Youth sector charities announce merger

Social action charity Community Links has merged with not-for-profit Catch 22, four years after they began sharing back office and corporate services.

The merger is described by the two organisations as “the next step in their relationship”.

Community Links' name, branding and logo continues. The charity, which has a team of 100 staff and volunteers, also continues delivering its core work of health, advice, policy and employment services and programmes for young people in East London.

“Ultimately the decision to merge has been driven by what is best for our many service users,” said Community Links board Alan Lazarus.

“The terms of the merger reflect the outgoing Board’s determination to maintain the uniqueness of Community Links and the focus on the community in Newham and across East London.”

The charity Catch 22 works across family support, work, education and justice sectors.

Through the merger the Community Links team and budget is ring-fenced within Catch 22 and its fundraising programmes continue.

Through a management restructure Community Links director Chi Kavindele reports into Catch 22. No further staffing changes are planned through the merger.

In addition, the Community Links’ board has been dissolved and a new advisory committee reports to the Catch 22 board “tasked with safeguarding the legacy and future of Community Links”.

Community Links’ trading arm, Links Event Solutions (LES), is transferred to Catch22 as part of the merger.

“The merger with Community Links is yet another exciting example of charitable organisations coming together and focusing on service users,” said Catch 22’s chief executive Chris Wright.

“Community Links and Catch22 have worked very closely together since Catch22 assumed sole membership in January 2017, and this formal merger means we’ll be able to have even more impact and build on the fantastic work already being done.”

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