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News

Catholic children’s charity Cabrini under pressure to break even
07 February 2014 10:15 by Liz Dodd

The Catholic children’s charity Cabrini is under pressure to balance its books after running at a loss for at least a decade.

Cabrini’s annual report, which was submitted to the Charity Commission last month, reveals that the charity spent £693,000 more than it made last year. This included £98,000 on redundancy payments and £40,000 on recruitment costs.

Cabrini, formerly the Catholic Children’s Society, has provided adoption, fostering and other services for more than 25,000 children in London and the southeast of England since its establishment by the Diocese of Southwark in 1887. It runs family centres, residential and day care services and catechesis courses.

It continues to work closely with the Dioceses of Arundel and Brighton, Portsmouth and Southwark. Staff meet regularly with bishops and parish priests and the organisation is supported by parish collections.

In its 2013 report Cabrini said that returning the charity to a position of financial viability by 2014/15 was its top strategic priority, adding that it hoped to increase its fundraising income and increase its adoption placements and fostering services.

“The broader context for the new business plan has been the ongoing operating deficit generated by the organisation for the past 10-plus years,” it said. “Previous initiatives have not resulted in the required turnaround in the charity’s financial position.”

It hoped that restructuring of staff and services would bring the charity’s operating costs to a position of break-even by this year.

Former Chief Executive Jonathan Pearce resigned in October 2013, 11 months after he was appointed and the charity is currently run by interim Chief Executive Hilary Brook.

In its annual report Cabrini said that income from charitable activities was down 3.7 per cent on the previous year – to £3,074,000. The charity said that the Government’s austerity measures, which resulted in public sector funding cuts, meant there had been no increase in funding for its residential care or community projects.

Last year Cabrini drew down cash from its investment portfolio and introduced a pay freeze in an effort to decrease ongoing expenditure. Cabrini did not respond to requests for comment by the time of going to press.