Income at YMCA body up by £4m after trading increase


Income at the body for YMCA charities in England and Wales rose by more than £4m last year after it increased its trading activities, latest annual accounts reveal.

YMCA England & Wales, which is registered as the National Council of Young Men’s Christian Associations, recorded income of £21.7m in the year to the end of March after a boost of more than £3m to money made from trading activities.

The charity’s expenditure also rose by more than £3m, with most of the increased investment going towards the operating expenses of its trading activities.

The organisation’s accounts reveal it increased the total number of charity shops it operates by 13 over the course of the year to 107. The charity said it saw an average increase of £100 in monthly income per retail location.

The organisation’s total expenditure reached £20.7m, compared with £17.1m last year, with £13.7m spent on the operating expenses.

The accounts attribute the rising expenditure on operating expenses to the “cost-of-living crisis, rising energy costs and increased inflation rates” as well as “the very real issues of recruitment, retention and increased wage inflation”.

An increase in staff also added to the total costs as the average number of staff working in its retail division grew from 316 to 362 year on year.

YMCA England & Wales exists to “support, represent and develop” the 116 YMCA organisations across the country to ensure they have the finances to keep up their charitable activities.

A statement signed by Roy O’Shaughnessy, the chair, and Denise Hatton, the national secretary and chief executive, said recovering from the pandemic posed a significant challenge for the organisation.

The statement said: “This has been a year of focusing on the challenges of the post-pandemic era – the current difficult external environment, the need to adapt and change the way we run our services and programmes to meet the demands of the ‘new’ ways we live and work; while at the same time putting in place the blueprint for how the YMCA federation will consolidate and grow over the next decade.

“This is a significant challenge in itself, but YMCAs have been responding to this challenge against the backdrop of a bleak external environment – the consequences of which have and continue to impact upon YMCAs from different angles.”

But the statement highlights the “resilience” of the organisation because it has seen a growth in overall income despite the “significant” challenges.

The statement continues: “We are ambitious about the future and have set out a clear vision through our strategy to expand our reach, to bring YMCAs to more towns and cities across England and Wales so that even more young people and communities can really feel that they can ‘belong, contribute and thrive’.”

The charity employed an average of 419 people over the course of the year, an increase of 48 compared with the previous 12 months, with 12 earning more than £60,000.

The highest earner at the organisation makes between £140,001 and £150,000 per annum, the accounts show. 

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