New Horizons Borders: charity bankrupt after “implosion”
A mental health charity GALASHIELS has been bankrupted following its ‘implosion’ during the coronavirus pandemic.
Two “catalysts” for the demise of New Horizons Borders, formerly of Island Street, were listed in a report on the board’s accounts.
According to the document – available on the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator’s website – an employment tribunal resulted in the award of more than Â£ 39,000 to a former employee.
At the same time, the increased pressure on its services during the pandemic “took a toll” on staff and volunteers.
Regarding the court, the report says “uncertainty” surrounding the case has caused “a high level of constant workload and stress.”
At the end of the process, Â£ 39,937 was awarded to the former employee.
Before the court’s finding, the service – which had received funding from the Scottish Borders Council – suffered an ‘organizational breakdown’ after the director resigned in June 2020.
This precipitated the resignation of two staff members and eight board members over the July-October period of last year.
The report states: âFollowing this organizational breakdown, the Scottish Borders Council terminated its contract with immediate effect on July 21, 2020, leaving the organization with no choice but to close. ”
Three new board members were appointed in October last year to ensure a âdignified shutdownâ of New Horizons Borders.
Meanwhile, the association has also experienced “major challenges” due to the coronavirus.
âCOVID-19 posed major challenges, with many more people in the community seeking support as they battled the exceptional pandemic situation,â the report said.
âOn the morning of March 12, 2020, a very difficult and painful decision was made to suspend all peer support groups, in accordance with the rules of a nationwide lockdown. ”
On March 13 at 12 noon, the association had launched a telephone and SMS assistance service, which continued for four months before being withdrawn “by order of the commissioners of SBC”.
A new Facebook page was also launched, while videos were produced on managing mental health issues.
The report adds: âThe anxiety and isolation of the pandemic, and its resulting lockdown, has had a significant negative impact on the mental well-being of our members and, it must be said, our staff and people. of our volunteers.
âUltimately, the pressures on staff and volunteers to develop and deliver ‘projects’ and services to an ever-growing and more vulnerable number of members have taken their toll on both staff and volunteers. ”
As of March 31 of this year, the termination of the Island Street lease had been concluded.
Members of New Horizons Borders will have the option to switch to Health in Mind, according to the report.