BasicNeeds merged into Christian disability charity

The international mental health charity will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBM UK on 20 July

The international mental health charity BasicNeeds has been merged into the Christian disability charity CBM UK, the charities have announced.

BasicNeeds became a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBM UK on 20 July after encountering difficulties raising funding for its mental health programmes, a spokeswoman for the two charities said.

She said BasicNeeds, which has an income of £1.6m a year, approached CBM UK several months ago and proposed the merger to prevent the closure of its mental health programmes, which run in 14 countries.

Five members of BasicNeeds’ UK-based staff have joined the CBM UK team, but three roles – two part-time and one full-time – have been lost as a result of the merger. A further IT role in Sri Lanka has gone as a result of the merger and as part of savings to the IT and finance operations at the newly merged charity, the spokeswoman said.

She said no jobs would be lost in BasicNeeds’ mental health programmes abroad and there would be no reductions in funding for those programmes.

CBM UK employs 29 staff and has an income of £6m a year. Both charities will remain registered with the Charity Commission, but the trustees of CBM UK will take over BasicNeeds’ governance, the spokeswoman said.

Adrian Sell, chief executive of BasicNeeds, will continue to oversee the charity’s programmes and will join CBM UK’s leadership team, the spokeswoman said.

The two charities will be based at CBM UK’s headquarters in Cambridge. BasicNeeds was formerly based in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.

Sell said: "BasicNeeds is excited by the potential of joining with CBM to greatly increase the positive impact we can have on people with mental health problems. Through working together we can combine our expertise and resources and become a leading global voice and source of expertise on mental health in development."

Kirsty Smith, chief executive of CBM UK, said: "This exciting merger with BasicNeeds will help us to expand and develop our mental health work alongside our important programmes supporting people affected by blindness and other types of disability, to help meet this huge and neglected need."

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