Drug and alcohol charity Lifeline Project collapses – The Guardian

Shock failure of charity serving 80,000 people a year and employing 1,300 comes after allegations over financial controls

The collapse will reignite the debate about the running of essential services by charities. Photograph: Lifeline Drug and alcohol charity Lifeline Project collapses

Shock failure of charity serving 80,000 people a year and employing 1,300 comes after allegations over financial controls

One of the UK’s leading drug and alcohol treatment charities has collapsed days after the Charity Commission launched an investigation into claims that it had critically weak financial controls.

Frantic efforts are being made to save the jobs of 1,300 employees of the charity, Manchester-based Lifeline Project, and the services it provides for 80,000 people a year, including prisoners in 22 jails and young offender institutions.

Staff were told on Thursday that the charity was seeking to transfer services to other providers and warned that not all the work the charity does would continue.

The shock failure of Lifeline follows the collapse of the charities Kids Company in 2015 and 4Children in 2016 and is likely to reignite the debate about the running of essential public services by charities.

Lifeline was set up in 1971 and grew particularly rapidly in recent years. Its annual income soared from £26m in 2012-13 to almost £62m in 2015-16, when it reported annual growth of 45%.

It was formerly chaired by Paul

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