2018 Shortlist | The Brain Charity
The Brain Charity
Winner – Managing Turnaround
Who they are
The Brain Charity provides emotional support, practical help and social activities to anyone with a neurological condition and to their family, friends and carers.
What they’ve achieved
In 2013 The Brain Charity was facing an uncertain future. Funding was dwindling, and the charity was looking into selling property to survive. Public recognition of its work was very low, so fewer people accessed the emotional support and practical help offered, leaving much of the space in its purpose-built building unused.
Decisive action was needed if the organisation was to survive. The board recruited a new CEO and trustees with a wealth of experience, fresh ideas and expertise. Together, they took on full responsibility for the charity’s next steps and created a clear short-term strategy to turn things around.
Why they are a winner
Taking action meant making tough choices for the good of the charity. In particular, the judges were impressed by the way that trustees shared far-reaching decisions with staff and volunteers in an open, honest, and transparent way.
This included new ways to boost awareness. Trustees recognised that they had to invest in marketing and fundraising to grow the charity – so they launched a successful rebrand and established a new paid fundraising role.
This helped double the charity’s income in just three years, and allowed it to help more people than ever before. Today, The Brain Charity supports 200 new referrals each month, up from just 50 in 2014. This has created an extra 26 jobs and 51 volunteering opportunities in the local community.
The successful strategy has inspired outside recognition too. In 2017, The Brain Charity was awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, the highest accolade given by the Queen to the voluntary sector.
What the judges said
“The board have put a sustainable plan in place and breathed new life into the charity right from the very top of the organisation. The decisions made have improved the position of the charity as income has increased. There are now a higher number of people accessing services, and the charity provides a wider range of support services.”