Coronavirus: information and updates

Annual report 2020 to 2021

We have put the everyday experiences of disabled people at the heart of everything we do.

Improving the lives of disabled people


Last year, we provided 2,520,332 people with some of the essential support they needed to make informed decisions and live more independent lives through our helpline, our online information and advice, and our online community.

Overall, we increased the number of families we directly supported through our tailored family services from 1,355 in 2019 to 20 to 1,687 in 2020 to 21.

  • Our Sleep Right service worked with 988 families to improve their disabled child’s sleep and parents’ resilience and wellbeing.
  • Navigate, our national mentoring service, provided emotional support for 444 parents and carers of disabled children.
  • Our Parents Connect support programme, worked with 255 parents and carers of young disabled people.
  • We had to provide all our employment services online or by phone in 2020 to 21. This new way of working, as well as starting a new employment service, Working on Wellbeing, helped us reach around 30% more people than in 2019 to 20.
  • Our one-to-one support programme Kickstart helped 196 disabled people to achieve their career goals.
  • And our pre-employment training programme, Starting Line, supported 359 disabled people at the start of their journey into work up by around 23% on last year.


Our campaigning activity highlights for 2020 to 2021.

We won't be forgotten

We launched our We Won’t Be Forgotten campaign, calling on government to include disabled people in its coronavirus response and recovery plans.

Our campaigners helped share ‘The Disability Report’ we produced in May 2020 with their MPs across 582 constituencies. We also delivered an open letter to the Prime Minister, which was signed by 30,000 people. And, almost 1 year on from the outbreak of Covid-19, 15,000 of our campaigners asked their MPs to call for an emergency package of support for disabled people.

Disability employment gap

We launched our Disability employment gap (DEG) map last year. Which highlights the employment inequalities disabled people face across the country. After speaking to 30 MPs about how to close the DEG at our virtual parliamentary reception, we saw an increase in parliamentary questions on disabled people’s employment and support from MPs on social media. We also provided evidence to the Work and Pensions Committee’s DEG inquiry, including personal experiences from 300 disabled campaigners.


Our partnerships highlights for 2020 to 2021.

Work With Me

More than 100 companies have joined Scope’s free #WorkWithMe forum which is helping businesses to take accountability for how they employ disabled people and offers practical advice on how to improve the workplace and culture for disabled people.

Deloitte and Career Pathways

Consulting firm Deloitte funds our Career Pathways service for young people and 50 of their employees have been supporting disabled people through mentoring, workshops, and helping with interview preparation. In return, we’ve provided sessions to support their staff to open up conversations around disability in the workplace.

Support to Work and Virgin Media

More than a million disabled jobseekers have had employment advice and support through our Support to Work service and online information, thanks to our partnership with Virgin Media.

The Big Hack

Working with businesses and organisations, The Big Hack aims to make sure websites, apps and online services are accessible to everyone. Since the first lockdown, The Big Hack resource hub has seen a 968% increase in usage, with more than 75,000 people accessing it to learn how to make their digital products more accessible.


Thrive is our training and employment partnership with UnLtd, an organisation that funds and supports social entrepreneurs. We worked with social entrepreneurs who are either disabled, or directly support disabled people to get into work as part of their business. Since 2018, Thrive has helped fund and support 53 social ventures.


Our research highlights for 2020 to 2021.

Research Panel

We’ve grown our research panel to include almost 900 disabled people and parents and carers of disabled children. The panel helps us gather insights and develop new products and services, making sure they meet disabled people’s needs. Last year, hundreds of panellists also reported on the issues they were facing during the first lockdown, informing our wider response to the pandemic.

How we are funded

We are wholly funded through our:

  • charity shops
  • public donations
  • work with corporate and other partners
  • funding from Government Grants and Trusts and
  • fee income from accessibility services

Our income

Our income was £7 million lower than in 2019/20 due to the pandemic.

  • Although our stores were closed for over 7 months of the year, they performed ahead of budget in the months when they were open. They raised £9.4 million. Increasing turnover by 2% pro-rata.
  • Total fundraising income decreased by 5%. This is a positive result in the context of a year in which face-to-face fundraising was on hold for over half of the year, legacies were affected by probate delays and most events became virtual.

The net profit from our shops sales, together with other fundraising income and Covid related Government Grants, enabled us to spend £11.6 million on charitable work supporting our mission of Everyday Equality.

We reduced our support costs by a further £1.4 million. This was the result of a full year of savings from our previous organisational restructure to better balance the organisation’s size and shape, and from cost reductions due to reduced activity during the pandemic.

Our charitable spending

Every pound we raise is extremely important to us and we carefully plan our use of resources to get the most impact. In 2020 to 21 for every £1 we spent, 73% was spent on our charitable goals to help disabled people and their families. Up from 63% in 2019 to 20. Note: this is excluding the cost of running our shops on the high street and online.

The remainder goes towards running our organisation and generating funds for our future plans.

We spent £0.6 million on strategic investment for the future. Other planned strategic spend was limited by conditions under the pandemic. But as we emerge from restrictions, we have specific plans to continue with our investment in:

  • income generation
  • marketing
  • impact analysis and evaluation
  • digital and other systems development

We have £2.8 million allocated to the Everyday Equality reserve for this purpose.

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