Shaw Trust to merge with Employment Opportunities

'No job losses' as disability charities join forces

The Shaw Trust is to merge with another charity that helps disabled people find work.

The Shaw Trust, which employs 1,400 people and generates most of its £73m annual income from Department for Work and Pensions contracts, will join forces with Employment Opportunities on 1 May.

Employment Opportunities, which was founded in 1980 by 10 employers in the City of London, has a network of regional centres that help disabled people get jobs. It employs 90 people and generates £4.5m a year.

The combined charity will retain the Shaw Trust name, but Catherine A'Bear, chief officer for corporate affairs at the trust, denied it was a takeover. "It will enable us to bring together two charities that are doing almost the same work," she said.

A'Bear said no job losses were planned. "We are not talking about redundancies; we are talking about opportunities for staff," she said.

Karin Pappenheim, chief executive of Employment Opportunities, will become a member of the trust's executive team. She described the merger as "a natural extension" of the close work the two organisations have done previously.

Tim Papé, director general of the trust, said: "The merger of our two organisations will strengthen the capacity of the third sector to deliver and provide it with an even stronger voice."

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