Crisis considers big relaunch under incoming chairman Bell

KIRSTEN DOWNER

Homelessness charity Crisis is considering relaunching this year.

Under the proposed plans, it will launch a range of new services based in six different towns, as well as unveil an awareness campaign, starting with a major drug-related drive in April.

Last week Crisis appointed a new chairman from the private sector to replace Dave Edmonds, who resigned over the failed merger talks last month.

Shaks Ghosh, chief executive of Crisis, said: "It's too soon after the Shelter talks to say whether the Crisis relaunch will be a big-bang or more of a trickle. But we're now shifting our attention to the problem of the hidden homeless in hostels and their health needs."

The new chair of trustees is David Bell, chairman of the Financial Times Group and an executive director of Pearson. His private sector experience is likely to influence the charity's strategy for the coming year. Ghosh said: "He's going to be a very wise influence on us. We've got a strong charity-private sector bonding and there's so much we can learn."

The charity plans to set up between six and 10 projects to cater for the summer surge in homeless in holiday resorts and seaside towns. The service, called Summerwatch, will provide shelter and connect people to drug, housing and health services.

Crisis 365, a holistically themed activity centre, is planned to open in London sometime in the autumn. The centre will focus on developing new social, life and work skills for homeless people in areas such as the theatre and arts.

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