Specialist casework support for children and young people
Through our peer-led support and prevention work with young people involved in or at risk of child criminal exploitation we can offer both one-off spot purchase specialist casework and short and longer term projects. This work focusses on addressing a range of issues including child criminal exploitation (e.g. county lines, gang involvement), serious youth violence and financial exploitation.
Our peer-led model means we can provide professionally trained caseworkers with lived experience who really understand the lives of young people caught up in these issues and possess credibility and authority in the eyes of young people. This cultural competence means they can increase the levels of engagement in services and encourage young people to make positive progress.
Support for adults with multiple and complex needs
We also run end-to-end provision specifically focused on supporting adults facing severe and multiple disadvantage with wraparound support and development opportunities.
The service embeds the Peer Advisor Programme, so participants have opportunities to become volunteer or paid Peer Advisors delivering the service to others. This is a transformational opportunity which overcomes the stigma and barriers adults with multiple disadvantage can face in traditional services. Clients who would traditionally be seen only as ‘service users’ feel understood, engaged and motivated by Peer Advisors, as role models.
Lived experience consultancy, training and expertise
We can also train existing staff and volunteers, adding value and development opportunities through our tried-and-tested training and professional qualification offer. We are a City & Guilds Assessment Centre with Trainer-Assessors skilled in working with non-traditional learners, highly experienced IQAs and robust quality assurance framework and practices. We would very happily work with services and providers who already use peer-led advice & support models to offer professional development opportunities.
Peer Advisors can be embedded in local services to either work as paid staff or volunteers alongside them. They can recruited and trained from your local communities and could be clients of local services.
All volunteers and staff would be trained and ultimately achieve qualifications through our City & Guilds assessment centre, enabling volunteer peer advisors to progress their own training, employment, and wellbeing development through our assured and accredited courses, while opening this pathway up to service users/clients who are progressing well and
want to move on to support others in future.
Our Peer Advisors are on hand for recruitment panels, to speak at and support your events, provide advice and guidance services to your projects and facilitate work placements.
We also have a pool of qualified Peer Evaluator/Researchers with lived experience, and offer training in peer evaluation & research to enable local areas to develop and conduct evaluation activities such as theory of change workshops, survey, focus group, and interview design and delivery, led by people who represent their communities and have professional training in research and evaluation.
We have trained Peer Evaluators/Researchers who co-deliver research, evaluations and can design activities for focus groups and surveys.
Our clients are really distrustful... but St Giles is flexible… clients that haven’t previously engaged with any other organisation have done really well with St Giles.
Partner agency working with St Giles
Embedding lived experience in service delivery
Many clients we currently work with are considered to be isolated and excluded. Our model can empower excluded groups by deploying keyworkers and/or peer advisor volunteers with relevant local lived experience, who we will train, support and supervise. This will aid early identification and engagement with adults experiencing multiple disadvantage who may be considered ‘hard to reach’. They will facilitate support and access to specialist services to address needs.
We can place Peer Advisors alongside clients of homelessness services, who are being supported into tenancies in the private rented sector. The Peer Advisor would act as a trusted, credible first point of contact, offering tailored advice and guidance as part of the clients’ first six months in accommodation, working alongside housing providers or the private rented sector. This could work in conjunction with rent deposit/guarantee schemes.
We could also facilitate hostel-based Peer Advisors and floating caseworkers supporting clients with multiple
complex needs clients and provide ongoing support beyond the hostel. This would relieving pressure on other local providers and resources.
We could provide caseworkers and Peer Advisors who specialise in working with parents and carers facing multiple disadvantage, as part of services to address family wellbeing and stability, e.g. as part of ‘step down’ planning from social services, care planning, or parenting programmes. This could involve specialised training and coaching around issues such as violence affecting young people and preventing exploitation
We could train women in local communities to support other women who have experienced violence or abuse from a close family member, gender-based violence more widely, have experience of sex working, or are at risk of exploitation and abuse. This could be based on our peer hub model which offers a safe space for people who have experienced abuse and disadvantage. It would be led by experienced, specialist caseworkers.
Young adults transitioning from support for under-18s and 25s are often highly vulnerable. We could either provide young Peer Advisors or train young people with lived experience to provide transitional support, engaging them with services and enabling them to access opportunities.
We can provide coordinated dual support for young people who are cuckooing properties and adults who are tenants of cuckooed properties – this would draw from professional staff and volunteers with lived experience and cultural competence around these issues and an understanding of local challenges and opportunities.
We could develop a tailored programme with support workers and Peer Advisors with relevant lived experience and trained in specialist skills and knowledge. This could be based on a model already embedded and working
effectively in Bexley working with the South London & Maudsley NHS Trust.
Change one life, inspire change in a community
Discover more about the ripple effect of the Peer Advisor Programme on individuals, their families and local communities in this short film.