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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

TFN is published by the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6BB. The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation. Registration number SC003558.

Jobs on the line as budget crisis rocks Scots environment charity


19 jobs could go and operations have been scaled back

Jobs are at risk at a major conservation charity after it suffered a “serious financial deficit”.

The John Muir Trust (JMT) has said that 19 posts could go as it battles a £600,000 budget shortfall.

It has reduced costs across all areas of its operation but even after these cost savings the charity has not reached the minimum financial level required.

JMT has launched an appeal to members and supporters, saying: “John Muir Trust is operating within a particularly challenging financial environment.

“The Trust’s operating costs in the last year have been significantly higher than income and the budget and financial planning process for the current year (2024) revealed a serious financial deficit.

“Sadly, there was no option but to take the incredibly difficult decision to put up to 19 jobs at risk.”

It has been reported that staff were told they will find out whether their position was at risk in a one-to-one call. The process is ongoing and staff at risk of redundancy are understood to be able to apply for any open positions currently unfilled.

Meanwhile, JMT has also announced it will pause a popular environmental award scheme due because of the deficit crisis.

It has said it is having to change how it administers the John Muir Award and is no longer accepting proposals.

The awards are focused on providing access to wild places for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

About 40,000 people engage in the initiative each year, with 25 per cent of awards achieved by people experiencing financial deprivation, disability, unemployment or poor health.

In the past groups have included children who were excluded from mainstream schools and survivors of domestic violence.

A spokeswoman for the JMT said: “The John Muir Award encourages people of all backgrounds to connect with, enjoy and care for wild places. It remains, and will remain, a valued and central component of the trust’s engagement programmes.

“A serious financial deficit means the John Muir Trust is having to make savings across the organisation, and we are currently looking at how this may impact the way we run the John Muir Award. We are continuing to honour all John Muir awards that had been registered prior to the Easter holidays and have temporarily paused accepting new award proposals.”

The spokeswoman added that the trust was reviewing the structure of the award and aims to relaunch a newly designed version in early 2025.



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