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Job losses as children’s charity closes

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65 staff from 4Children have been made redundant but majority of employees and services transferred to Action for Children

A charity which has been supporting children for over 30 years has closed after losing vital contracts.

Around 65 of a 1050 strong workforce at 4Children will be made redundant as a result, administrators, accountancy firm Smith & Williamson announced yesterday.

Over 60% of the charity's services along with around 750 employees have been transferred to Action for Children with the remainder being picked up by local authorities including around 200 employees.

It was originally formed as the National Out of School Alliance in 1983 before becoming the Kids' Club Network and latterly 4Children. Based in England it was not known carry out work in Scotland but did campaign on national policy issues.

Recent changes in our contract portfolio and broader funding pressures have led trustees to pursue this managed transfer

The charity delivered childcare, family support and youth services at 142 sites including children's centres, nurseries, schools and RAF bases.

Adam Stephens, lead joint administrator said, confirmed the transfers and job losses and added three of the charity's sites would be shut.

“Smith & Williamson have been assisting 4Children for the last few months in identifying the various financial options available to it," he said.

"It was apparent that the best option was to negotiate a transfer of the services to another not for profit organisation.

"Overall, this has been a very significant task, including negotiating with over 30 different parties, each requiring different terms.

“We are anticipating that thousands of children will be able to continue to access the same services and, as such, the team is working very closely with Action for Children and all local providers to ensure as smooth a transfer of services as possible.”

Chief executive of 4Children Imelda Redmond said: "The decision to merge many of our services with Action for Children has been made in the long term interest of children and families.

"Recent changes in our contract portfolio and broader funding pressures have led trustees to pursue this managed transfer, which will strengthen the position of frontline services to withstand these pressures while continuing to deliver high quality support.

Sir Tony Hawkhead, chief executive of Action for Children, added: "The operating environment for charities is increasingly challenging. The overriding aim of our discussions is to maintain the best possible services for the children and families we support.

"Greater collaboration within the sector is something many charities are investigating and this announcement supports that approach. I look forward to welcoming 4Children families and the members of staff who support them across the UK."