Where The Workfare Money Goes – Charity Rich List Released

Pile of British bank notes.Charity trade journal Third Sector have released a league table (PDF) which highlights the staggering sums being paid to the bosses of many so called charities.

The magazine lists the top 150 earners in UK charities by income and broken down into sectors.  It is a litany of obscene wealth built on the back of the poorest and most vulnerable, revealing for example that whilst next week the Anchor Trust Housing Association will be sending out bedroom tax bills – sure to result in eviction for many people – the highest earner at the trust earns a shocking £275,000 a year.

Elsewhere in the document is a list of the top earners at mainstream charities, most of them household names.  Unsurprisingly it reads like an roll call of workfare exploiters and Work Programme sub-contractors.

Right up at the top of the list is the notorious Shaw Trust, one of the largest charitable Work Programme contractors and responsible for thousands of claimants suffering benefit sanctions.  Whilst those sanctioned on the recommendations of the charity face immediate destitution and even homelessness, the boss takes home £180,000 a year, coming in at joint fifth of the highest paid mainstream charity earners.

Other Work Programme sub-contractors in the top 30 include Scope, RNIB, Leonard Chesire Foundation and Mencap.

Workfare exploiters Salvation Army predictably feature in the list at joint 27th.  The British Heart Foundation, who claim to be moving away from workfare but according to their website are still very much part of the Work Programme, are at number 12 with the highest paid staff member earning £173,000, whilst Barnados are also on the list at number 20.

The list is also a reminder of who has pulled out of workfare.  Age UK, Cancer Research, Marie Curie and Sense all make the top 40 and have all rejected workfare over the last year and a half.

Charities will claim they need to pay high salaries to compete with the business sector.  The upshot of this is business people running charities, who put profit and the needs of the corporate sector they left behind before the people they are funded by the public to help.  Workfare is good for business, helping to undermine wages and workplace organisation.  And it’s good for big charities, who not only get a stream of unpaid workers but if they are particularly compliant may also be offered lucrative government welfare-to-work contracts.

That these are contracts and workfare placements that punish, degrade and impoverish the very people they claim to support can be brushed aside with glossy PR featuring ‘success stories’ – the handful of people who haven’t had miserable experiences at the hands of these organisations.

Millions of lives are currently being crushed under austerity and the erosion of the welfare state.  As Scope Chief Executive Richard Hawkes has said however, these savage cuts provide big opportunities for charities.  The end result of corporate style charities paying bosses hundreds of thousands of pounds are those bosses acting in their own class interests and attacking the very people whose poverty they leech from to fund their own lavish lifestyles.

Follow me on twitter @johnnyvoid

68 responses to “Where The Workfare Money Goes – Charity Rich List Released

  1. I was on a jobcentre course years ago, run by a charity. I know what sort of people you mean.

  2. shaw trust are blood suckers they asked me to apply for a PSV job knowing full well Im on a restricted licence, fools

  3. I see Eton College gets £59m “charitable” income….. what sort of cloud cuckoo land do we live in?

    • They are all corrupt my friend. Reading this piece, I am not surprised in the least. Of course, I have known for quite some time that those at the top of certain ‘charities’ are creaming the milk’ so to speak.

      But corruption is rife now. Because, when you have mullti millionaire public schoolboys, playing at being ‘politicians’ and having two and three STATE-OWNED, UNDER-OCCUPIED HOMES, that WE, the BRITISH PUBLIC PAY FOR, then something is wrong.

      This especially sticks in the throat when they are telling the rest of us that we cannot have even ONE SPARE ROOM! Since when did it become illegal to have one spare bedroom?

      When you have STATE-OWNED HOMES, UNDER-OCCUPIED HOMES like Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle, Sandringham, and Balmoral, that WE PAY FOR, why is there not a bedroom tax for the Royals, as well as for mealy-mouthed politicians with their two and three home that we pay for?

      All this, of course, does tie in with the subject matter here, because it boils down to plain GREED, from the managers who run these charities, to rich politicians who have allowed power to go to their heads and have completely forgotten WHO THEY WORK FOR!

  4. That is not the whole story. For some charity senior managers, retirement benefits accrue in a benefit scheme which does not appear in the salary.

