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Nick Moberly

Update on our financial position

Nick Moberly

2020 has been a challenging year and for many in our community it’s been particularly difficult.   

We’ve done everything we can to stand shoulder to shoulder with our community throughout this time of crisis.

We’ve launched new services to reduce isolation and connect people online, we’ve campaigned on issues like access to food shopping and medical appointments and we’re still working hard to get the government to increase Employment Support Allowance(ESA) by £20 a week.

Financial challenges

This year has been difficult financially for the MS Society. The assessment we made at the start of the pandemic unfortunately remains the same.

  • We expect to lose £10 million(30%) of our income this year and £5 million (15%) next year
  • We need to cut our spending by £4 million each year from 2021 to remain sustainable for the long term

Two-phase restructure to protect our future

Given this outlook, we have had to begin a two-phase process to restructure the organisation.

We completed phase one in September. It concentrated on our core support services – including campaigning, support to local groups, grants and fundraising.

We’ve now finished consulting colleagues and volunteers about changes in phase two. This phase is focusing on admin and support services, like finance, IT and HR. The changes reflect the new shape and size of the organisation, the implications of our planned London office move and our improved processes.

Changes in phase two

In this phase we’ll be making these changes:

  • Creating a customer services and central administration team to bring together roles from across the organisation which focus on supporter care or admin. We want to deliver the best experience for our supporters and staff, while also working more efficiently to save money
  • Following improvements to our processes we’ll be reducing the size of the finance team. And, to reflect the smaller size of the organisation, and we’ll also reduce staff numbers in HR and our facilities management team
  • We are reducing the number of executive assistants who support our senior leadership team and trustees.
  • We’re combining our IT and data governance teams, and also creating a new strategy and business intelligence team to help us deliver our existing strategy and use data to inform our work
  • A planning and insights team will oversee implementation of our fundraising strategy and the Stop MS Appeal, as well as lead on investigating new commercial opportunities, so we can make the most of income generation opportunities wherever they are.

We are surrounded at the MS Society by wonderfully talented and dedicated colleagues and volunteers. We have listened to their thoughtful and constructive feedback as we’ve navigated our way through the restructure and we’ve made changes to the plans. Wherever possible we have redeployed colleagues into vacant or newly created roles.

Very sadly though, across the two phases, we expect to see a reduction in around 52 posts (17% of our workforce).

No easy decisions

These changes have been really hard for all of us. But we know they will help us make vital savings so we can still be here for our MS community in the future. We'll keep reviewing them over the months ahead to make sure our staff and volunteers feel well supported.

Many of you have reached out to us over the last year and I want to thank you all for your continued support, feedback and thoughtful suggestions.

We’re here for you

Our MS Helpline is running so please contact us if you need help from one of our colleagues, volunteers or MS nurses. We continue to speak up for our community on issues like welfare and access to treatments. 

And our research programme is still absolutely committed to stopping MS.

As we move into 2021 and beyond, we remain completely focused on supporting our community in every way we can as we progress towards our ultimate goal of a world free from the effects of MS.

You can contact me directly if you have any questions on [email protected]

Our Annual General Meeting(AGM)

To keep everyone safe, our AGM is fully online this year. If you’re a member, remember to get your votes in for our new trustees and membership developments.

The deadline to vote is 11am on Thursday 3 December

Find out more about our AGM