The Lifeline Project, a leading drug and alcohol charity which was heavily reliant on income from public sector contracts, is in the process of shutting down and transferring “many” services to another charity.

The Manchester-based Project, based on Oldham Street, was set up in 1971 and operates across England. Its income has risen quickly in recent years; from £20m in 2012 to just over £60m in 2016.

Its problems follow a Charity Commission investigation into the running of the project.

The commission said the potential collapse highlights the need for “tight financial management” and it was engaging with Lifeline’s trustees to ensure its services are transferred to another charity.

According to the Guardian,

“Allegations of mismanagement were made to the commission last month by Roger Howard, a former trustee of Lifeline’s board, who is a leading figure in the drug and alcohol treatment field and served as chief executive of the UK Drug Policy Commission.”

Howard said on Thursday: “Those of us who work in the charity sector and have a long history of serving on boards or as executives know that good governance is absolutely crucial. We have seen examples of other bodies, like Kids Company, where governance and leadership has been questioned.

“It’s really critically important to ensure that organisations delivering large volumes of public services have the right assurances in place.”

Change Grow Live, which was formerly known as Crime Reduction Initiatives, has said it will take on “many” of Lifeline Project’s services.

In a statement, CGL said: “Taking on this challenge allows these services to continue to exist without withdrawing vital treatment and support, ensuring that the minimum possible risk is caused to service users’ lives. “Service users can expect the same level of treatment and care.

Referrals can continue as normal and contact details for services will stay the same for the time being. “Information for Lifeline staff transferring to CGL will be provided via the staff transfer website.


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