The Duke of Cambridge said our work 'inspired' him at the October Club's annual fundraising dinner last night (Wednesday 17 October), which was held in aid of St Giles Trust this year.
He said: "This charity truly inspires me. It has touched the lives of a quarter of a million people over the past five decades. These are people from the margins of society who, thanks to this charity, were able to recover from an appalling start and go on to live successful, productive lives."
He continued: "What started out as a small soup kitchen for the homeless and destitute has become one of the leading charities in this country helping homeless ex-offenders to reform, resettle and - critically - to break out of the costly and destructive cycle of re-offending."
Established in 1987, The October Club is an annual fundraising dinner attended by city workers. Each year the club commits to raising money for a chosen charity.
Rob Owen, Chief Executive of St Giles Trust, said:
“We are delighted that The Duke of Cambridge is taking the time to support St Giles Trust at this year’s October Club Dinner. It was a hugely prestigious and important evening for us and we are honoured that they selected St Giles Trust as this year’s beneficiaries.
“Such support is vital for us at this time and The Duke of Cambridge is leading by example. We are not a cuddly charity and are fighting hard for every penny we can to continue and develop our work, transforming the lives of 15,000 ex-offenders each year. Many others badly need our support but we do not have the resources to reach them. We need to raise in excess of £1.5million annually from voluntary funding to continue our work.
“The effects of the issues we tackle are felt everywhere – on individuals, families, local communities and wider society. 95p in every £1 donated to St Giles Trust goes directly on frontline services supporting some of society’s most disadvantaged and excluded individuals to turn their lives around.
“The results speak for themselves. Our work has won many awards and has been evidenced to radically reduce re-offending, meaning there are fewer future victims of crime. Studies have been shown that for every pound invested in St Giles Trust helps save the taxpayer £10 in reductions in criminal justice costs. This isn’t counting the misery and devastation caused to victims, those caught up in the criminal justice system and their families on which no price can be placed.”
The Duke of Cambridge was announced at St Giles Trust’s 50th Anniversary Year Patron in January 2012. This followed a visit to St Giles Trust’s head office in 2009, when he spent the afternoon meeting staff and clients at the charity.