Firstly, thank you for your continued support over the years which is so valuable to us; we appreciate all you do for our much needed service.
Requests for our services are increasing each year (last year by one-third). We now have a waiting list for counselling and need to recruit another volunteer counsellor, but simply do not have space in our small office which overflows with material aid, coming in and going out. We offer a unique combination of services in our area as other charities offering similar services have been forced to close due to lack of funding.
You will be aware that the charity has experienced financial problems over the past few years which became severe last year. An appeal was sent out and because of your generosity we survived, but only just. An important source of income for us is funding from trusts and, since the global financial crisis in 2008, this has been much more difficult to obtain with less money available to satisfy an ever increasing demand. Our current position is that, if we do not secure significant additional funding this year, our doors will have to close as we simply do not have enough income to cover our outgoings.
It has recently been brought to our attention that the use of the word ‘Lifeline’ in our name means that we are often perceived as a ‘pro-life’ organisation and this can have an adverse effect on our ability to access funds from certain trusts or other sources. In 2017, as a registered and professional counselling organisation, we are guided by an approved Code of Ethics and, as such, are entirely non-directive with our clients. It would be completely unethical to advocate any particular course of action for a client or in general to take a stance on any relevant issue.
In light of the above, the Board are proposing to rename the charity as ‘Pregnancy Counselling & Care (Scotland)’. We have already obtained clearance from the charity regulator, OSCR to use the new name and the proposal will be put as a special resolution to the members of the company at an EGM on 28 July.
We are aware that some supporters may be unhappy about the proposed change, as the name ‘Lifeline’ is an important link over the years back to the origins of the charity. We hope everyone will appreciate the reasons for this rebranding exercise, which gives us the best chance of accessing funding from the widest possible sources. Aside from trust funding there is the potential to tap into statutory funding, whether from the NHS, local authority or government. Our goal is to achieve long-term sustainability for our vital and unique service.
We would welcome any comments you may have on the proposal. Please send these by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Lifeline office at the address below.
24a Haddington Place