Involve Yorkshire and Humber to close with the loss of five jobs

The infrastructure body will close at the end of November after what the organisation's chair, Jan Thornton, describes as 'months of uncertainty'

Involve announces its imminent closure
Involve announces its imminent closure

The charity infrastructure body Involve Yorkshire and Humber is to close at the end of November with the loss of five jobs.

In a statement, Jan Thornton, the organisation’s chair, said the decision to shut down the 18-year-old charity, which supports the voluntary and community sector in Yorkshire and the Humber, had been made last week "following some months of uncertainty".  

Thornton said the organisation, which posted a deficit of £91,000 in the year to 31 March 2014, had a "mandate, mission, but no money".

She said: "Although a recent independent review had emphasised how much Involve is respected and needed, particularly in an increasingly harsh economic climate, the combination of cash-flow difficulties with shrinking reserves means a sustainable future is impossible."

All but one of the six-strong team will lose their jobs, with the remaining person, who provides the group’s health and social care work, expected to be transferring to a different infrastructure organisation within the region.

Thornton said the group’s work had been nationally recognised. "However, since the 2010 election and the subsequent loss of many regional structures and policy, our national role has been reduced," she said.

"Our likely funders have moved on; local authorities became more insular; the sector at regional level has faded from view.

"However, the need for our services and the demand has not decreased."

She said staff were determined the group’s work would not be lost and would be developing plans for it to be carried on by other organisations.

"We are now working hard to ensure we depart well, with our resources properly distributed and our legacy and learning secured," she said.

Karl Wilding, director of public policy at the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, said the organisation was "one of the unsung heroes of the charity sector".

He said: "It has worked quietly in the background to help charities make their money go further.

"It has provided training and support for people who have gone on and helped thousands of people across the region.

"And it has given a louder voice to communities who might not otherwise have been heard by the man in Whitehall.

"Infrastructure organisations like this are too important to let slip away. This is sad news for the staff and for those they have supported, and I would like to add my thanks for the things that they’ve achieved."

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