The collapse of a Merseyside drugs charity has provoked concern for the thousands that used its services.
The Lighthouse Project, which provides care for drug addicts, alcoholics and victims of domestic violence, said it had been forced to close because of financial difficulties, adding that Chief Executive Diane Bird had been suspended.
The charity, which employs 250 staff and has centres in four of the five Merseyside boroughs, provided clean needles to heroin addicts and HIV and hepatitis tests to those that asked for them.
A statement released by the management said: "It is with very great regret that the trustees of Lighthouse Project are being forced to close the charity due to unresolvable financial difficulties."
A series of emergency meetings have been held by the NHS and the local council to ensure the services offered by the charity are made available elsewhere.
"I worked for Merseyside Drugs Council and subsequently Lighthouse Project for a number of years and whilst there where some good people at the coalface I suspected 'unqualified' staff on relatively high salaries were able to remain under the radar. Someone should be accountable for the thousands of pounds of lottery and euro funding that should have gone into client care but instead appears to have lined pockets!" - Name and address supplied