Lincolnshire charities announce merger to protect and expand services and boost funding power

Two Lincolnshire charities have today (Friday) announced their intention to join forces in what they are describing as "a bold, forward-thinking move".

Community Lincs' offices in Sleaford on Church Lane.
Community Lincs' offices in Sleaford on Church Lane.

The Trustees of Community Lincs and YMCA Lincolnshire have announced their intention to merge the two charities.

They say this will enable the two organisations to combine their strengths, skills, resources and knowledge to better serve the people and communities they work with across Lincolnshire.

Lorraine Bellis, chairman of Community Lincs’ Board of Trustees, and Ian Sackree, chairman of YMCA Lincolnshire, said in a joint statement: “Our intention to merge has followed a period of due diligence and very careful mapping of the strategic objectives of both our charities. Our governance boards are clear that by joining together, Community Lincs and YMCA Lincolnshire will have the opportunity to increase our service provision and continue to deliver creative, ambitious and impactful services to benefit people and communities across the county.”

Merger brokers, from left - Gail Jackson - CEO at Community Lincs, Lorraine Bellis - chairman of the Board of Trustees at Community Lincs, Ian Sackree - chairman of YMCA Lincolnshire and Caroline Killeavy - CEO of YMCA Lincolnshire.

The merger will see Community Lincs becoming a distinct service and sub-brand of YMCA Lincolnshire. Services currently delivered by Community Lincs will remain unaffected, according to the organisdation, and it will retain its office in Sleaford on Church Lane along with all its staff members. They are aiming for the proposed merger to take place in October following a period of consultation.

Chief Executive Officer of YMCA Lincolnshire, Caroline Killeavy, welcomed the announcement, commenting: “We are thrilled to be taking this ambitious step with our colleagues Community Lincs. In this, our 150th year, we have much to celebrate with our communities in Lincolnshire. This merger is a great opportunity to honour both Community Lincs’ and YMCA Lincolnshire’s long standing history as creative, ambitious and community-focussed charities in the county.”

Gail Jackson, chief executive of Community Lincs, said: “This is a bold and forward-thinking decision for Community Lincs, our ambition is to reach more people and support more communities across both rural and urban areas of our county. Merging with a like-minded charity, YMCA Lincolnshire, demonstrates our mutual ambition to develop and deliver excellent needs-led services which can provide the best possible outcomes to the individuals and communities we work with. I am also delighted to be joining the senior team at YMCA Lincolnshire as the Deputy Chief Executive.”

The charities say those who use their services will not experience any changes to their current service, but will likely see greater benefits as the merger creates opportunities across existing and future service provision in Lincolnshire.

About Community Lincs

* Community Lincs was established in 1927 and has delivered services across the region for over 90 years.

* The charity is based in Sleaford and works throughout Lincolnshire delivering a range of services including Good Neighbour schemes, pop-up community cafés, access to affordable warmth and advice, Succeeding Together - supporting people into business, consultancy services - including community engagement, consultation and affordable housing, Neighbourhood Planning, community buildings advice and support, and the TED Ageing Better programme, part of the national Ageing Better programme, which is based on the East Coast.

About YMCA Lincolnshire

* Founded in 1869, YMCA Lincolnshire is celebrating its 150th anniversary year in 2019.

* Lincolnshire was originally home to two separate YMCAs – Lincoln YMCA and Stamford YMCA. The two branches merged in 2005 to become YMCA Lincolnshire.

* YMCA Lincolnshire provides a range of support, services and facilities within the county, including accommodation and housing support, youth provision and child care, training and

education, and top class conferencing and events facilities.