Flood-hit charity is given reprieve

Aid and Assist given more time to prove how it spent EU grant, after audit trail is lost

The Department for Work and Pensions has given a training charity more time to explain how it spent a £185,000 grant it has been ordered to repay.

Aid and Assist was told to pay back the European Social Fund grant by 14 February after a flood in 2006 left the Suffolk charity unable to provide auditors with invoices showing how it had been spent (Third Sector Online, 6 February).

The grant was awarded in 2000 to help set up a training workshop for adults with learning disabilities.

The DWP has told the organisation to collate what evidence it can that shows the benefits of the workshop, such as beneficiaries' certificates of training and evidence of trainees who have gained employment as a result.

A spokesman for the DWP said it was sympathetic to Aid and Assist's position and was still in discussions with the charity.

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