Youth volunteering charity vInspired will close this Tuesday (26 November) it has announced, after exhausting its reserves after trying to move to self-sustainability from a reliance on government funding.
vInspired was set up in 2006 by the Labour government, and has since helped over one million young people to volunteer, with more than 7,000 organisations using its services to find volunteers.
News of its closure was announced in a personal statement on Twitter last week by its Chief Executive Jessica Taplin.
— Jessica Taplin (@Jessicataplin) November 22, 2018
In it, Taplin said that vInspired had been forced to downsize in recent years after coalition and Conservative governments had reduced funding. This reduction in support had meant vInspired had been forced to strive for financial self-sufficiency earlier than it had anticipated.
“The hope was that our reserves and new funding would support our journey from government reliance to commercial sustainability. However since the returning of funds to the government in 2017, the charity’s position was not as secure as we had hoped when we started our turnaround strategy in 2016.”
“We’ve attempted to achieve financial sustainability much sooner than originally anticipated but unfortunately have insufficient forward funding commitment to support our core service. Unfortunately having exhausted all options and our reserves we know that we can’t achieve sustainability for the Charity in the time that our financial position allows.
“So it is with great regret that The Board are now entering into the process of winding up the charity and have appointed The Antony Batty & Company LLP with a view to closing on 27 November.”
All 20 London staff have been given notice of redundancy for this date. However, the National Citizen Service will continue to be delivered through the vInspired Education team in the North East, which is is a separate legal entity to the charity, with Maxine Tennet, vInspired’s current Director of Operations continuing her work alongside the SMT in the North East.
The news was met with sadness on Twitter, with many in the sector as well as past beneficiaries of vInspired commenting on the announcement.
Incredibly sad to hear @vinspired is closing its doors. I’m one of millions of young people the charity helped and I can’t thank them enough for the amazing things I got to do, had to share a few of my highlights 💜 pic.twitter.com/wnUGe3yqvo
— Lucy Dean (@lucyduk) November 22, 2018
— Lucy Caldicott (@LucyCaldicott) November 22, 2018
So sad our #volunteerfulltime partner @vinspired is to close. They leave a lasting legacy through the young people they helped to volunteer and with all those who their volunteers have supported. We'll continue the work they started with us. Wishing their staff all the best. pic.twitter.com/vVkIpwnZVU
— City Year UK (@CityYearUK) November 23, 2018
“The loss of vInspired will be felt keenly by the youth sector, as a national champion of young people. Grown out of the Russell Commission’s report, over the years it has helped promote positive activities, opportunities and perceptions of young people through volunteering across the country. Its work and values live on through all the businesses, community groups and young people it has served. NYA has enjoyed a close partnership for NCS and youth social action in particular and will continue to work with vInspired Education for future quality provision in support of young people. At a time when we are being promised an end to austerity, we need to hold on to, invest in and develop the youth sector, and support those charities and services which in turn invest in young people – supported in the present, ambitious for their future.”
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