St Margaret’s: What went wrong?

Public meetings are springing up all over Yeovil to discuss the fate of St Margaret’s. The closure of the Yeovil in-patients beds and the loss of 8 beds overall in Somerset is bad enough news. But why? Why has the charity suddenly hit the wall?

Accounts for the year to March 2019 are not due to be filed yet. But there are three interesting items in the 2018 accounts which may offer some clues.

  1. Firstly the number of high paid employees (earning over £60,000) at the charity had risen from 5 in 2017 to 9 in 2018. Of course the accounts do not tell us if these are clinicians or directors.


  1. There had been a significant rise in shop costs. For example in 2017 the charity sold £4.3m through its shops and made £686,744 profit. Not a great return given that this is a charity trying to maximise income to spend on its charitable purposes.

However in 2018 although the shop income had risen to £4.6m the shops only made £401,449 profit after the costs of running the shops went up by £556,000. If that trend has continued into 2019 the shops will have become a significant burden for very little return.

  1. The charity also embarked on a new venture to raise funds; St Margaret’s Funerals. Again the 2018 accounts (interim accounts so in fairness these numbers could change) show that the operation made a loss of £59,733

Those would certainly be interesting questions to ask the representatives of St Margaret’s at the public meeting next week (The Octagon Theatre, 14th August, 6.30pm)

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