In a recent e-news and the latest @SU magazine we outlined the considerable financial challenge that SU Scotland faces and its implications for cutbacks, including reducing the number of staff. We are very grateful indeed for the response so far to that news.

Many supporters have already given special one-off gifts, started new standing orders or increased the amount of their standing order. In the midst of all that we have also seen a very generous response to the Holidays Sponsorship Appeal. Others of you have indicated that you are not in a position to make a financial contribution but have committed to stand with us in prayer. A huge thanks to all. These gifts have made a difference. It is not that all our financial problems are solved, far from it. There are cuts that we have made on which we cannot go back; reducing the number of issues of @SU magazine, withdrawing from the Challenge House office in Glasgow, etc. We have ‘lost’ the equivalent of 2 full-time posts through voluntary reduction of hours and voluntary redundancy and there are still a small number of posts facing the possibility of redundancy.

However, thanks to sacrificial voluntary offers by staff and kindness of supporters, we are not going to have to make as many cutbacks as we had previously expected to staffing and that is an answer to prayer.

Sadly, we are not able to withdraw all possibility of redundancy. Why is that? The answer is that we have had a major job to do to bring regular expenditure more into line with regular income and that as we look ahead into 2014/15 we desperately want to avoid being back where we are now. On a much more positive note, your gifts toward the Holidays Sponsorship Appeal are going to make a real difference in the lives of young people. These funds will enable many hundreds of young people to experience an environment where Christ’s love is demonstrated and his word spoken. The money will help fund children and young people to be part of an SU Holiday and it will also be used to help cover costs of team members who could not otherwise serve in this way. Because our work is built on relationships and the importance of children and young people feeling valued, we are committed to a very high team member to ‘camper’ ratio. Your donations to the appeal mean we can follow this principle, a principle that becomes increasingly important in a culture where we witness growing numbers of children with behavioural issues arising from backgrounds where there has been a deficit of love, care and attention.

We are so grateful to God but there is much to do. He calls us to dependence on Him, who is the provider of our every breath and every resource.

Andy Bathgate

Chief Exec