£500,000 loan for the JSPCA
A LOAN facility of half a million pounds has been taken out by the JSPCA to provide working capital for ‘reorganisation’ as it battles against severe financial difficulties.
Last year business ‘fixer’ Kevin Keen, who has a reputation for streamlining ailing companies, was appointed as the charity’s interim chief executive to help resolve its financial problems.
On 21 December the JSPCA formally acknowledged, before the Royal Court, a bond debt of £500,000, which is owed to the company Channel International, registered at Anley Street in St Helier.
Speaking to the JEP, Mr Keen confirmed that the debt facility had been taken out by the JSPCA and that £100,000 had been drawn down so far.
‘[Channel International] is a company that belongs to a charitable trust,’ he said. ‘They are providing the JSPCA with working capital, which we will use for reorganisation, although we have only drawn down £100,000.
‘We could borrow up to another £400,000, but hopefully we will not need to.’
Earlier this month it was announced that the charity’s dog-boarding service had been discontinued because it was making a loss, resulting in the loss of three jobs.
Mr Keen said that other services may suffer similar consequences as he works to help the troubled charity.
‘If people are making donations to a charity then you have to look at the costs,’ he said.
‘We need to look at how the JSPCA can be more efficient. You can’t go out and raise money as a charity if you are not operating efficiently.’
He added: ‘The dog boarding was making a loss and we have closed it down, and very unfortunately have had to lose three staff. People losing their jobs is always horrible.
‘We will be having a look at all our services and there may be further job losses, unfortunately, but it is too early at this time to say what will happen.’
He added that 40 staff currently work for the JSPCA. Some work part-time or are on zero-hours contracts, such as the organisation’s ambulance drivers.
In November Mr Keen called for donations to be made ‘urgently’ to the JSPCA, warning that the Animals’ Shelter was at risk of having to close within months.
A series of fundraising events for the charity have been held recently, including a fun-run and car boot sale.
This month a bingo night, yard sale and Thai buffet have been planned to provide further financial support. Details about the events can be found on the JSPCA Facebook page or on the group’s website jspca.org.je.