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Update on our restructure

Following the close of consultation for phase two of our restructure, the Executive Group has considered feedback and decided on a final structure for our support services.

As you know, like so many other charities, the coronavirus crisis has had a huge impact on our organisation financially. And we needed to take urgent action to ensure that we are able to continue to support the MS community next year and into the future.

Why and how we’re restructuring

We had already begun a transformation project, but with the predicted £10million loss this year and £5m in 2021, we had no choice but to go even further. We estimate that we’ll need to make an annual saving of £4m from 2021 onwards. These financial estimations remain true.

Amongst other cost saving initiatives, we have therefore had to make structural changes across our organisation. But implementing these structural changes now will help us to make the savings we need so that we can continue to be here for people living with MS for many years to come.

The changes to our frontline services in phase one have now been implemented and, as part of this, we have unfortunately had to say goodbye to some valued colleagues. You can find out more about the new Volunteer Support Team here.

This enabled us to propose a structure for our support services matching the new shape and size of those community-facing teams. The changes involved in phase two included teams such as finance, facilities, administrative resource and fundraising processes across the organisation.

What has changed?

You can read more about the proposal for phase two here. This proposal was considered during a 30-day consultation period, where colleagues and volunteers were invited to give feedback. The Executive Group were then able to carefully read through all of this feedback to reach a final decision, including some changes to the original proposal.

These changes included:

  • Customer Services and Central Administration

In Northern Ireland we’ve made some slight adjustments to reflect the specific circumstances relating to the Belfast MS Resource Centre. Including clarifying responsibility for health and safety compliance, line management, and oversight of the volunteers on reception.

  • Executive Assistants

One additional EA role has been included to ensure sufficient capacity to cover the level of work the team will be delivering.

  • ICT (incorporating elements of existing Data Team)

Minor changes have been made to the job descriptions for clarity. None of the amendments resulted in changes to pay grades.

  • Strategy and Business Intelligence (incorporating elements of existing Data Team)

Minor changes have been made to job descriptions, and one role was re-evaluated and re-graded.

Some further small changes to job titles and job descriptions were made to roles in the other areas affected (HR and Philanthropy).

In total, the changes represent a reduction of approximately 19 full time equivalent (FTE) roles in phase two. Wherever possible we are redeploying colleagues into vacant or newly- created roles. Very sadly though, across the two phases, we expect to see a reduction of around 52 positions.

What’s next?

We’re now heading into recruitment for phase two roles, opening vacant positions first to those affected by the restructure. We are doing everything we can to avoid colleagues having uncertainty over the festive holidays. We aim to complete all of these interviews by mid-December, before opening up to other internal candidates early in the New Year.

We’re offering a lot of support to our staff throughout this process and ask that you work in partnership with us as we get used to new roles, structures and ways of working together.

How does this affect me?

Phase one of our restructure is now completed and we’re moving to embed the new community facing teams with you. From today, you’re invited to attend our Volunteer Network events on Zoom, with colleagues from the Volunteer Support Team. Here you can hear about what to expect from our new support offer, our plans for reopening face-to–face activities, and share ideas for keeping in touch with your members during lockdown.

You can find out more about these events and register for your place here.

We’re still committed to carrying out a review of how everything is going in 12 months’ time. We’ll ask for volunteer feedback on what’s working and what’s not. We’ll listen to all of this and commit to making adjustments where we need to.

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

The Supporter Care team is impacted by this phase of our restructure, therefore due to sensitivities they will be experiencing, we ask that you do not direct enquiries about the restructure to them. But please do contact us with enquiries on the email address here:[email protected] and we'll reply to your enquiries.