  5. I take exception with the term “earn”. They are not earning that money but they are taking it..putting it kindly.

  6. This is sickening. I knew many of these charity heads were highly paid, but the exact figures are much higher than I expected. I knew a manager at Christian Aid and he was forever flying business class around the world for meetings. No wonder, despite the billions raised for Africa over the years, so little actually changes.

    The Workfare and Social Housing Charities have slipped so far from their original remits, they don’t even attempt to try and really obscure their greed anymore. Why does a charity need to compete at this level of business and sell out the poor? It doesn’t, especially not if its syphoning off a huge percentage to pay wages like these!

    Much money actually raised for many charities is from people who have little in disposable income themselves, often via donations and purchasing from charity shops, many of which are run by volunteers in subsidised rented locations. I gave up my membership to Greenpeace when I found out they were outsourcing their canvassing to a company that paid minimum wage. I felt conned.

    Recently @TibetTruth (twitter) uncovered the fact that FreeTibet in London are now made up of fully-paid white English staff members who seem to do f**k all to actually help publicize the tyranny and torture that is taking place under Chinese rule (http://tibettruth.com/page/2/). Yet there are plenty of Tibetans here that understand the issues first-hand who would do those jobs for a barely living wage. And here’s a novel idea – why not pay Disabled people to run disability charities too? Spartacus and DPAC are proving real change can be wrought on a miniscule budget with enough know-how, passion and first-hand experience.

    These directors/managers obviously have no real interest in their individual charities bar another notch on their CV and they are selling their “End-Users” (to coin one of their phrases) right down the swanny. Thanks for shining a light on it.

    • Most of these “third World” so-called charities and the aid that gets sent is doing far more damage than good to societies they’re supposed to be helping. For a start, a lot of it is completely misguided and has counterproductive effects. As if that wasn’t bad enough the mostly corrupt governments rest assured that the aid money will keep flowing in regardless so they don’t need to bother raising any taxes or doing anything for people or business that we take for granted here.

      Most charities don’t deserve anything now. Boycott giving them anything.

  7. Wirral In It Together

    I spent several months helping a bullied Barnardos employee – to no avail. Directors were relentless in their calculated destruction and removal of their colleague. These charity people are inhuman

  8. Disgusted (but not surprised) that the Starvation Army are on there. The petition against their continued involvement in workfare could do with more signatures: https://www.change.org/petitions/the-salvation-army-of-the-united-kingdom-and-northern-ireland-withdraw-from-the-government-workfare-style-scheme

  9. So this is what the Big Society means! If called up to join IDS’s citizen army I shall turn up on my first day armed with Trade Union recruitment leaflets and do my best to organise my co-workers and generally to be a bloody nuisance. I recommend others do the same. These scum will soon withdraw from the work programme if they think it’s a way for recruiters and agitators to infiltrate!

    • @Ted Bruning,

      So this is what the Big Society means!

      The Third Sector Corporations predate the Big Society, lest we forget the philanthropy of Robert Maxwell, Bob Geldof and Paul Hewson.

  10. Landless Peasant



    “The Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill is before the House of Lords….
    the Coalition’s policy broke the law and they are now trying to retrospectively change that law to cover their own arse. This behaviour is truly abhorrent. What makes them think they are above the law? We cannot let them get away with this, unchallenged.”

  11. Great piece! The executive elite in the charity sector hide behind pictures of, for example, starving kids in Africa, shoeless kids in Romania and workers handing cups of tea to homeless people in England. The salary details referred to in this piece are quite staggering and one wonders how many more cups of tea could be handed out if these huge salaries were not paid. I bet the pension pots are quite nice too!

  12. Landless Peasant

    Rather telling to note that my landlord, a large Social Housing provider which used to be a registered charity, is now described as a “charitable business”. No conflict of interest there then.

  13. You Stall Know Then By Their Fruits

    Can I just point out that the salvation army do not beleive in the bible !
    Salvation army are pagans

    they are pagan Baal worshipers

    Baal means Lord

    Baal worship was condemned by the prophets of Yahweh 1 Kings 18:21

  14. “Man arrested after car crashes into Norwich job centre”


  15. Hardly a surprise that charities are so morally bankrupt. This is the inevitable outcome for all organisations in a capitalist society – they invariably have to put profit ahead of their founding principles.

    Still, I’m glad Marie Curie have pulled out as they gave a great deal of much appreciated help to a close relative dying of bowel cancer in her last few weeks. At least I can continue my donations to them if not to any of the other money-grubbing charities.

