Local not-for-profits launch rescue bid for services run by Cyrenians Cymru

The Swansea-based charity went into administration after two people were arrested on suspicion of fraud

Cyrenians Cymru
Cyrenians Cymru

Local not-for-profit organisations have launched a bid to preserve front-line services previously run by the homelessness charity Cyrenians Cymru, which was forced to close earlier this month following a suspected fraud.

The Swansea-based charity went into administration earlier this month after a second person was arrested in connection with a fraud reportedly costing £800,000.

The social housing and support providers Gwalia and Family Housing, Caer Las, which supports vulnerable people, and Swansea Council are working to try to preserve at-risk jobs and services.

A statement from Gwalia, which provides housing, care and support services in south and mid-Wales, said it hoped to be able to act as an interim agent for income from funders, which could allow services to continue while longer-term arrangements are made.

Cyrenians Cymru, which employs 75 people, has operated in Swansea since 1973 and runs a range of projects for vulnerable people including the Cyrenians Community Centre, hostel accommodation and supported housing, as well as dedicated services for asylum seekers and sex workers in the city.

Michael Williams, chief executive of Gwalia, said: "As a group of organisations with similar missions, we are doing all we can. The Welsh government has shown positive support too, but the decisions of funders and conversations with the administrator will be crucial.

"Cyrenians' services transform lives across this city; it is hard to countenance a Swansea devoid of the compassion and kindness they bring to people in need."

A Swansea Council spokesman said that the local authority was working with the Welsh government, Cyrenians and other third sector organisations to "ensure that services for the most vulnerable people are in place".

Fundraising events have also been planned to raise funds to keep the charity’s services running, including a comedy fundraising night headlined by the comedian Rhod Gilbert and organised by fellow comic Elis James, a former volunteer for the Welsh homelessness charity Cymorth Cymru.

Proceeds from fundraising events and donations will be allocated by the Gwalia Trust, the charitable arm of Gwalia, as necessary to preserve Cyrenians’ front-line services as long as possible while the charity’s accounts remain frozen.

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