St Giles Trust has new services now up and running Yorkshire and Wales, helping serving prisoners and ex-offenders resettle through help with housing and employment.
We are working with West Yorkshire Probation Trust under the NOMS-ESF Step Change Programme to help ex-offenders become job ready and enter the workforce. It specifically targets people who have high support needs and are most excluded from the job market, typically prolific and priority offenders (PPOs) and those serving short sentences.
The team are working with local prisons to target potential clients at least six weeks before their release to draw up plans for release and also signpost them to other services helping with housing. Follow on support will be provided in the community.
They have established a range of partnerships with local providers who will offer job search support and employment and training opportunities for clients. These include local colleges, other voluntary organisations with a commitment to employing disadvantaged people and social enterprises offering opportunities in catering and recycling.
The team will aim to work with 350 clients over the next two years.
Meanwhile in Wales...
Thanks to funding from The Waterloo Foundation, we have now established St Giles Trust Cymru which works with prisoners leaving HMP Cardiff to resettle into the community. It offers practical help with housing and signposting to other support services.
Reflecting our Peer Advice model, the team are also providing community-based training for ex-offenders in the City and Guilds accredited Level 3 Advice and Guidance. This is a vocational qualification, offering the trainees the chance to gain vocational experience through placements with St Giles Trust and other agencies, offering a route to employment.
More staff and volunteers are expected to be recruited to the team in the near future.