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Jobs may be lost as Crusaid and THT merge

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  1. This has been a long time coming, with Crusaid being an unnecessary (and therefore inefficient) link in the chain. Congratulations to the board of Crusaid for taking this bold step, even if a little late.

  2. Peter Rivendell 14 Jun 2010, 3:09pm

    This news makes me feel really good about taking part in the Walk for Life for the last four years… actually, I really struggled to raise money this year and raised less than half what I did in 2009, 2008 or 2007. Now I’m wondering why I bothered.

    Let’s face it the British gay community has completely lost the plot on HIV and Aids.

  3. First, thank you Peter for doing WFL the central point here is that it will make more funds available for small grants.

    I am on incapacity benefit I have no savings, my fridge broke since I’m on Ritonavir which needs to be kept cool this is a big deal, I will be forever grateful to the THT who applied to Crusaid on my behalf and I got a new fridge delivered in a week. That the THT will now be administering the fund does not detract from its need particularly at this time when 40% of positive people in the UK are not working. Thanks for supporting the small grants fund, thank you for my fridge.

  4. “In 2008/9, it distributed £374,774 to 2,106 individuals. This was out of a total income of £1.6 million.
    The charity spends just 39.9 per cent of its total spending on charitable activities, compared to THT which spends 89.7 per cent.”

    so where does the rest of the money go?

  5. Yet another thing for THT to do badly, whilst their senior officers draw six-figure salaries and make pathetic excuses for their crass ineptitude.

  6. Mihangel apYrs 15 Jun 2010, 6:57am

    why is it that grassroots organisations (THTY, Stonewall) start off full of enthusiasm and fire, then become “professionalised”, wher the senior people expect the salaries of CEOs of big(gish) business, and spend their time sucking up to powerful peopole while treating the “little” people (those who support and put in the voluntary time) like serfs?

  7. It has been a disgusting episode that Crusaid has got away for so long with spending such a small percentage of its income on its service users.

    They have also failed for many years to make it known that they regularly close the Hardship Fund, often for months at a time, due to a backlog.

    Sadly this is another example of the wrong people getting jobs in the HIV Charity Sectore, only for those organisations to be ground into the floor by their inefficiency.

    THT has again, had to step in and take over another charity.

    I hope the first thing is that all those responsible are sacked and not re-emploed by THT.

  8. As a positive man who has recieved financial support from Crusaid twice when I was in desperate need I am very grateful to them and all that support them. It is very easy to throw all the blame at hard working staff who I have always found helpful [especially Jonathan Stephen and Ian if i can dare put names here]. What were the trustees of the charity doing. Surely it was their job to stop this happening. They should be held to account. I hope that the day to day staff get treated with respect and are supported. A ship only stays afloat if it has a good captain at the wheel.

  9. <>

    Erm, if THT is in a “robust” financial situation, as its director of fundraising says here, then *why* is there another story on today’s Pink News in which THT is scaring HIV service users over the fact that the quality of services they use are under threat due to he government’s plans to save money? Something doesn’t quite add up here. Hmmm…

  10. All charities have an overhead – Crusaid was stuck in unenviable position, which is the death of many medium sized charities, where it was large enough to need to spend on governance; but not large enough to dilute the cost f that governance.

    Whilst I don’t deny that something needed to be done to save Crusaid, I think this merger with THT is terrible news.

    As witnessed by the recent DWP reviews, THT’s record on supporting those directly affected by HIV is nothing short of appalling .. and their efforts to deliberately undermine other support organisations which do provide effective and cost-effective support, but which THT sees as competitors for funding, is totally scandalous.

    I used to support Crusaid – but I categorically refuse to support THT and bloated salaries of undeserving fat-cat opportunists like Sir Nick Partridge – and really can’t believe that this was the best way to preserve the immense goodwill that Crusaid has in the community.

  11. I am one of the founders of Crusaid – back in 1986. Then 95%+ of our income went to people affected by HIV. We ran on an entirely voluntary basis, as long as we could, hence the excetionally low costs. This became untenable after a while, but still we managed around the 80% level. Our reputation was pretty good at the time. We raised over £20m in 20 years, and kept our independence. And of course the Hardship Fund was our pride and joy – of course it slipped up occasionally, but that was inevitable. About a decade ago, I stepped down as Chair. So what has happened since then I just do not know. Clearly income has not matched expenditure; maybe the board took its eye off the ball; maybe the office did. Either way I feel bereaved in a way by the loss of this organsation which was supported over the years by countless volunteers, who gave up valuable time to help. The Hardship Fund will continue under THT, and I wish them all the best with it. Ditto the shop and the Walk. I hope that supporters of Crusaid will not turn away. It is the same need, the same resource trying to meet it. I don’t see any “fat-cats” involved. And it would be an immense shame if the unfortunate demise of Crusaid resulted in that need not being met.