  16. As long as Ingeus and I gets the cash at the taxpayer’s expense, I couldn’t care less about the unemployed! just a bunch of unmotivated layabouts.

    • Assuming you’re not a troll, you & your ilk should be ashamed of yourselves getting fat & rich from the misery of others. WP providers are the biggest scroungers about & you all have the nerve to sit in judgement of others. Now go & take a running jump, .

    • @ Nicole Byrne FUCK OFF! CUNT!

    • Obi Wan Kenobi

      Oi Byrne, if you don’t care about the unemployed then you don’t care about meeting YOUR targets at Ingeus, that means you’ll soon be joining us on the dole and joining your own work programme you thicko!.

      Had we had a little drinky when you wrote your comment?

      • something survived...

        Are you sure it isn’t a typo? It should read ‘Igneous’ (hearts of rock/brains of rock). Certainly not ‘Ingenious’, or ‘Genius’.
        Ms Byrne’s brain seems more SEDIMENTARY.

        Dead stuff sinks to the bottom, and gets squashed until it becomes rock. Possibly mudstone?

        If Ingeus is the name of a demon, then I think you’re giving demons a very bad name. PS you wonderful job-finding person, just in case you wonder what I’m doing awake on Good Friday? I attended Work Programme till closing time and have been jobseeking nonstop all night (14 hours) for fear one of you lot stops my benefits. Number of suitable jobs found: zero. Fortunately for you, you’re not my ‘adviser’. So you don’t personally catch the flack for me not even finding a vacancy anywhere near me that I was remotely qualified for.

        If you are any good at advising at all then please tell me:
        -How do I replace my 20 year old dodgy kettle if all the Government will give me is Food Stamps?
        -Why is Universal JobMatch ‘An auld crock of shite’?
        -I typed in a search for “all local jobs” while working on jobsearch at Work Programme. It had nothing until I changed the range to 200 miles, which frankly would be pretty pointless as I’m a disabled nondriver. One of the jobs it came up with when I did this, and listed as a Local Job, was in China. That is actually more than 200 miles, if you have ever done maths or geography. The job was as a teacher of English. I was interested to know why Universal JobMatch had selected me for this opportunity, for, while being great at English, I am not a qualified teacher in any subject. There is no guarantee of suitable food (strict vegetarian), no disabled toilets, and workers would have to pay flights plus two years’ accommodation for two homes at once. The pay for 40 or 50 hours a week worked out at a fraction of minimum wage. I can’t hear the difference in tones, or remember/read/write Chinese characters. There is no healthcare, which I actually NEED to stay alive. China would be great to visit but I was not planning to move there. Worker housing is basic with no privacy. You need money to pay them and deposit for living costs. My epilepsy is getting worse and if I had a major deterioration in health over there I’d be screwed. Fortunately, one thing saved me: Universal Job Match completely neglected to remind itself of my age. On the job details, if you are from a non-EU country that speaks English, eg. Australia or USA, you can be up to 55. If you are from the UK or EU, the oldest you are allowed to be is 30. (China allows obvious age discrimination in employment law). I’m about to turn 36. Did UJM and JCP and DWP and WPP all want me to lie? And how is that possible when my age is on my passport?
        Can anyone explain why this was a “local job”? If searching for jobs ‘regionally’ or ‘further afield’, next time should I look for jobs in Alpha Centauri? I’m almost tempted to turn ’employer’ and post a vacancy for a job there. And see how many people apply? It could be for a bean counter, treacle miner, snark hunter, jabberwock tamer, or ‘Person required to nail jelly to wall, while unicycling, and singing the entire Ring Cycle backwards in Korean or possibly in Klingon.’
        -Why jobcentres have more security guards than staff and nowhere to sit down, even if disabled, and no toilets, even while mandated to stand (at risk to health) at a jobpoint machine all day.
        -Why you can mandate me to apply for impossible, inaccessible jobs (and say ‘yes baas’), but I can’t mandate you to come to work with your face painted red and in matching thistle knickers and bra. (or jock strap or y fronts as I don’t want to be sexist – but still made of raw thistles)
        -Why call centres are hopeless at fixing your problem and tell you to pass them on to the JCP staff or security guard, who then refuse to talk to the person on the phone – for security reasons. Though you are standing right there and it’s your own account you’re trying to get fixed.
        -Why you can send us to workfare run by Christian fundamentalists who mostly hate queers (‘sinners’). But why we are not allowed to march into a JCP and hold a religious meeting, political gathering, gay pride march, or mixed-sex orgy. Obviously the latter has health/hygiene and nudity issues, protection of children, public place, etc. and issues to do with Britain being too cold to remove any clothing. Fair enough. But a gay pride march is deemed proselytising, although the anti-gay workfare Christian organisations are free to march in the street and spout hate to the public and the workfare inmates. A political gathering is banned in a JCP too as it is meant to be apolitical. Okay, we’ll go along with that one. It’s meant to be neutral territory. (That said, can you explain why all your main think tanks are funded and run by the Tories?) Which leaves just religious gatherings. Now, even a low-key pray-in to cure the DWP of its sins against the poor, by respectable Christian groups, would be banned under your rules. How about an event from another religion? Could we celebrate the Hindu festival of Holi in there? It would be an interesting project to see how well coloured powder behaves when it enters jobpoint machines. Or a ritual to Odin? Well, the main reason cited against religious practices in a jobcentre, is that it is SECULAR SPACE. Which is what we have been saying all along. And it is where the argument falls down. Because on the one hand you have the jobcentre which is secular space and separate from religion, but on the other hand you have the funded-by-taxpayers Christian rightwing religious organisations (many fundamentalist) running the work programme and workfare to which the ‘secular’ jobcentre knowingly sends people. Is there not some kind of mismatch here?

