Charities 'may need to merge' to provide better service, expert warns

D'Arcy Myers speaking at the Charity Think Tank in Southampton <i>(Image: HWB Chartered Accountants)</i>
D'Arcy Myers speaking at the Charity Think Tank in Southampton (Image: HWB Chartered Accountants)

A CHARITY consultant has warned that organisations may need to merge to provide a better service to the people they support.

D'Arcy Myers was speaking at the Charity Think Tank, which was hosted by Hampshire-based HWB Chartered Accountants and Charisma Charity Recruitment.

The round table event at the Southampton Harbour Hotel and Spa was attended by charity leaders and decision-makers from across the region.

Mr Myers helps charities develop more effective strategies, stepping in as an interim chief executive if necessary.

He is also chairman of trustees at the Association of Charitable Organisations, the Smallwood Trust, and the Reef World Foundation.

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He said: "More charities need to look at how they can partner and work with other charities and, indeed, more mergers.

"Utilising scarce resources in the best possible way and collaborating to provide solutions remains a great challenge.

"There is a real opportunity at present for charities to work more closely together in order to provide the best possible service to the people they support.

"One of the many things the sector is so good at is sharing, however, what they are not so good at doing is bringing things together and undertaking different actions towards the same goal.

"The charity sector has always been really low on the number of charities that merge. A couple of the barriers to merging are two chief executives and the egos of trustees. I hope that can change."

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Mr Myers described the think tank as a "really good opportunity to sense check what you think you know", adding: "It’s reassuring to hear that other people are facing similar challenges."

My Myers is currently interim chief executive at Autism Hampshire.

He said the challenges facing the organisation at the moment were the same for all charities working in social care - underfunding of the sector and difficulties in retaining staff.

"Our success is better engagement with local authorities and using the Care Act to back up what we are saying – councils are offering different percentages so we are working with the Autism Alliance to collate all of that and share it.

"We are working with local authorities to help them better understand the true cost of care.

"It’s really about good communication to ensure that resources are used in the best possible way."

HWB Chartered Accountants, founded in 1985 as Hopper Williams & Bell, provides tax, accounting, and business advisory services.