Welsh veterans project handed £500k Libor grant lifeline

The Chancellor announced yesterday that Change Step, which said it was making 29 redundancies earlier this week, was amongn organisations to receive a share of £45m of banking fines

The Welsh veterans’ mentoring service Change Step was handed a lifeline in yesterday’s Budget when it was named as one of 30 charity projects that will receive a share of £45m of Libor fine revenue – just days after announcing job cuts.

The project, run by personal services charity CAIS, was awarded a grant of £500,000 over the next four years; it is expected that the money could help avert some of the 29 job losses the charity announced at the beginning of the week.

The Change Step service offers veterans and their families mentoring, delivered by fellow veterans, to deal with issues such as housing, criminal justice, substance misuse and mental health.

On Monday, CAIS said it believed the future of the project, which was initially funded by a £1m grant from the Libor fund in 2013, appeared uncertain after the funding ran out and no replacement income could be found.

As a result, it said, 29 staff members had been notified of the termination of their contracts.

Geraint Jones, director of Change Step, said the project was delighted by new grant, which he said was a "huge endorsement" and would allow the charity to continue its work. 

"Many of the people we work with were upset at the prospect of losing a service which they have treasured, and which has been able to help them make great strides in their lives," he said.

"We said we were determined to carry on – and thanks to this announcement we have the opportunity to do so. 

"We will now continue our conversations with our partners and stakeholders, and look forward to announcing more details shortly. We will ensure that this investment is used wisely and in the interests of the long-term sustainability of the programme." 

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