Wednesday, 29 May 2024
Wednesday, 29 May 2024

Charity that helps people with life-changing illnesses or injuries set to close

An Oswestry charity which has been helping people with life-changing illnesses or injuries achieve independent lives since 1994 will be closing in April 2023.

Originally known as Transhouse, the charity was set up in partnership with the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital and the Midlands Centre for Spinal Injuries. It was renamed the Ethos Group Oswestry in 2018.

Running three wheelchair-adapted bungalows in Oswestry with places for 10 clients, Ethos supported the spinal injuries unit and patients ready to be discharged to adapt to life-changing illness or injury providing physical, mental health, and advocacy support to start their journey to independent living.

Trustee Chairman Martin Bennett said:

“Our philosophy has always been to provide a quality service of wrap-around practical and mental health support to people often with complex needs at the darkest period in their lives, to enable and empower them to live fully and independently. 

“Our service has never been the cheapest option, but we believe it to be cost-effective not only because it helps to avoid delayed discharges from hospital, but it reduces readmissions to hospital with, for example, pressure ulcers and permits clients who are able to return to work.”

The closure of the charity has been forced by a complex combination of circumstances. The spiralling cost of care and energy bills pushed up the costs of the service, meaning that Ethos was no longer an automatic first point of call for NHS and social services providers. 

Added to the financial costs, the shortage of care workers increased waiting times to set up a care package to around 15 weeks if care workers could be recruited.

The charity was also unable to apply for grant funding to help tide it over due to protracted negotiations over eleven years with Habinteg Housing Association for a new lease which would have provided security of tenure.

Based at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital at Gobowen, Ethos has been involved in talks with the hospital trust for some time exploring different options to try to find a solution to the issues facing both the charity and the hospital. 

But the rapidly dwindling finances of the charity meant the trustees had to act to fulfil their responsibilities to the charity, staff and clients and took the difficult decision to close.

Existing Ethos clients have been told of the closure and the charity’s team will be working closely with them, their families and care providers to make sure they are able to move into suitable alternative accommodation and continue their progress towards independent living. The charity will also be working with its three members of staff to support them through the closure.

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