St Giles Trust Yorkshire

We work with ex-offenders and disadvantaged individuals in Leeds and West Yorkshire to help them move their lives forward. Our services help people overcome any barriers which might be holding them back and aim to build people’s confidence and skills. A strong feature of our work in this region is using our peer-led approach of using professionally Level 3 trained ex-service users.

Peer Advisor Centre

Supported by The Big Lottery Fund, the Peer Advisor Centre aims to help disadvantaged people move their lives forward whilst addressing local needs.

It offers people the opportunity to train as a Peer Advisor, gain a Level 3 Information, Advice and Guidance qualification and undertake a volunteer placement with a partner organisation to improve their vocational experience and employability.

The West Yorkshire partner organisations who host a Peer Advisor on placement in turn benefit from increased resources and the diverse first-hand experience the Peer Advisors bring.

Individuals who train as Peer Advisors have typically:

  • Been disadvantaged themselves - for example due to due homelessness, substance addiction, mental health issues, experience with the criminal justice system, and have overcome this difficulty themselves - they must volunteer in the same area that they experienced the disadvantage.

  • Have English and Maths to a Level 2 standard.

  • Have motivation to commit to a minimum of two days a week for six months - this consists of one day for the course and one day in a placement

  • Be motivated to complete the Information, Advice and Guidance Level 3 qualification.

Choices

Supported by HSBC, Choices helps heavily disadvantaged young people aged 16-24 to build a positive future. It helps them identify and achieve their goals around education, training and employment.

The young people supported the project are not in employment, education or training. They face a variety of barriers including having experienced homelessness or family breakdown, leaving care, involvement in the criminal justice system and/or experiencing issues around substance misuse or mental health.

Choices works with each individual offering tailored, one-to-one support to help them on their journey.

This includes:

  • Motivation and engagement activities such as workshops and trips

  • Information, advice and advocacy

  • Action planning and helping young people to realise their goals

  • Work preparation and training to develop personal and employability skills

  • Establishing routes to college, training, apprenticeships, volunteering and employment and ongoing support to ensure progress is sustained

  • Accessing financial support grants

The project also aims to develop young Peer Advisors to help deliver the project’s activities.

We help young people across Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield and work with a wide range of agencies and organisations in doing so.

We want to reach as many heavily disadvantaged young people as possible to overcome their barriers and progress, reducing youth unemployment in West Yorkshire and ensuring the next generation of talent is not wasted.

CFO3

The CFO3 project is designed to help offenders move towards social inclusion and mainstream provision. Focussing on individuals who are the hardest to reach, the aim is to help them engage with services, training and secure employment. We will also help with other barriers such as housing and addressing substance misuse issues, which could be preventing someone from achieving this,.

To be eligible for the project individuals will need to:

  • Be within the community on licence or supervision order, or in HMP Wealstun/HMP Leeds with less than three years until their release.

  • Not engaging in mainstream provision but willing to engage with St Giles Trust.

  • Returning to or living in West Yorkshire.

  • Eligible to work in the UK.

  • Unemployed upon release.

  • Willing to engage with St Giles Trust in the community.

A weekly job club is available on Wednesday afternoons at the Leeds office in Harehill Road.

We can also support potential employers by identifying potential employees and facilitating volunteering.

CFO 3 Mentoring

The CFO3 Project also trains people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to become qualified mentors who can support ex-offenders across North and West Yorkshire get back into work or training. Mentors receive ongoing support and training. In August 2017, it was awarded Approved Provider Standard from the Mentoring and Befriending Foundation.

The aim of the programme is to reduce re-offending and help people change their lives.

Children and families projects

Gamechangers

Supporting by Barclays, Gamechangers supports disadvantaged families who have at least one child under 18. It aims to break the cycle of homelessness, crime, unemployment and poverty to prevent the next generation from entering the criminal justice system. Gamechangers offers intensive support to each family to address their underlying issues and help them achieve their potential. The ultimate aim of the project is to enable the family to become independent and manage its own problems whilst minimising the effect of these on children.

Families are supported to address fundamental issues around housing, finances, health, parenting and schooling. Once the family’s situation becomes stabilised they can then be supported to move towards employment, education and training.

To be eligible for Gamechangers families must:

  • Be eligible to live and work in the UK

  • Live in Leeds

  • Have a child under the age of 18 within the household

They must also be experiencing at least four out of the following seven barriers:

  • Unemployment

  • Exclusion or risk of exclusion from school

  • Involvement or risk of involvement with the criminal justice system

  • Mental health issues

  • Domestic violence

  • Substance misuse

  • Homelessness or risk of homelessness

COPE

COPE (Children of Prisoners Empowered) is a service offering support to children of prisoners. Our caseworkers offer practical support to ensure basic needs such as decent housing are met and that the children are in a safe and settled home environment in which they can thrive and achieve their full potential. They are also supported with schooling and to engage in after school activitiesFunded by Children in Need, this service was developed in response to feedback gained from children and young people from families in our existing children and families work in Yorkshire. The team work in close partnership with statutory and other voluntary agencies in providing this work.

Mentoring support provides children and young people a positive role model to whom they can aspire. There are also opportunities for mentors to volunteer on this project and have the opportunity to gain a Level 3 qualification

WY Women’s Support Group

This is a project supporting women who have had their child/children removed from their care (mainly focussing on women who have been in custody). There will be therapy sessions such as reiki, ear acupuncture, as well as practical support and activities.

Prisons work

For West Yorkshire Community Rehabilitation Company under Purple Futures, St Giles Trust is working in partnership to deliver resettlement services in HMP Wealstun and HMP New Hall. This includes working with prisoners on remand and Foreign National Prisoners. We are also helping prisoners with learning disabilities and literacy issues through providing the Easy Read project in HMP Wealstun until April 2017.

We also provide the same service for Sodexo at HMP New Hall for South Yorkshire prisoners.

St Giles Trust ensures that all prisoners in the above prisons have Resettlement Plans in place based on completion of Basic Custody Screening (Part 2) and Resettlement Plan Pre-Release.

The service on offer includes:

  • Identifying needs early on and following up on any plans that are put in place

  • Helping prisoners access services addressing needs such as health, substance misuse, employment, education, training, housing, finance, benefits and debts

  • Raising awareness of the service amongst prisoners and other organisations in the prison

  • Work with other providers to forge efficient and effective referral routes in the prison

A key feature of this service is the use of professionally trained Peer Advisors both in custody and in the community.

The aim of the service is to help prisoners in HMP Wealstun and HMP New Hall successfully resettle, train Peer Advisors to enable others to benefit from this highly credible form of support and increase the skills of those we train. This will make a contribution towards reducing re-offending in West Yorkshire.

MTF

We are helping prisoners in HMP Wealstun and their families through MTF (Maintaining Family Ties) which is offered through our partnership with Purple Futures. It aims to help strengthen families and increase their positive networks through offering our children and families support services (see above) within the prison.

It helps people:

  • Have an established positive support network (family or peers) upon release, supports with parenting skills,

  • Provides the opportunity to complete short aimed at Personal, Social, Health and Economic improvement

  • Improves community integration and engagement with services such as social services or troubled families

To be eligible, people must be serving at HMP Wealstun and returning to West Yorkshire and have a willingness to build on family relationships and social skills.