    By the way, the numbers are a little misleading. The way charities have had to account in recent years is cosmetically unhelpful. Say an event costs 90 to put on, and brings in 100, in the past, the charity could show net income of 10. Now it has to show the 90 as expenditure, which gets mixed with “head office” type expenditure such as rent and salaries. So although the bottom line is the same, the percentages of costs vs income to give away looks much worse. That affects all charities.

  12. More than jobs will be lost here. THT is big business, and business is what it does best. It has consumed many HIV charities before Crusade to become the dominant – and extremely lucrative – HIV client services provider. And it has done this by asset-stripping and diluting core services to the bone, or axeing them altogether. And of course it had been HIVers who have suffered while THT had laughed all the way to the bank. Their exec committee should be doing porridge for the way they have abused their positions and enriched themselves at our expense – not feasting on caviar and guzzling champagne!!

  13. take a look at the THT accounts (available from the charity commission web site). There are no 6 figure fat cat salaraies! Please base comments on fact rather than speculation.

  14. 2 simple questions,
    1) What would you rather have happened, the hardship fund close and thousands of people suffer or THT merge with Crusaid?
    2) What charities has THT consumed, name them? In order to merge you need agreement from trustees, members etc. It happens because one side approaches another and normally says something like ‘we’re in financial difficulty, please save our arses’ or ‘we’re getting our contracts cut, please save our arses’ – either way I’d rather see services saved than lost – wouldn’t you?

    and thanks Joe – I’ve just looked at the accounts and you’re right…no 6 figure salary there. In fact it looks like Sir Nick Partridge earns under 70 grand – hardly fat cat wages for someone running a multi million pound charity (page 29 if you can be bothered to look).

  15. Joe, where on the THT accounts (also on the THT web site) does it give a breakdown of individual staff costs? Let us have total transparency and accountability once and for all and insist on disclosure of what the likes of Nick Partridge and Lisa Power are being paid from HIV funds, and how these HIV industry dinosaurs’ gold-plated pension pots are measuring up, not to mention their expenses tabs and lavish perks – all paid for by the same funds that in turn are depriving more and more “clients” of a basic standard of service.

    Such people should not be allowed to get rich from an industry that is now on its knees begging the Government not to cut its funding. But they are and that is why they are widely regarded as the fat cats that got the cream while more and more service users are having to make do with the few crumbs that are thrown their way and gay men are sero-converting in record numbers. THT is a bureacratic disaster, and its time that core – eg. compassionate – values returned, with people employed in the sector who are prepared to work for a reasonable salary to aid the cause and who consider it a privilege to do so. Oh, and who have no links with central Government or Big Pharma.

  16. Joe

    take a look at the THT accounts (available from the charity commission web site). There are no 6 figure fat cat salaraies! Please base comments on fact rather than speculation.

    Then perhaps you need to look at the accounts again .. AND also look at the senior THT vacancies currently being advertised in the national press, where the offered salary is there for all to see. You may not like it, but six-figure salaries are very much the order of the day at THT.

  17. Joe

    In the press at the moment is a role in “service growth” for THT advertised at: “Salary: £85,000 – £90,000 pa”.

    Add benefits and pension rights to that and you are already well into six figures .. and that isn’t even a role at the highest level of THT.

    Now have a look at the size of the hardship fund and tell me that such salaries can possibly be justified in an organisation that couldn’t even be bothered to organise any credible advice service for those people living with HIV whose benefits were being reviewed by the DWP.

  18. Adster, I did have a look at the THT ’09 Accounts on the CC website.

    The highest salaries earned were two people within range £80,000 – £89,999.

    there were two within each of the next two lower bands (70-80 amd 60-70).

    Not six figure, nor “order of the day”

    facts…. argue with facts… not prejudice. It really does work.

  19. I am arguing with facts Andy .. not with 24 month old salaries, as you are. The facts are that there are multiple people at THT on six figure packages .. and more to come.

    And as for prejudice .. what prejudice? Moron.

  20. end ’09 accounts are not 24 months old.

    “Moron” Was that necessary?

  21. ntract of employment with correct start month & removal of someone else’s AIDS Diagnosis from Staff Appraisal….

