BLF and money

I have COPD, I live in a 2 bed housing association bungalow, I have a 21 year old car that I struggle to keep on the road, I am struggling for money week to week and it would seem due to there being no cure I am going to die. These are facts, now money is short for research and a cure might be some way off (if ever) but as the BLF is a charity and they raise funds to try to help us poor people I do find it hard to stomach when I read from the BLF site that the top fat cats in BLF get paid a lot of money, I mean a lot !!!!!! Who wouldn't want to work for a charity when your wages are going to be over £90,000 a year ? and it's not just the top boss man either.

This is from the books of the BLF for 2012/2013

8. Staff costs and numbers

Staff costs were as follows:

2013 2012

£ £

Salaries and wages 3,010,935 2,551,725

Social security costs 285,674 266,285

Pension contributions 104,581 130,511

3,401,190 2,948,521

Two employees earned between £60,000 - £70,000 (2012: Nil)

One employee earned between £70,001 - £80,000 (2012: Three)

One employee earned between £80,001 - £90,000 (2012: One)

One employee earned between £90,001 - £100,000 (2012: One)

No 2 bed bungalow or 21 year old car there then !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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27 Replies

  • Always a bug wages but look at it from their point of view. A charity worker doesn't get cheap petrol, energy, food, or anything else for that matter....they have to pay the same as any one else. If you have a charity that raises millions of pounds a year, can you entrust the efficiency of all the different departments to some one inexperienced? No, you need the best staff available, the most experienced staff, the staff that are going to turn your funds into something good. The big wigs....most major charities have them and for one very good reason. They will be experts in one field or another, they can raise the profile of a charity and people will listen...just because of who they are....Last point. Also think of all the thousands of others that work for a charity for nothing...the volunteers. If it weren't for the big wigs and the department heads there would be no work for the volunteers because the charity would stay e small, local charity with no real national voice.

    If a cure can't be found, at least the causes can be explored and discovered and more effective means of controlling the symptoms can be found.Drug companies spend millions each year on research too but if they do find a cure they wont let us know. They want us reliant on their products for the rest of our lives to boost their profits. One thing is certain..without BLF and other charities, there would be no hope of a cure or no voice to raise issues, no one to stand up and shout for us at the NHS, no one to provide information and literature for u, so I for one hope they keep going.

    Now, back to you. You have a two bedroom bungalow, a housing association one. How many blessings is that? An assured tenancy, a roof over your head, a reasonable standard of repair....the list goes on. So you have a car..21 years old...more blessings. It's old enough to qualify for Classic Car insurance, the road tax is based on engine cc not emissions, but it's still a car. Even more blessings. A car means you get out and about, maybe even drive yourself, you can visit folk, do your shopping, get to the doctors without getting wet...the list goes on.

  • Well said Cornish brian. I think the BLF does a very good job, we need the. Best people on our side,if we are to have the best foundation behind us

  • I agree and it's the same with all charities far as I can see.

    Part time trustees and board members are fine but why pay them so much?

    The nurses and the help desk are wonderful but COPD doesn't stop at the weekend and I do question why there's no support at the weekend? Maybe the fat cats could take less and the money saved could be used to improve the services? Now there's a thought!

  • Well said I agree with you

  • I agree with you and would also like to add that they could get this damn disease out there to the public. Dementia friends have got a TV ad with well known celebrities. Why is BLF not doing this sort of thing.

    Don't get me wrong, the people at our end of BLF do a wonderful job.

  • So agree with you Puff...copd should also be made more public so that folk are aware of our condition and what it does. Hope I'm wrong but cos it's the lungs and often affects smokers(though not all) I would still hope people would look on this in the same light as any other illness. After all, when dementia, cancer and heart disease is brought to our attention via the media who knows what proportion of these people smoked ?

  • It does annoy me sometimes too but as Cornish says they need the best people. We wouldn't like to be without them. I just don't donate to Charities that in my opinion are top heavy, greedy and are not achieving. My car is old too not sure how many years but the old K reg. My house needs things doing to it but hey ho I'm still living. Times have changed salaries are out of this world to what they used to be.

  • Well everyone I have to agree with all your sentiments, but as said we should all take stock of what we do have,even if not our health. There are still many people out there in worse states of health and financial status, but agreed too it is not easy when you are struggling financially and your health is failing.Wages are much higher these days for qualified professionals, and someone does have to have those qualifications to run a big charity like BLF.

