A CHARITY based in Winchester that worked to give a voice to children and young people has today announced it will close in August.

Fixers has been battling financial uncertainty for some time but overnight the charity announced it could no longer carry on.

It was founded in 2008 and has supported more than 20,000 young people, aged 16-25, across the UK championing their potential through positive social action.

Most of those they have helped are vulnerable or marginalised and face different issues including exploitation, sexting, mental health, knife crime, drug use, poverty and homelessness.

Today Lucy Tatchell, head of news and media, said the charity was not in debt but the board of trustees has decided it is no longer sustainable and there will be an organised winding down of the charity over the next three months.

"We haven't enough financial security to carry on. But the board felt it was really important that there was enough money to be able to do a orderly winding down and that we are not crashing out suddenly. We have three months to sort our outstanding commitments. We are not in debt, there is enough money to ensure we will run for three months. Any money left over will go to charity."

Ms Tatchell said Fixers would continue to work with young people over the next three months and was exploring options to pass on the work to other organisations.

The charity, currently based on Andover Road, employs 13 people.

She added: "We are very sad about the decision but we are glad we have had the time to be able to continue to support young people over the next three months."

Ralph Bernard, Fixers chairman, said in a statement: “The board of Fixers has had to make this very sad decision in the best interests of the charity, its beneficiaries and staff. My colleagues and I pay tribute to all our extraordinary and dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly on behalf of thousands of disadvantaged and vulnerable young people to help improve their lives.

“Funding for Fixers has depended largely on substantial grants from trusts, foundations and individuals. These donations have been ever harder to replace when they come to an end. In particular, one substantial annual grant is now due to finish this year and despite relentless and determined attempts to replace it we have been unable to do so at the levels required to meet our projected and significantly reduced costs.

“We cannot allow Fixers to face a disorderly, unplanned and chaotic closure and therefore with great sadness, the board has unanimously taken the decision to wind down and bring the charity’s activities to an end over the course of the next three months. We are taking the action now in order to protect staff and ensure all of our contractual obligations can be met."

Natasha Montagu, Fixers chief executive, said: “Despite the best efforts of the staff and Board over the past year to build sustainability and financial security for Fixers, we are sadly at the end of an era as we move into an orderly wind-down of our work.

“Fixers has had a profound impact on the lives of over 23,000 young people in the past 11 years, giving them the opportunity to use their voice in a powerful way to affect change.

“I want to thank the staff for their commitment and passion in enabling these voices to be heard. Our priority now is to ensure the legacy of these young people can continue to be beneficial to others in the future.”