    From: irenwick@liberty.co.uk
    To: XXXXXXXXXXhotmail.com
    Subject: Crusaid discussions
    Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2003 13:20:47 +0000

    Dear XXXXXXXX,

    Thank you for the email that Robin has forwarded to me as you have requested. I am fully aware of the issues you have raised and hope that your meeting with Robin in January will resolve these for you.
    I understand that there is an issue with the given start date on your contract of employment. I also know that you have pointed this out to Robin and that he has offered to look at and amend this for you. However you have included this in your formal complaint and under the procedures that we have in place, this must be handled in the meeting. No-one has at any point inferred or indicated as your email suggests that your job is being terminated.

    We are aware of the importance of stress in the management of the HIV virus. However when a formal complaint is lodged, we do have to follow the procedures we have in place. It is the trustees’ view that a speedy meeting according to our procedures that can resolve your concerns is the best way to deal with the current situation. I understand that Robin has made himself available to meet with you at the earliest convenient time.

    Crusaid Head of Dept Charity e-mail to HIV Police Panel Member…..
    “pendantic,uncooperative and causing stress hassle and pain to alot of people” …..If Crusaid is so bad get another Job with a better employer”

    Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 15:12:56 +0000
    From: RobinB@crusaid.org.uk
    To: xxxxxxxxxxcrusaid.org.uk; xxxxxxcrusaid.org.uk; hotmail.com

    I want to see the two of you in the meeting room tomorrow at 10 am. No excuses. I sincerely hope that this email conversation has not been widely distributed.
    Robin Brady
    Chief Executive

    From: LGILMORE@hamlins.co.uk
    To: XXXXXXXaol.com
    Subject: RE: Thank You Invitation to Crusaid Events
    Date: Thu, 4 Nov 2004 10:31:55 +0000

    Dear
    XXXXXXX
    Thank you for the email As you know I am co-chair of Crusaid as
    well as their legal adviser .I am writing this to you in the latter capacity as
    Crusaid’s solicitor . THAT WAS THE END

    Crusaid THEN Sends Letter requesting feedback AND DONATION to HIV Police Panel Member after advising them to “GET ANOTHER JOB WITH A BETTER EMPLOYER !!!!

    To: Crusaid Trustees
    After your high court injunction e-mail which as you can imagine was very distressing,followed by a letter from a Head of Department a few weels later at Crusaid about being “the lifeblood of all we do, we could not go on without you” which is very kind of you all at Crusaid I received a few weeks later a letter from the CEO of Crusaid requesting a small donation and feedback on the running of the Charity with a pre-paid envelope and the CEO in their letter to me advising me in writing that Crusaid values feedback and to use the new e-mail address feedback@crusaid.org.uk could I therefore respectfully request you and the Board of Trustees’ clarify to me what sort of feedback on the running of Crusaid you and the CEO would like me to provide you with and I will then give your written request for feedback on the running of Crusaid the attention it deserves.
    From: Laurence Gilmore (LGILMORE@hamlins.co.uk)
    Sent: 20 November 2006 18:26:10
    To: xxxxxxxxxxxxhotmail.com)

    Robin

    What is this about and why is he on circulation lists!!!

    Best as ever,

    Laurence

    Tel: 020 7355 6102
    Fax: 020 7518 9102

    From: LGILMORE@hamlins.co.uk
    To: xxxxxxxxhotmail.com; Angus.Hamilton@btinternet.com
    CC: AElliot@ukcoalition.org; guscairns@blueyonder.co.uk; bforbes@ukcoalition.org; AKeightley@ukcoalition.org
    Mon, 26 Mar 2007 17:52:53 +0100

    Dear XXXXXXX

    I have written to you today. We discussed this matter…. An error occurred. I dealt with it swiftly. … you are going on the walk….which is MARVELLOUS!

  22. ‘Congratulations to the board for making this brave decision?’ Are you mad? The board should be ashamed of themselves for letting this once great charity get into this state.

    The Hardship Fund was amazing but the office was so badly run, the Fund was frequently closed. Robin Brady – who left suddenly – was allowed to appoint a puppet chariman in the form of Rob Kemp and went onto run the charity into the ground. Things got so bad, the fouders of Theatrecares left.

    When Brady did eventaually go, invoices he had been hiding surfaced like a financial time bomb. It was such a mess, they were forced to call in a second set of auditors to try and close the years accounts. Brady’s old drinking buddy, Jordan Hay, was allowed to take the reigns making things even worse. Clearly unfit for office, Hay rarely made it into the office before noon (if at all) and when he did, he was usually hungover and always foul mouthed.

    Volunteers that tried to speak out were swiftly got rid of while former partners were given paid jobs. It was a bad joke and one the board simply weren’t getting. Brave? No. A bunch of clowns sat around swigging warm white wine paid for by donors? Yes.

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