  • I agree in principle but these salaries do look a bit high and wonder what the rest of the staff are paid. One of the currents problems about pay in this country is the growth of a massive differential between pay of senior staff and the rest of the organisation. Maybe Im out of touch but i do believe in a fair distribution, enough to recognise ability, but also recognising that the organisation depends on all its staff and cannot run without them.

    Happy 19-year-old Golf just passed its MOT, only cost £100 - that's blessings right there :)

  • I do agree with what has been said. Although count my blessings as BLF have been amazing as my husband has got more unwell to the point of being completely housebound, and being told little time left. I have had nurses advice and support and comfort from BLF and people on here, as l come to terms with this news. There is not a price to put on this.

    As for a car ours went 4 weeks ago it was difficult but has given others opportunity to help where before we were very independent. Our home is housing association and there is a possibility of needing to leave it as l have a spare room,and no income when hubby passes. Again life is uncertain but l know BLF and other charities will point me in the right direction.

  • I am having to move out of my 3 bedroom house on Monday. I have been here 25 years its very upsetting .. My car went about 6 months ago. life is a real struggle .thank god I have my children xx

  • I am appalled that you will have to move when your husband dies. It's least I think so. I have a friend who had to move because she had a 2nd bedroom which was used for keeping her wheelchair, hoist, etc., in....that doesn't count and out she had to go....this is a new ruling but is affecting a lot of vulnerable people. Take care.

  • I do agree with all the comments but I am afraid that a lot of the time you get what you pay for. The upper management may be on too much money but they may be the people that know people in government lobby and medical research?

    Being a charity does not mean that you cannot have surplus funds to pay for services. You have to have a surplus to exist and move forward. MP's have voted through 11% pay rise and told our NHS nurses that they do not want to pay anything or at best 1%! 11% of a lot is nothing like 1% of a little!

    If you look at what high powered executives get in the private/public sector the figures in todays pay is not at all high.

    Be Well

  • I do understand where you are coming from PeterK1, and appreciate that everyone's situation is different. I am in the position of both having Bronchiectasis and working for a charity (not BLF) and having worked in the 'voluntary' sector generally as a paid worker for many years (not in a senior highly paid role!). I know it is a bit of jargon but a key term is 'not for profit'

    A senior person at, lets take an extreme but relevant example, a bank, gets paid enormous amounts of money in order to generate even more money for themselves and their bosses. When things go wrong they either resign or get a big payoff to go and do the same thing elsewhere with no sense of loyalty or regret.

    People leading charities do often get good salaries but, in the main, the ethos is very different. There are little perks and no bonuses and they will be people who are dedicated to promoting the aims of that charity.

    I have never looked closely at the structure of BLF but I have used their services. The helpline and nurses are brilliant, the publications are excellent and their reputation in the 'voluntary/charity/not for profit sector' is great. It does seem to be an anomaly to pay a large amount in salaries to senior people or to pay staff to raise funds and I often question it myself. But, perhaps the key question is does this organisation provide good services for the people that they are set up to serve?

    If the answer to that is 'no' then we have every right as service users to question how the organisation is being run. My answer to the question regarding both BLF and where I work is resoundingly yes!

    Best wishes and take care.

  • I do hope you are claiming and getting everything you are entitled too

    Take care xx

  • Try questioning anything that is done in the name of BLF and see how far you get. It hurts when you slam yourself into a brick wall !

    There should be a cap on how much any individual gets for being employed by a charity and charities should be making sure they get value for money, But, who makes the rules and decides? - it just aint gonna happen !

    When I was desolate following the break up of a marriage, where my ex wouldn't even let me have my clothing, I used several charity shops but still refused to buy from any with paid staff.

    I have supported several charities over the years and have been disappointed to discover how wasteful they can be with their financial resources instead of using donations for the purpose people gave...

    For example, consider the people they put in the high street and shopping centres, trying to get you to donate 'just ten pound a month', yeah - that will go towards paying their wages, little else.

    Now, charity begins at home. I cannot afford to give money away any more.

