New homeless charity’s £135k boost from CLASP

Reporter:

Staff reporter (Chester First)

CHESTER Aid to the Homeless (CATH) has received £135,000 from a former homeless sector partner charity.

Chester Lodging and Support Providers (CLASP) had been forced to cease operations following the loss of its local authority contracts.

CLASP had, for many years, provided a city-based service helping vulnerable individuals to find accommodation. 

CATH will now carry on with the programme working with private landlords to find safe and secure accommodation for those in housing need.

The CLASP board of trustees had been looking for a charity with similar aims to which it could transfer its balance of funds. 

Three organisations were chosen to submit proposals outlining their plans for a project idea working in a similar vein to that previously employed by CLASP.

After much deliberation the Trustees chose to work with CATH, who not only submitted a proposal that was akin to the basic premise on which CLASP became established, but also offered a robust proposal to continue the work long after the gift money had expired.

CATH chief executive Robert Bisset said: “This is a massive boost for CATH. The charity sector has been very much up against it, with local authorities in the main looking to recommission services with the larger national charities. 

“But the smaller charities are still very much in the mix, courtesy of time served local knowledge, expertise and fantastic community support.

“CLASP very much fitted the bill on all fronts and it is a real shame it is no longer around given its excellent track record. However, CATH will absolutely ensure the legacy of the CLASP gift will mark a new beginning for a project by CATH that will reach out and develop further services, bringing hope to many people in West Cheshire, who would otherwise struggle to put down and sustain roots within the local community.”

CLASP chairman David Rooke thanked CATH’s trustees and staff for their willingness to continue the work to secure homes for people in West Cheshire. 

He said: “It is sad a charity with such a good track record of helping the local community over 15 years has to close but I am grateful for the hard work of CLASP over the years and the absolute commitment of the voluntary trustees who have made the reluctant decision to close. 

“I wish CATH well and I am glad our remaining resources will be put to the use for which they were intended.”

Any private landlords wanting to become involved with the project can call Rob Bisset or Julia Davies on 01244 314 834.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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