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Nick's email to volunteers - 9 July

Please see below a copy of the email Nick sent to all volunteers regarding our proposed people changes.

Dear volunteer, 

We started our new strategy at the beginning of 2020 and following a recent review led by our trustees, we are confident it remains right for our future. However, like so many charities, the coronavirus crisis has had a huge financial impact on our organisation. We expect to lose 30% of our income this year – and 15% next year.

We were already planning some changes through our transformation programme but now we’re having to go further. We’ve started a consultation which will consider restructures and redundancies in two phases over the coming months. This will include doing some work differently and stopping some of what we do.

We know you might be concerned about the impact of our proposals. We want you to know this hasn’t been an easy decision but we must act now to protect the future of the charity. Our absolute focus is on making sure our organisation can continue to be here for people living with MS for many years to come.

Restructure programme 

Phase one, which started yesterday, affects primarily externally facing roles. This includes those involved in supporting the MS community, our influencing work, and staff involved in supporting our volunteers and fundraisers across the UK. 

More details of the proposed changes and teams impacted can be found on the volunteer website here, but a brief summary is below: 

Supporting volunteers - A new, UK-wide Community Networks team and a smaller, more strategic Volunteering team. Also includes the creation of a regional development team in England and community development roles in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. 

National services – Pausing our national individual grants programme for at least two to three years and focusing on supporting groups to award grants. Bringing together a range of roles into a UK services team.

Fundraising in the community – A national team to support product development, mass participation events and consistent supporter experiences. Fewer fundraisers focused on high value supporters and pursuing new opportunities.

Research and influencing – A new Stakeholder Engagement Team responsible for professional engagement. Investing in local campaigning and innovative ways to improve care services. 

Northern Ireland high dependency day care – closure of our day care service in Belfast. 

Research grant oversight – Reducing our Research Grants Management team and changing leadership structures. 

Phase two will take place in the autumn and will include support areas such as finance, facilities, administrative resources and fundraising processes across the organisation. 

If implemented, these plans will help us to achieve the vital savings we need so that we can continue to provide essential support to the MS Community and drive change on the issues that matter most. 

Our commitment 

We are completely committed to being transparent and open with you and providing opportunities for volunteers to contribute.

It may be difficult for colleagues over the coming weeks if they are part of the consultation. We ask that you are sensitive to that.

So that you can ask questions and share your views throughout the process, we’re running some virtual feedback sessions on Zoom, you can find the details on the volunteer website here.

You can of course contact Supporter Care at any time via email or phone: [email protected], 0300 500 8084.

Face to face services 

Whilst we still think it is too soon to resume face to face services, we are committed to making sure we give you all the support you’ll need when the time comes. Right now, we’re looking at the risks associated with re-opening and what changes we’ll need to introduce to keep everybody safe. We’ll also be keeping an eye on government advice and how it varies between nations. You can read more about this on the volunteer website.

Best Wishes, Nick.

Nick Moberly CEO
MS Society