Charity that helped thousands with alcohol and drugs problems closes amid mismanagement claims – Manchester Evening News

Manchester -based charity, Lifeline Project, has closed amid allegations of mismanagement – but most of its services will be saved.

The leading drug and alcohol treatment charity has shut just days after the Charity Commission launched an investigation into claims that its financial controls were not robust enough.

But a move is being made to transfer the lion’s share of its services to another provider.

The future for its 1,300 employees is uncertain. It provides services for 80.000 people a year including prisoners in 22 jails and young offenders’ institutions.

David Holdsworth, Chief Operating Officer at the Charity Commission, said: “We are sad to hear of the charity’s planned closure, though note that the trustees have worked to ensure that the majority of its services will continue and that the impact on beneficiaries and staff is managed and minimised.

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“In the meantime, we are engaged with the charity and its trustees, both to assess the events that have led up to this outcome, and to ensure that trustees fulfil their duties and responsibilities in winding the charity up and passing its services to another charity.

“This case highlights the need for tight financial management and oversight by charity trustees, and the importance of following our guidance on managing charity assets and resources.”

Lifeline was launched in 1971 and its annual income increased from £26m in 2012-13 to £62m in 2015-16.

It was formerly chaired by Paul Flowers, the disgraced former Methodist minister and Co-op Bank chair whose drug use was exposed in 2014. He resigned from Lifeline in 2004.

Allegations which triggered the Charity Commission investigation were made by a former trustee of the Lifeline board, Roger Howard, who resigned in November.

The biggest not-for-profit provider of treatment services, CGL, confirmed that it had been asked by Lifeline

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