisation in the City, charities FRONTLINE work is getting funds cut and cut again while the fat cat Commissioners and the MASS amount of Beuracrats remain in post.
More and more Charities will fold and less and less frontline work will happen.
Jason Kit kats words are so inspiring, "NOT" the Council leaks more money than any other organisation in the City, charities FRONTLINE work is getting funds cut and cut again while the fat cat Commissioners and the MASS amount of Beuracrats remain in post. More and more Charities will fold and less and less frontline work will happen. Point
  • Score: 0

9:29am Thu 22 Nov 12

Orlando Faark says...

A small proportion of donations go to the intended recipients.
The government won't restrict this behaviour because it's an invaluable tool for a number of' institutions 'of privilege' that would otherwise have a less favourable, but fair, tax liabilities.
A small proportion of donations go to the intended recipients. The government won't restrict this behaviour because it's an invaluable tool for a number of' institutions 'of privilege' that would otherwise have a less favourable, but fair, tax liabilities. Orlando Faark
  • Score: 0

9:41am Thu 22 Nov 12

nosolution says...

We either give to charity or we don,t and no manner of excuses will disguise the fact that someone is selfish and by not doing so and this will be reflected in their day to day actions and how the selfish ones amongst us treat the rest of us..
We either give to charity or we don,t and no manner of excuses will disguise the fact that someone is selfish and by not doing so and this will be reflected in their day to day actions and how the selfish ones amongst us treat the rest of us.. nosolution
  • Score: 0

10:08am Thu 22 Nov 12

mtmoocher says...

John Steed wrote:
the word charity has no legal definition, and being a "Not for Profit" organisation has no bearing on high levels of salaries that can be paid to the many "Professionals" within this sector. Some years ago a Brigadier I knew was appointed to a well known charitable hospital in london.. When discussing his expertise in medical and charity matters he replied "None" I,'ve been appointed to cut costs without emotional attachment.
The moral of the story is "charities" are no different from ordinary businesses, subject to all the ups and downs, and will fail from time to time, and not always the best of management but this is more prevelant in those that are "Busineses" as against small local operations reling on dedicated vollunteers. when times are tight everybody suffers. I this case however one question should be answered, "How did a social landlord get to have high pension liabilities and why was it then allowed to carry this forward to an effectively different operation.
Your thinking is as befuddled as your spelling, grammar & misconception.
Charities ARE most definitely described in law & we have a Charity Commission to regulate them. In fact, The Charities Act 2011 came into effect on 14 March this year.
[quote][p][bold]John Steed[/bold] wrote: the word charity has no legal definition, and being a "Not for Profit" organisation has no bearing on high levels of salaries that can be paid to the many "Professionals" within this sector. Some years ago a Brigadier I knew was appointed to a well known charitable hospital in london.. When discussing his expertise in medical and charity matters he replied "None" I,'ve been appointed to cut costs without emotional attachment. The moral of the story is "charities" are no different from ordinary businesses, subject to all the ups and downs, and will fail from time to time, and not always the best of management but this is more prevelant in those that are "Busineses" as against small local operations reling on dedicated vollunteers. when times are tight everybody suffers. I this case however one question should be answered, "How did a social landlord get to have high pension liabilities and why was it then allowed to carry this forward to an effectively different operation.[/p][/quote]Your thinking is as befuddled as your spelling, grammar & misconception. Charities ARE most definitely described in law & we have a Charity Commission to regulate them. In fact, The Charities Act 2011 came into effect on 14 March this year. mtmoocher
  • Score: 0

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