It has released the following statement.
It is with regret that we announce today that that SCILL will be closing on 31 March 2017.
The support and help that SCILL has given people during the last 21 years has been exceptional; social care has changed enormously in that time and thankfully disabled people now have a much greater voice than they did 20 years ago (although there is still room for improvement).
SCILL has always acted prudently, setting funds aside for the lean times. However, we are now facing sustained financial pressure on both income and costs. Over recent months we have been engaged in discussions with LBS to try to identify a way forward but no credible financial solution has been forthcoming.
The reduction in funding by Central Government has meant that the London Borough of Sutton (LBS) has been forced to reduce its spend on contracts with the voluntary sector; contracts ending have not been renewed. It has also meant that our individual clients are facing increasing pressure on their budgets. A change in policy by Government has resulted, for the first time in 21 years, in the demand for a substantial open market rent for the SCILL Centre.
These issues have been further compounded by HMRC who have launched a nationwide campaign retrospectively seeking VAT from charities providing direct payment services such as Payroll and Financial Administrative Services (FAS). At the time it was widely believed that such services were covered by welfare exemptions and therefore not taxable. In collaboration with other charities we are fighting this attack but the sum claimed, approximately £140,000, is so substantial that it would exhaust our reserves if we lose.
As a result, the Trustees have reluctantly decided there is no alternative but to undertake a planned and orderly run down of activities.
Over the next six months SCILL will be working with staff, volunteers, clients and stakeholders to undertake a smooth transition of services for our clients and staff. Our commitment to delivering a quality service remains undiminished.
Please bear with us during this time of change.
Please direct any enquires, comments or complaints to Sam Walker, Chief Officer: 020 8770-4057 / firstname.lastname@example.org