The need to give the growing number of vulnerable children a home-life that enables them to flourish has never been greater – which is why from 1 July, Christian children’s charity Fegans will transfer into Spurgeons Children’s Charity to form one organisation that can act as a greater force for good with a shared vision, mission and faith.
Spurgeons is acquiring Fegans and will retain all of Fegans current work and every member of staff.
Do you have some questions? Here’s a helpful FAQ.
What does Fegans transferring into Spurgeons mean?
We will be one charity after 1st July 2021, with all of Fegans’ work and team transferring in to Spurgeons. Spurgeons will be retaining all of Fegans’ current work and every member of staff will be transferring their employment to Spurgeons under TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment).
This is good news because, inspired by the same Christian faith, Spurgeons and Fegans share a vision to give a growing number of vulnerable children and young people a home life that is loving, peaceful and safe so they can flourish. The services Fegans offer – school counselling and support as well as parent courses and support – form an important pillar of Spurgeons new strategy.
By joining forces with a shared ethos, values and ambition, we plan to make a greater impact on a greater need, together.
Who is Spurgeons?
Spurgeons is a Christian children’s charity founded in 1867. Today they run 50 services/projects in 22 Local Authority areas across England (Midlands, East, West, South and London). With more than 400 staff, 53 volunteers and thousands of supporters, Spurgeons deliver a range of support services including children centres and family hubs, prison-based family support, services to support young carers, families affected by domestic abuse and to girls and young woman in, or at risk of, joining gangs. They also offer parenting courses and support.
Spurgeons was founded in 1867 by one of the most well-known public figures of the day – a Baptist preacher called Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He founded an orphanage in Stockwell, south London. The Spurgeons Home moved first to Surrey and then to Kent after the war, but closed in the late 1970’s.
Since then, Spurgeons has supported vulnerable children and families through many different types of work across the UK. Today, the charity has contact with around 30,000 children and adults, whilst working more intensively with over 3,000 children and young people over the last year.
Spurgeons kept all their services open during the pandemic, adapting to ensure they maintained contact with vulnerable children and families.
Why will Fegans be transferring into Spurgeons? What are the benefits?
Spurgeons has been planning its long-term future for some time. Their ambition is to support children who are vulnerable, because of their families’ circumstances, to have a home life where they find the love, peace and safety that enables them to flourish. Fegans services – including school counselling and support, parent support and pre-schools — offer immense potential to be able to build on the work of both charities.
Spurgeons and Fegans share a common faith and set of values, complementary disciplines and geographies and similar heritages and so are a great fit for one another, and from this base we believe that together we can grow in impact in supporting parents and working with more schools to provide counselling services across the country.
What will happen to the Fegans board of Trustees?
Fegans will no longer function as an independent charity but Spurgeons has agreed that two of Fegans five trustees will join the Spurgeons Board of Trustees. We cannot incorporate more Fegans Trustees at this time because Spurgeons Articles of Association only allows a Board of 12 members in total. The appointment of new trustees to Spurgeons is a formal process, and we expect two Fegans Trustees, Ali Collins Fegans’ chair, and David Buchan, to be voted on to the Spurgeons Board at the next meeting in July.
Is the acquisition of Fegans by Spurgeons affordable/necessary and will the funds I donate continue to be properly channelled to the children and families that need it?
Spurgeons acquisition of Fegans was driven by the ambition to see a growing number of children facing challenges enabled to flourish in their home life. The school counselling and support, as well as parent counselling and support services that Fegans bring into Spurgeons are a strategic part of the charity’s long-term plans to ensure sustainability.
Those who support us can be assured that their gift will continue to be used to support Fegans’ work and fulfil Fegans’ charitable objectives, and similarly Spurgeons’ current supporters should be reassured that their support is still needed for the work in prisons, with young carers, with families struggling to cope and young people at risk of being harmed. Our supporter’s gifts are used to make a difference in children and young people’s lives.
What will happen to the Fegans’ brand and heritage?
We are committed to keeping the Fegans name linked to the work of supporting vulnerable children and young people, but how it might be used in the future and where, will be informed by a review we intend to undertake later this year. This work will lead to us better understanding how and where we will use Fegans name and heritage.
There will be places where Spurgeons name and brand will replace Fegans’ from 1st July, and potentially more widely after that. Some changes from 1st July are required for legal reasons. For example, because we are one charity, we will need to change the legal section on documents that quote the charity name and company number.
We recognise and value the rich heritage shared by Spurgeons and Fegans. Both organisations were formed by men of faith over 150 years ago, wanting to share the love of Jesus in a very practical way to help provide for vulnerable children. That same vision lives on as both charities join forces to become stronger together in order to meet the increasing needs of children and families facing challenges across the UK, with a shared ambition to grow the support for those who need us.
Will our donations as funders continue to be invested effectively as agreed in awards and will Fegans’ eligibility be affected?
Spurgeons acquisition of Fegans was driven by the ambition to see the growing number of children facing challenges enabled to flourish in their home life. The school counselling and support, as well as the parenting support provided by Fegans form a strategic part of the charity’s long-term plans for the future to ensure sustainability.
Funders who support Fegans services can be assured that their contributions will continue to be used to support Fegans’ work and fulfil Fegans’ charitable objectives to make a difference in young people’s lives.
As part of Spurgeons, we want to support maximising the amount of income we raise to work with many more children and young people. That may mean we become ineligible for some sources of funding but equally, through Spurgeons central teams, we will now have capacity to bid for more funds to extend our reach and create a greater impact on a greater need, together.
Will this mean the costs associated to Fegans services will increase now you are a part of Spurgeons?
Fegans’ transfer into Spurgeons will not result in cost increases in the immediate future. Our priority is a continuity of the services we provide after the transfer on 1st July to minimise disruptions for the children and families we serve, as far as possible. We hope that being part of a larger charity means that we can provide better and more stable support over the long run and have the capacity to grow.
Spurgeons, which we are now a part of, want to ensure the future sustainability of our services in the most cost effective way for our customers and this will be taken into account when making any decisions on costs and fees going forward.
Will there be a disruption/dilution/removal of the services Fegans provides me?
We want to minimise disruptions, for both colleagues and the children and families we serve, as far as possible. Your key contacts will remain the same as we ensure a continuity of the services we provide after the transfer of Fegans into Spurgeons.
Will Fegans joining a larger charity like Spurgeons mean we lose the benefits of working with a smaller/grassroots charity?
The benefits of working with Fegans are rooted in our faith, values and ambition and these are all shared by Spurgeons. Together, we plan to make a greater impact on a greater need. Spurgeons has a very similar way of working that is very much personal and relational. While it is much bigger than Fegans, it is still of a scale where it greatly values those relationships and being able to know and meet the needs of its partners.
Will Fegans retain its Christian identity and focus on its core mission to change the nation one child at a time?
Yes, Fegans and Spurgeons share a Christian identity, heritage and ambition to be Christ-centred in the vision to give the growing number of vulnerable children and young people a home life that is loving, peaceful and safe so they can flourish.
Both charities already partner with churches and would like to work even more closely together. We see partnerships with churches as an integral part of who we are and how we want to work.
Both leadership teams have spent over a year prayerfully considering the decision. By joining forces with a shared ethos, values and ambition, we plan to make a greater impact on a greater need, together.