Changing Lives takes on 64 Platform 51 employees

Staff working on front-line projects in Middlesbrough, Doncaster, Liverpool, Nottingham, Wolverhampton and south Wales will transfer with immediate effect

Changing Lives
Changing Lives

Changing Lives, the specialist support charity formerly known as The Cyrenians, has confirmed that it will take on 64 staff working on front-line projects run by the women’s charity Platform 51.

Third Sector reported in August that Platform 51, which was previously known as YWCA England & Wales, was planning to drop its new name after less than three years and transfer most of its services to Changing Lives as part of a major restructure.

Platform 51, which has been losing millions in recent years, concluded that its structure was unsustainable, internal documents showed.

The charity said last month that its name would change in November to the Young Women’s Trust.

Platform 51 and Changing Lives have this week confirmed that 64 Platform 51 staff working on six projects in Middlesbrough, Doncaster, Liverpool, Nottingham, Wolverhampton and Wales (split between Swansea and Cardiff) would transfer to Changing Lives with immediate effect.

Three remaining Platform 51 centres – London West, West Kent and Bristol – would not transfer under the agreement.

A spokeswoman for Platform 51 said that the charity was in discussion with the staff based at those centres about the future of the projects as it changes its focus away from front-line provision.

She was unable to clarify how many staff the charity had in total and said it was also not possible to clarify whether there would be any redundancies while elements of the restructure were continuing.

The charity’s head office will relocate from Oxford to London.

Carole Easton, chief executive of Platform 51, said in a statement: "We have undergone a significant restructuring and are withdrawing from face-to-face services around England and Wales. The trustees are delighted that we were able to reach this agreement with Changing Lives, which ensures a bright future for many girls’ and women’s services and secures jobs for many of our staff."

Stephen Bell, chief executive of Changing Lives, said: "This move both expands and complements our existing service provision for women and girls, and builds on our established track record of gender-specialist projects.

"We understand the importance of tailored provision for women and girls, and the role the projects’ existing high-quality work can play in empowering those they work with to achieve more."

The name Changing Lives was launched last week as the charity announced its intention to expand delivery of its services beyond its native north-east England.

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