Care homes charity the Careways Trust to be wound up

Beset by financial difficulties since 2009, the trust is handing about £0.5m to other charities, including Dementia UK

Careways: helping older people since 1949
Careways: helping older people since 1949

The older people’s care charity the Careways Trust is being wound up and has handed half a million pounds to other charities.

The charity, which was set up in 1949 as the Crossways Trust, was experiencing significant financial issues by 2009, caused by a combination of stronger care home regulations, increased costs and a large pension fund deficit.

A statement from the investment management and tax group Smith & Williamson, which is handling the liquidation, said that without "appropriate corrective action" the charity would probably have become insolvent.

The charity employed Smith & Williamson in 2014 and sold sheltered accommodation and care homes in Birmingham and East Sussex before entering voluntary liquidation in November 2016.

Before deciding to wind down the charity, the Careways Trust had a turnover of about £1.3m a year and employed 50 staff, Smith & Williamson said.

Apart from a few who were at retirement age, all the charity’s staff have been transferred to new providers with its care home and sheltered accommodation businesses, according to Smith & Williamson.

Dementia UK received £400,000 once all of the trust’s creditors were paid. The money will fund 16 new nurses working with families affected by dementia in Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Bedfordshire.

A second donation of £100,000 has been made to the Abbeyfield Ferring Society, which runs a care home in Worthing, West Sussex.

Smith & Williamson said a final much smaller payout to a local charity is also likely to be made in the next few months.

Ray Flanigan, chair of the Careways Trust, said: "There had been many attempts to turn things around, but it was a real struggle for the trustees to try to run a business on a voluntary basis and still keep an eye on the trust’s charitable aims.

"We reluctantly decided – on advice – that the trust had run its course. If we had tried to go on much longer the capital would have been eaten up, with nothing left for the charities we’ve now been able to support."

Hilda Hayo, chief executive of Dementia UK, said: "The Careways Trust operated with an ethos of compassionate care and we are grateful to it for handing us this baton."

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