  • It's the same here, I now am in a 1 bdr, and it's small. Part of my rent is paid for by the Govt, My prescriptions cost the earth. I'm now in 15 yrs. and it gets a little worse each year and I can do less and less. But there are folks here that have had strokes and can't talk, etc. so I just keep going and am glad that I have my computer, and can listen to my music etc. We are all going to die at one time or another. So I just deal with one day at a time. Hang in there. The US is no better. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

  • I expect the discussion could go on for weeks. Yes, we may need top people in their respective fields but they don't have to accept the salaries or at least all of the salaries. Altruism comes to mind - you know - helping people for it's own sake. You don't see much of that in corporate Britain. On the other hand, they might very well make donations to charities or do unpaid charitable work - I don't know

  • I assume you are getting dla or pip trade your mobility part for a car you wont have any trouble getting around as you will have a new car you will only have to put petrol in I am dying as well and I am not short of money as my benefits are quite generous check you are getting the benefits you are entitled to get if you are terminal like me

  • I have contacted BLF over benefits and they were helpful even though they could not do much as Atos are a law all on there own but the fact is the government don't do there share and because people will fund raise the government get away with doing nothing.

  • AND a bit more research, NHS Choices, the choices we all should have and there is information about clinical trials, cancer is there and lots of others but the BLF is so low profile I can not find a mention of it on the NHS Choices site, now that makes me wonder just why are the wages so high when they can not even earn a mention on a public NHS information site ?

    Take a look, prove me wrong ! :-

  • Hello there, I as yet have not had the pleasure of speaking to an adviser from BLF. I rang a couple of weeks ago for the first time and a gentleman took my number and asked me the nature of my enquiry. I never had anyone call me back since then to offer help and advice. I am disappointed, as they get very good recommendations from many people on this forum. Is it because I mentioned my welfare benefits problems relating to my condition as well as the actual COPD I am suffering from? Do BLF advise on financial/welfare/benefits matters or do they, like so many other organisations today, give it a very wide berth? Thank you.

  • Hi there, I work with a lot of charities in my job and I must say that generally the people at the top work 24/7 and are usually totally obsessed by there work. Without such dedication and commitment a lot of these charities would go bust. At present it is a daily battle to raise funds and the less popular charities are finding it almost impossible. Which charity would you choose to support one with a cute cuddly animal or one for people suffering with HIV. I would not judge them too harshly. Although your situation does not sound far either what is the answer?

  • I must say I wish I was as poor as you Peter! I have a tiny 1 bedroom flat and no car. I can't get a job either so am living on a pittance. And being hassled by the Job Centre is no fun either. x

  • Well I agree fully with Cornish, Nobody as called the BLF as much as I have so much so I became a thorn in their Side, However when they get turned over wrongly like with anyone I would defend them to the Hilt. Some one keeps mentioning Fat cats another that our disease doesn't go away at the weekend, Well my reply to the later I have been involved through My Breathe Easy Group with a Professor that as been funded by the BLF yes using our contributions. I am not going to name the thing they have researched because I don't know the Proper name So Like at my Be Group meeting today I will call it my Gizmo. Yes this Gizmo is for people with Emphysema No not sure of what levels we need to qualify for this gizmo but I know of two people that have had this fitted in their lungs. I asked them How they felt now, "To be honest the first 4 weeks was rough, Since then my Life as been changed so Much that I can't remember ever experiencing a quality of Life that I am enjoying now. In fact I don't class myself as a Patient no more. This is what the Gizmo does. Not sure how many people understand how we become so breathless, No I am not medically Trained I am just like most People. I have 4 lung diseases £ which are extremely Progressive. So that is me over with. When we inhale We inhale a lung full of valuable air. However when we exhale because of the damage to our lungs we can't rid our lungs of all the air so the next time we inhale we are unable to inhale a full lung full and yes it gets worse. Well this Gizmo Actually gets rid of that stale air so we are enable to keep inhaling a full lung of air.

