William Eichler 06 June 2017

1,300 jobs are saved after charity goes into administration

Over 1,000 jobs have been saved after a drug and alcohol abuse charity went into administration due to ‘unsustainable financial pressure’.

Lifeline Project, a Manchester-based registered charity specialising in drug and alcohol abuse services, officially went into administration this month, despite achieving a £61.4m turnover in the year to March 2016.

The charity delivered around 70 alcohol and drug related rehabilitation projects throughout England and Scotland. It served approximately 80,000 clients each year.

The business advisory firm, FRP Advisory, took over the charity on 1 June and has overseen the transfer of its staff and services to other providers.

Around 300 staff members were moved to the relevant local authority where each project delivered its services, and 1000 staff were transferred to the charity Change, Grow, Live (CGL).

The largest individual contract transferred back to local authority control is based in Stoke-on-Trent, which delivers a range of interventions to individuals affected by drug and alcohol misuse.

During the last year, with further cuts to public expenditure budgets and some poorly funded projects, Lifeline had seen turnover drop and made a significant loss from its trading activities.

A statement from FRP Advisory said that given the cash constraints on Lifeline, the charity was left with ‘no viable alternative’ other than to seek the protection of administration.

‘Lifeline was committed to delivering a safe, high quality service and continued to operate over the past few weeks leading up to administration whilst ensuring that it discharged its duties and responsibilities to ensure that security of service provision remained at the core of all decision making,’ FRP Advisory's David Thornhill, joint administrator.

‘I am delighted that all contracts that were capable of being transferred have been, and others, where commissioners decided to take the work in-house or other providers were identified, have similarly been transferred.

‘No users of the services provided by Lifeline should be affected by its insolvency.

‘We are also delighted that the work that has been done over recent weeks has ensured that around 1,300 members of Lifeline staff have been transferred to new employers and there have been no redundancies as a result of the administration.

‘That is testament to the goodwill of CGL, the commissioners of services and the staff themselves to all of whom we offer our thanks.’

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