Merger plan for Norfolk charities

CELIA WIGG Merger talks are under way between two Norfolk organisations which provide care for people in need.

CELIA WIGG

Merger talks are under way between two Norfolk organisations which provide care for people in need.

The possible merger is being discussed by the Sheringham-based charity Break and the Ashcroft Project in Wymondham.

The aims of the merger are to widen Break's capacity for care service provision and to ensure the Ashcroft Project's continuity in the field of mental health provision.

For more than 20 years the Ashcroft Project has provided specialist care and rehabilitation for women who have severe mental health needs, including supported housing and day services. Although the charity is based in Wymondham, clients come from across Norfolk and other parts of the country.

Break chief executive, Leigh Vallance, said: “Our charitable purpose and current project expertise provide a variety of support functions for both individuals and families with wide ranging care needs. The Ashcroft Project's aims, values and purpose align closely with those of Break and we believe this amalgamation will benefit all concerned.

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“We are presently undergoing the necessary due diligence process to ensure that all decisions are based on sound business practice and we look forward to being able to make a final decision in the early part of 2007.”

Maureen Gardiner, chairwoman of Ashcroft's trustees, said they have always aimed to provide the highest standards of care for clients. However, being a small charity, the increasing burden of administration has resulted in costs they are unable to bear by themselves.

“The merger with Break offers a sharing of these costs, as well as enabling Break to understand and use our expertise in a very specialist field. We are very optimistic about the future development of Ashcroft's services under Break's management”, she said.