Hampshire based disability charity Enham Trust has today (Monday 1st August) announced its plans to merge with housing association Aster Group, subject to consultation and final approval. 

Enham Trust is a disability charity that supports disabled people to live, work and enjoy life to the full, with the belief that disability should not act as a barrier. Its primary base is in Andover, Hampshire, although it provides services across a wide geography including Somerset, Wiltshire, and Plymouth.

The charity owns 300+ homes including those for social rent, supported living and residential care services. They also offer a range of non-housing-based services that promote independence, including care at home, supported employment, education and training opportunities, and direct payments services, supporting well over 7000 disabled people every year.

The move into Aster Group would help to secure the long-term future of Enham Trust, which was founded in 1921. Being part of a larger Group would mean it could take advantage of Aster’s strong and stable financial position, its expertise in customer services and care, and the Groups’ investment programme.

Enham Trust has enjoyed a strong working relationship with Aster over several years, partnering with the organisation to break down barriers concerning disability and mental health. The partnership has seen Aster employees fundraising and volunteering for the charity, and the Trust has helped guide Aster to reach its ‘Disability Confident Leader’ status.

As well as its core business, Aster Group is also home to Dorset-based East Boro Housing Trust and London-based C&C Housing Trust, both of which provide housing and support to older and vulnerable people.

Enham Trust CEO, Simon Williams, said:

"We’re excited that we are set to join Aster Group, the merger being proposed will mean we can do even more for our current and future residents and service users.

"Aster are as passionate about Enham’s work as we are. They have a strong sense of social purpose and are committed to the long-term delivery of Enham’s purpose, supporting disabled people to live, work and enjoy life.”

Aster Group CEO, Bjorn Howard, said: "The decision we have taken is about doing the right thing in challenging times. By working together, Enham Trust could draw on the larger resources and expertise of our Group, helping to ensure it could provide high quality housing and care services across its communities into the future.

"Enham Trust is driven by its belief that disabled people deserve to live full and happy lives and that their disability should not act as a barrier. With the support we are committed to providing Enham, I’m confident that this amazing charity would continue to thrive long into the future, as part of the Aster family.

"Aster, EBHT, C&C and Enham Trust all share a strong social purpose that make our group’s activities crucial to the communities we serve."