Victim Support cuts jobs to fund external PR help

Victim Support is to shed five jobs in its comms department, leaving it with a total headcount of six.

The first two posts will be phased out by July, with the final three expected to go by October. The slimmed down comms team will also take over the responsibility for marketing, which is currently under the fundraising department's remit.

The charity said the reduced headcount would free up money for the outsourcing of PR work. The job cuts come ahead of a proposed major restructure.

Victim Support is currently a federation of 89 members, but is looking to merge into a single body, with a vote taking place this summer.

Head of comms Paul Fawcett said the current focus of his department was on internal communications, in a bid to secure a ‘yes' vote.

He said: ‘The federation structure has made it very hard to achieve unity of voice. Members are under no obligation to comply with our campaigns or external communications activity, so we have no synergy. The new structure would allow us much more control over our message.'

He said the new structure would mean the comms team had greater influence to require the regional bodies providing services to talk to the media. The charity has one central communications department, but no specific regional PR staff. ‘Once the charity has been merged, we will be looking to educate and encourage regional staff to take responsibility for communications,' said Fawcett.

The charity hopes the merger will be completed by 2008 - so it can capitalise on Government plans to overhaul the way victim support is provided. ‘We want to be top of their list when they put the work out to tender, so we are making sure that we fit the purpose,' said Fawcett.

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