Epilepsy Society increases spending on services
Epilepsy Society's expenditure on its charitable activities is up by almost 10 per cent, according to the charity's recently published accounts. The increased spend across all its service areas, including medical research, information and its helpline, is a result of the charity's stronger financial position.
Spending on the charity's information, support and helpline services increased by £223,000 to £978,000.
Bridget Gardiner, director of fundraising and marketing at Epilepsy Society said: 'These are our 'front line' services, and we know how important they are to people with epilepsy and their families. For example, in a recent survey of our helpline more than 60 percent of callers said they valued being given time to talk and 85 percent said they valued the written information they received as a result of that call - hence our increased investment in information.
In turn, the value people place on those services has resulted in significant donations. Eight per cent of our donors have given as a result of a call to the helpline and we know that a number of legacies have been as a direct result of contact with the helpline.
More than half a million people in the last year have accessed information from the charity - and for the first time a number of resources have been translated into a range of languages.
Bridget Gardiner said: 'The demand for foreign language resources was identified as a result of a Department of Health funded three year pilot project promoting early interventions for people with epilepsy amongst hard to reach groups.'
The charity increased spending on epilepsy research - building on its reputation as a world leader in the field, particularly in the area of genetics. Thanks to a generous donation from the Katy Baggott Foundation, the charity has been able to establish an innovative epilepsy tissue and brain bank based at the Institute of Neurology, one of its collaborative research partners.
The improved health of the charity's finances is mainly due to the sale of land surplus to requirements, enabling the Society to strengthen its free reserves. The charity's trustees have determined that an appropriate, prudent level of free reserves is the equivalent of three months' unrestricted expenditure. The Society is now within £600,000 of reaching this target.
Since the appointment of a new chief executive, Angela Geer, in April, the charity has been undergoing a strategic review.
Bridget Gardiner said: 'We are looking closely at external influences as we develop our new strategic vision and priorities. We have made good financial progress during the last three years but we need to stay focused on maintaining this good work to secure the future of Epilepsy Society.'
Download Epilepsy Society's recently published accounts (pdf)