Two Devon-based charities have merged to form a new group structure they say will improve the independence and wellbeing of people with complex needs.
The disability and training charity the St Loye’s Foundation, which is based in Exeter and has an annual turnover of £5m, has combined with the mental health charity the Community Care Trust, which is based in Newton Abbot and has an annual income of £2.3m.
The charities said the move was expected to enable the delivery of services to more people, including enhanced specialist support in recovering from mental illness and better training and employment services.
The merger will result in the charities being able to pool their staff – each charity employs about 130 people and no redundancies are taking place – and funds, allowing them potentially to expand in the future, the organisations said.
A spokesman said the decision to merge was taken after the charities collaborated on a number of projects, including one with people with autism, and realised they would be able to help more beneficiaries by joining together.
It has not yet been decided whether the organisations will use a new name.
Chris Knee, chief executive of St Loye’s, and Eilis Rainsford, chief executive of CCT, will both continue to manage their respective organisations.
"We are delighted to be able to announce that the Community Care Trust is joining us in a mutually beneficial relationship," said Knee. "By coming together, we will be able to offer enhanced services and change the lives of many more people in the future."
Rainsford, whose organisation provides specialist support for people in or recovering from emotional distress, said: "In partnership with St Loye’s, CCT has an incredible opportunity to deliver an improved range of the responsive services that people tell us they need in recovery. This is an exciting phase in our commitment to improving opportunities in each person’s recovery journey."
St Loye’s, which was established in 1937, runs a college for disabled people, which helps to train them for employment in the wider community. It has about 130 staff and works with about 2,500 people a year through centres in south-west and north-west England and in Wales.
St Loye’s was facing severe financial problems in 2006, when local newspapers reported the charity might have to close. Knee was recruited as chief executive of the organisation in 2007 to enact a rescue plan recommended by management consultants. By 2009, the charity was back on its feet, opening an office in south Wales and expanding its services.