    I have Been in debates yes sometimes a little irate Yes the last time with Penny Woods I spoke of where I yes little old me was saying where the BLF was wasting money Yes the Horrible condition Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis from which I have lost many young friends. My Argument was Why are we researching a cure when we should be looking at a Preventative. Yes I know where I got my Pulmonary Fibrosis From Yes our cage birds but I was Lucky my beautiful Young friend wasn't So I said to Penny Woods Lets make People aware of what Cage birds can Cause surely we would save money. Like I said I am not trained and Like you yes a Patient, Guess what Yes I was wrong again. One of the biggest amount of money Spent by the BLF on research is Yes IPF. Last week I attended a meeting where I newspaper clipping was produced In Southampton where they have also been researching IPF They have Made a massive Break through. So after all the test that the Governments and the Department of Health require being done before we can talk about it in Public Yes Something that Is going to help so many people who have Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis As Got to be a bigger thing along with Cancer cure, Yes research Funded by the Same BLF that many are calling fat cats and aren't bothered about us over the weekend. None of these great findings will come in time for me However what a great Legacy I will be leaving behind me Yes where I can envisage what our last Chief Executive Dame Helena Strived for Yes that COPD will be a disease of the Past. Now if we are going to talk about Fat cats in National Charities then yes before you slam one Charity that was truthful to publish their Annual accounts Yes compare them with others. No I am not going to name them because I am poor as well all the figures on my Bank Statements look brill till yes see the OD Yes Overdrawn So no please don't ask me to name them But surely you can get hold of their Annual report and Accounts Yes you would die of Shock. We all take things into their Charity Shops Say you take goods into a shop Say £100 worth How much do you believe Goes to the Charity itself Don't try figuring it out because you would be So wrong Yes I have been there and Yes wore the T shirt and I came away Red faced. How many that work in those shops are Volunteers like we all believe Yes we would be wrong again. Yes again Like Cornish and a couple of others have Said in order to bring in the Best then yes we need to pay the best and Yes I believe Now that yes we have the best Wouldn't always agree with my words before Because at one time the only people Bothered with us Was the Girls that was out there working their socks off Yes For us people that all have one thing in common Yes Lung Disease. So next time we want to go a long way to destroy something that is working yes for Our interest Go and Research other Charities First. Yes Some people on here if they knew my Proper Name would yes die of Shock because Of my Words the thing is My Only interest and Concern is yes For people with Lung disease You See if I can fight and win better treatments for people with Lung disease then yes I am gaining some of that same treatment myself, So come on lets get behind someone that is working for Us Yes the BLF. Yes Of course they Appreciated they had finance problems Hence they got rid of regional Offices Yes something else I fought against and was proved Wrong. So Yes this Time I fully support the BLF and what they are doing yes for you and Me. To end with I am awaiting for a telephone Call to get up to my Dads bed side. Yes He as COPD and today when leaving him It was so plain to see why his clinicians say no more than 2 Days his Organs are packing in. Lets Concentrate On helping the BLF Whilst working to find us a cure then maybe find us something that will help our daily Life whilst living with lung Disease that much Better. Yes Our Greatest Treatment Yes the one that Saved my Life. Pulmonary Rehab Where did that come from?? I will leave it with you, Bless you all.

  • Charitable organisations are wonderful. But with SO MANY charities there are now, and in multiplies for the same thing

    it does cross my mind , how many are corrupt and ripping people off, I wonder Is this the new scam thats yet to be revealed,?? I think its time for a reduction of multiple same cause organisations and a general across the board indepth audit of all, I again wonder What will come to light ???

  • Hello Everyone

    Thank you very much PeterK1 for raising your concerns about some of the top salaries here at the BLF, and to everyone else who has commented.

    We know that, in the current economy, some of the salaries that our senior team earns may seem like a lot. However, these are not just plucked from thin air.

    The BLF did a lot of research to compare BLF salaries with the salaries being paid to people performing similar roles (though not always with the same job titles) at other charities and healthcare organisations. As the only UK charity dedicated to helping people with all lung conditions, this is important if we want to ensure we can work on a level playing field with these other organisations, and prevent respiratory disease from being left behind as the NHS and healthcare in the UK moves forward.

    With this in mind, where the BLF is now and our ambitions for the future are also factors when deciding salary rates. We want to make sure we have the right people to take us forward, so we can help more and more people affected by lung disease throughout the country.

    The BLF has a very close relationship with many of the people who raise funds for us, and we are always humbled by the reasons people give, and the efforts they go to, to do this. We therefore always give careful consideration whenever we spend money, in order to be sure that we are doing whatever we can to make a real difference to those affected by lung disease in the UK, with minimal expenditure.



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