  17. Teesside Solidarity Movement

    Reblogged this on Teesside Solidarity Movement and commented:
    Where the money really goes!

  18. There is no motivation than greed and the business men/women running these charities are the epitome of greed. Ordinary people should start up charities and vie with the ones that have greedy individuals at the head of them(I won’t say running them because they get others to do that for nothing). How much do they pay for tv advertisements to prick the public’s conscience and prompt them to give generously, it is so corrupt.

    I bet there would be no peppercorn rents for someone who ran a charity shop to give financial help to benefit claimants who have been sanctioned, I wouldn’t be surprised if the dwp forged notes for it’s staff declaring them unemployed and sanctioned in order to obtain the handouts and bankrupt the charity, but such a charity would only undermine the welfare system as a whole anyway.

    The idea of charity is to give not to take and these grasping individuals heading such organisations need to be taught a few lessons themselves by the publlc refusing to contribute until either ALL employees are paid the same living wage, thus saving thousands in salaries for those at the top.

    Let them fund and be salaried from their own charities such as operatic or national trust etc.

  19. “”Wirral Partnership Homes £138,000 salary or salary range of highest paid employee. charity income £60m year end march 2012″”

    they can fuck off if they think i am going to pay them bedroom tax

  20. Well said Pat. This appears to be the overriding culture, not just on Wirral but the length and breadth of the country. As a previous poster said, the large charity’s “business plan” has succeeded, and they’ve been getting away with it for so long, they no longer have any shame, nor do they even bother to conceal it. Take a look at what your local council has been getting away with:


  21. Man arrested after car crashes into Norwich job centre

    A man has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and dangerous driving after a car crashed into a job centre in Norwich.

    The gold-coloured Rover 75 crashed through the glass doors of the JobCentre Plus in Pottergate at about 09:40 GMT on Monday.

    The building was evacuated and no injuries were reported.

    The arrested man, in his mid-30s, was taken to Wymondham Police Investigation Centre for further questioning.

    The scene has been cordoned off and drivers and pedestrians have been advised to avoid the area.

    BBC News

    • The start of many I wonder?


        If it is I hope they choose something that won’t endanger innocent people so much, e.g doing it when it’s closed.

        • But what would be the point though? May as well sign an on-line petition for all the good it will do. It is all about sending out a message and scaring the bejesus out of jobcentre staff!

  22. Rosemarie Harris

    Can anyone confirm where ever British heart foundation are in the work programme or out. As with most of these slave shitholes some areas are doing it and some are not. Does any one has any recent info as to where they are still doing it. I live in Gloucestershire.

  23. As long as Ingeus and I gets the cash at the taxpayer’s expense, I couldn’t care less about the unemployed! just a bunch of unmotivated layabouts.

    ur the unmotivated layabouts that wants tax payers money on top for doing fuck all.

    its called fraud

    why not just give me 10k and ill sign off for 3 years 🙂

  24. Food banks used by thousands of jobless, figures show


    • Mr Duncan Smith says he is proud of the fact that his government agreed that Job Centre staff could refer people to food banks.

