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Wheelchair charity grinds to stop

PUBLISHED: 00:05 16 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:21 03 March 2010

THE Maclean Trust, which raised £68,000 to open the Maclean Centre for Wheelchair Training in Ipswich has ceased operation.

In November the centre closed following a decision by its founder, Suzanne Maclean, to take court action against the Trust.

THE Maclean Trust, which raised £68,000 to open the Maclean Centre for Wheelchair Training in Ipswich has ceased operation.

In November the centre closed following a decision by its founder, Suzanne Maclean, to take court action against the Trust.

But now the charity itself has had to cease operation because all its funds were being spent on legal fees in the forthcoming court case.

Mrs Maclean, of Farrow Close, Leiston, stood down as a trustee of the organisation two years ago.

An investigation into the past administration of the charity has been carried out by the Charity Commission, although a final report has not yet been published.

Mrs Maclean decided to take legal action against the group in an effort to recover a £15,000 loan she claimed she had given to the trust to clear its debts.

But John Forbes-Whitehead, chairman of the Maclean Trust, said the charity could no longer operate.

The remaining trustees had been struggling to find new offices after a suspected arson attack destroyed a building.

However, Mr Forbes-Whitehead said the insurance money from the fire had now been put aside for legal costs, which meant the charity had no choice but to close.

"It was very sad and none of the trustees wanted it but we didn't have any other choice," said Mr Forbes-Whitehead, of Marlborough Road, Ipswich.

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