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Oxford's Helen Douglas House hospice cuts jobs and announces closure of Covered Market shop From The Oxford Times Dwindling donations have forced Oxford's Helen Douglas House to 'grasp the nettle' by making at least 12 employees redundant and closing three retail branches, including its only city centre store.
The charity, which paved the way for children's palliative care, is set to close its shop in the Covered Market as it streamlines expenditure. Its chief executive officer Clare Periton said she hoped the 'tough' decisions would help to boost sustainability of the hospice, which was the world's first for children and young people. Ms Periton also revealed that the charity's shop in the Covered Market, Chipping Norton High Street louis vuitton bags travel and Caversham, in louis vuitton alma amande electric Berkshire, will close; with up to six staff members also potentially facing redundancy. Speaking exclusively to the Oxford Mail, she said: "We are future proofing the charity. We are not in crisis: we still have at least 5m in reserves. But if we don't look at this now, we will hit louis vuitton purses where are they made the buffers. We had to grasp the nettle. "When I became CEO [in 2015] I inherited a plush pot of reserves, a grant from the Department of Health to expand services and several large legacies (donations left in wills). It was a gift. "Now, the money isn't coming in like it used to and we need to cut our cloth: if we carry on spending like this, we are going to run out of money." According to Helen Douglas House's most recent accounts, it made a loss of 1.65m in the financial year 2015 16. Previous accounts show the charity like many others fluctuates between profit and loss, but this drop of 2.8m largest dip in the past five years. These accounts were the first since Sister Frances Dominica, who founded the hospice, spoke about being forced to resign from the charity following unproven allegations of sexual abuse. The most recent accounts also show the charity received 1.7m less in donations and legacies in 2015 16, compared to the average sum received in the previous five years and 3m on 2014 15 when there was a high number of legacy cash that left in wills. Ms Periton suggested the decline was a combination of tighter purse strings, supporters 'assuming the charity is rich' because it is well known, and competition from other charities. She added: "We were the first [children's hospice] and used to have a fundraising footprint of the whole UK. Now there are 45 children's hospices in the UK." She said many charities face those same struggle, and largely rely on legacies. "It doesn't matter how attractive the offer is in the Covered Market, at least for the first 18 months [of it opening], everybody will be going to the Westgate Centre. "Charity retail is getting more challenging and we need to be really careful." The shop one of 40 Helen Douglas branches will close at the end of August, with the other two following at the end of September. City council spokesman Chofamba Sithole said the council is 'confident' it will find a replacement tenant for the Covered Market unit.
He added: "The council is also currently negotiating with traders over the rents associated with the new leases, and has already significantly discounted and capped proposed new rent levels, which are considerably less than new tenants are prepared to pay." To ensure a long term funding stream, the charity would welcome regular donations from those who can afford it, such as a small weekly sum, as well as volunteers, donations to charity shops and participation in fundraisers such as its Riverside Stomp and Santas on the Run. Healthcare regulator how to tell if a louis vuitton briefcase is real the Care Quality Commission praised the hospice in a post inspection report released at the end of July, for making 'significant improvements' since safety concerns were raised earlier this year.
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