      Foodbanks are being used to tactically undermine and subvert the welfare system, they should be boycotted. picketed and closed down ASP.

  25. “Freud was also unable to give any guaranatees sought by peers that claimants will not be asked to jobcentres for interviews either on Mothering Sunday or Easter Sunday.”


  26. I have to inform the blog that Her Majesty has given Royal Assent to the Jobseeker’s Allowance Up-rating of Benefits Act 2013 and the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill 2013.

    • fat lot of good writing to the queen did then…..

      • something survived...

        I suppose they can mandate you to attend work programme at a building that doesn’t exist, on a day like ’37th of Marktober’. Then sanction you for not being able to do it.

  27. Pingback: How the Big Disability Charities Let Down Disabled People … again | the void

  28. Noel Lyle-Stirling

    When i was unemployed they sent me to a warehouse for a rolling one month contract of workfare. ( Do you know they can have you on it for 4 years ) I was pointed at a big pile of sacks and boxed and told to load them into a truck. At lunch hour the foreman came over to find the pile untouched and me reading a book. He got really angry and started shouting at me. I put him on the ground and sat on him. ( I didnt hit him, just told him to get on the ground or I would ) I then told him that there was not way I was going to do a days work for no pay. I was quite happy to come every day and read my books, maybe work on my music , work on bits for my bike, but work him and his disgusting people.Not a f**king chance

  29. charities have always covered up the cracks of capitalism – they were harmless enough when they were run by lady bountiful types and volunteers after all there is nothing wrong with voluntary action, then many became a bureaucratised and decentralised arm of the state run by careerist managers taking on offloaded statutory social welfare and health services and making people beg for it instead

  30. pierrepierpont

    Then add on the company car, the first class rail travel, business or first class air travel, gym memberships, etc. and you will see the high life some are having. I even saw one not for profit organisation that gave out several hundreds of pounds to each staff member each year to pursue some course of their choice, any course, just a development course, not even work related.

  31. All this is just as I have always suspected its another arm of jobs for the boys or girls as the case maybe & no charity is exempt it all stinks of the usual corruption that is rife in the world today most charities end up with only a few pence in the pound actually reaching the desired destination . these so called charities should be independently investigated & the results published openly to the public . it would make the parliamentary expenses scandal look small fry in comparison . how these people have the brass neck to appeal for funds from low paid members of the british public beggars belief they are nothing but thieves & vagabonds in charitable disguise .

    • something survived...

      I saw RHS and ZSL pay their CEOs from 150K each. I’d do that job for 50K; I’d do it for 25.

  32. Pingback: Where The Workfare Money Goes - Charity Rich List Released | Welfare, Disability, Politics and People's Right's | Scoop.it

  33. ps british heart foundation uses community payback slaves – most of them on sentences for property ‘crimes’ – another reason to boycott them

  34. Pingback: Top Paying Charities | Charity Watch UK

  35. Pingback: Where The Workfare Money Goes - Charity Rich Li...

  36. Pingback: Tax-Payer Funded Charity Workfare Subsidy Tops £50 Million! | the void

  37. Pingback: Fake charities – the great rip-off | Orphans of Liberty

  38. Pingback: Fixing Poverty Is Simple: Poor People Need More Money and Homeless People Need Homes | the void


    Venues Event Management of Swindon has been awarded a three year contract with national employment charity Shaw Trust for the provision of hotel booking and travel services. The contract was awarded after a detailed tender process.

    Shaw Trust is a national charity which helps disabled and disadvantaged people find work and achieve independence through employment.

    Venues Event Management will be working in partnership with global travel provider Quorn Business Travel to provide the travel elements of the contract. Collectively they will be offering a one-stop-shop seamless service through a dedicated team. The account is estimated to have an annual value of £1.5 million.

    Mick Parry, Buying Manager for Shaw Trust said: “As a charity supporting disabled people, we always ensure that our suppliers consider equality and diversity and reflect the importance of them as part of their own culture.

    “Venues Event Management and QBT reflect the values of Shaw Trust and offered us a perfect solution to consolidate, control and measure our spend in this area as well as providing a cost effective and high quality service.”


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