Proposed closure to Malcolm Sargent House FAQs

Here are some FAQs about the recent proposal to close Malcolm Sargent House, CLIC Sargent's holiday home in Prestwick, Scotland.

How long will the consultation last for?
Who is the consultation for?  
Which jobs are at risk?  
Why have you put this proposal forward? 
How much does Malcolm Sargent House cost to run?  
How much money needs to be raised to save the holiday service?  
Have you tried charging for the use of Malcolm Sargent House?  
Have you made this decision because Malcolm Sargent House is in Scotland?
How much do you pay your Chief Executive and your Directors?  
What are you planning to do in response to parents concerned about the ashes of loved ones scattered or buried at Malcolm Sargent House?
Are you fundraising for Malcolm Sargent House? 
 

How long will the consultation last for?

It’s important that you know that no decisions have been made at this stage. We are consulting with staff that are potentially directly affected from 14 June 2016 for at least 30 days, and all CLIC Sargent staff until 13 July 2016. Then we’ll look at all the feedback we’ve been given.

Who is the consultation for?

The consultation is for staff, but we want to hear the views of volunteers, people who have been to Malcolm Sargent House and those that live in the area. We understand that this announcement has come as a shock but we are really keen to listen. You can get in touch by emailing us at contactus@clicsargent.org.uk. We can’t promise that we’ll be able to reply to all your emails but we will make sure all feedback is considered.

Which jobs are at risk?

Unfortunately some jobs are at risk. Members of staff that run the holiday service at Malcolm Sargent House could be affected. The jobs of our paid fundraising staff for the area wouldn’t be at risk if this proposal were taken forward.

Why have you put this proposal forward?

This is really difficult for CLIC Sargent and everyone who’s been to Malcolm Sargent House, because it is a fantastic place. We understand how deeply you feel about the holidays, breaks and the special time spent there with loved ones over many years - that’s been really clear this week. 

But the most important thing for us has to be the services children, young people and families tell us they need the most; these are our professional care support workers, nursing and our Homes from Home. These are specialised services that no one else can provide. 

Families and young people tell us that support with money matters and practical things are the top priorities for them. Having someone consistent to listen and talk to, helping them interpret the maze that is cancer and give expert support and advice throughout their cancer journey is vital.

The holiday service is used by around 5% of all those we support; in 2015/16 this was 300 children, young people and families. It’s expensive to run and maintain. These are tough times and lots of charities, including CLIC Sargent, are finding it harder than ever to raise the money we need.

How much does Malcolm Sargent House cost to run?

It costs around half a million pounds to run Malcolm Sargent House each year. Donations that are specifically just for Malcolm Sargent House don’t cover all the costs. The amount raised solely for running the service at Malcolm Sargent House in 2015/16 was £95,000. CLIC Sargent gets a lot of donations from Ayrshire, which help to fund the essential care that children from the area, among others, receive through frontline services in hospital at Glasgow or Edinburgh.

How much money needs to be raised to save the holiday service?

At times like this we’ve got difficult choices to make and CLIC Sargent needs to focus every penny we receive from our donors on the services that can have the biggest impact and that families tell us they need the most. The research we’ve done and the children, families and young people we’ve spoken to tell us these are our social work, our nurses and our Homes from Home.

We understand the desire to support the service through fundraising - this is a consultation and no decisions have been made. If a buyer was found to buy the house and money raised to run the service year on year, we’d explore this as an option.

Depending on how it was set up, a social enterprise or charity would need to show it had sufficient funds. It would also need to show it was able to safely look after vulnerable children and young people.

However, if money was raised and the proposal to end the service went ahead, any funds raised may need to be returned to those donors.

Have you tried charging for the use of Malcolm Sargent House?

In the past we have tried renting rooms at Malcolm Sargent House. This wasn’t successful and didn’t make a significant contribution to the running costs of the house.

Have you made this decision because Malcolm Sargent House is in Scotland?

No, we haven’t. We’d have made the same decision if the holiday service was based in a house anywhere else. We’ve got great services across Scotland with teams in eight hospitals and two Homes from Home - one of which was relocated and opened last year. We’ll be doing the same for our Edinburgh Home from Home in the next few years. It’s a tough set of choices and it comes down to the need to make savings and make sure we’ve got reserves in the bank to run the charity properly.

How much do you pay your Chief Executive and your Directors?

Our Trustees decide how much our senior staff should get paid - which is the case for most charities. CLIC Sargent is a big organisation and the work all our staff do is highly skilled and specialised - they need to be paid for their hard work, just as anyone would expect to be in any job.

When it comes to our Chief Executive and Directors, it’s really important that they have the skills and experience to run a large, complex charity, responsible for providing essential services to 7,000 young cancer patients. But it’s also important that the charity focuses on spending as much of the money people donate to us on supporting children and young people with cancer.

The salaries of the senior team are lower than they would be in similar roles in the private or public sector, managing an organisation of a similar scale and complexity. They are also lower than senior salaries in many other charities of a similar size.

We publish the salary bands each year in our Annual Report and Accounts. Every two years they are market tested and reviewed by our Governance Committee.

What are you planning to do in response to parents concerned about the ashes of loved ones scattered or buried at Malcolm Sargent House?

Malcolm Sargent House has strong emotional connections for CLIC Sargent, the families we support who have visited it and particularly for those families who have chosen it as a place to remember loved ones. We’ve already discussed this directly with one family who had buried their child’s ashes in the garden and would welcome conversations with any other families who are concerned. Should a decision to end the holiday service provision at Malcolm Sargent House be taken, we will do everything in our power to work with the families involved to ensure the memories of their loved ones can be appropriately marked and respected.

Are you fundraising for Malcolm Sargent House?

We understand the strength of feeling for the holiday service at Malcolm Sargent House and that there have been discussions outside CLIC Sargent about fundraising to save it. We would really encourage people to fundraise for CLIC Sargent’s core services at this point – supporting our social care professionals, nurses and our Homes from Home. Every penny we raise needs to go towards the essential services we provide, supporting 7000 young cancer patients and their families. 

It would be irresponsible for us to raise restricted donations for Malcolm Sargent House and the holiday service while we are in consultation over its future. Fundraising for a one-off amount won’t help CLIC Sargent sustain the long term future of the holiday service. 

If a fundraising campaign was set up outside of CLIC Sargent to secure the holiday service at Malcolm Sargent House there are a few important steps that would need to be taken. This guidance is intended to be helpful and protect any fundraisers or donors that might get involved.

An appeal for Malcolm Sargent House couldn’t be done in CLIC Sargent’s name. For this reason we would also discourage anyone from setting up any online fundraising pages to support an appeal for Malcolm Sargent House using CLIC Sargent’s charity number. Instead, a separate fundraising body would need to be set up to comply with the law and fundraising legal duties, with proper governance and oversight of the money raised, detailed in the guidance of the OSCR (Scottish Charity Regulator) in Scotland, the Charity Commission in England and Wales, or the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, as appropriate.

These donations would be given in trust, and if the proposal was taken forward to close Malcolm Sargent House it would be the separate fundraising body’s responsibility to comply with the law and return this money to donors. Please remember that we are in a consultation and no decisions about the future of the service have been taken.

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