Released on: 31 July 2020
Due to the tremendous efforts of our staff, practitioners and volunteers, NCT, the UK’s largest charity for parents, evolved rapidly in response to Covid-19 to continue to support pregnant women, their partners and new families and meet rising demand for our services.
Since lockdown began, we have supported over 21,000 expectant parents in our online antenatal courses, and thousands more through our postnatal courses, peer support projects and local branches. Our Infant Feeding Line has continued to offer critical help to new mums, and the traffic to our online information centre has doubled, with a dedicated programme of Covid-19-specific content for pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.
During this time, we know the information and support we provide has been more valuable than ever for expectant and new parents, many of whom have faced significant isolation, anxiety and difficulty accessing other forms of support.
While we have adapted and enhanced our services during this crisis, our income as a charity has been significantly impacted. The implementation of social distancing and lockdown greatly affected the funding we generate through our courses, community events and partnerships. Despite reducing non-staff costs immediately and making use of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme to protect jobs in the short term, the forecast deficit for this year means that we have no choice but to reduce our costs further, in line with the reduction in our income. We are therefore, regrettably, completing a period of consultation on a proposed restructure that anticipates a reduction in our headcount of around 50 staff. This is an incredibly difficult situation, particularly for the staff involved, but is necessary in order to safeguard our charity and the vital services we deliver for parents across the UK.
Angela McConville, NCT Chief Executive said:
"Everyone at NCT is passionately committed to supporting pregnant women, their partners and new parents to have the best possible experience of pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. Faced with the extraordinary circumstances coronavirus has brought, the restructure of our staff team is essential to ensure we can deliver on this in the months and years ahead. This doesn’t make it any easier for the individuals affected though. It has been an incredibly hard week for everyone at NCT and terribly sad to start saying goodbye to so many valued colleagues and friends. We’re all very grateful for the support from our community of staff, volunteers, practitioners and partners. Thank you all so much for your support and ongoing commitment."