Based in Cardiff and supported by the Big Lottery Fund Wales, Peer Forward utilises St Giles Trust’s peer-led approach to benefit local communities and enhance community services in Cardiff.
Peer Forward offers vocational training and work placements enabling people to become qualified information and advice workers through the Peer Advisor Programme. It offers individuals with experiences such as homelessness, substance misuse, time in the criminal justice system and long-term unemployment the chance to gain valuable skills and experience whilst helping others.
Each Peer Advisor undergoes a 12-module‘Learning to Advise’ course and support in their volunteer placement. Professional development skills are offered alongside ongoing coaching to develop employability. Training in skills such as IT, literacy and numeracy are also offered.
County lines in Cymru
Along with many other cities in the UK, Cardiff has seen a rapid growth in county lines activity. This is when drug gangs exploit vulnerable children and young people to smuggle and deal drugs in other areas. Lured in with promises of money and reward which never materialise, the young people are then coerced, manipulated and threatened if they try to run away. The consequences for them and their families can be disastrous.
Thanks to funding from Children in Need we are working in Cardiff to support young people involved in county lines to help them make a safe exit and re-engage with their families and education. We are working closely with a range of statutory partners in delivering this area of our work.
Cymru supports families to overcome barriers such as housing
problems, debt and long-term unemployment to help them move towards
independence and employment. The service plugs a gap often left unmet
by statutory agencies by offering intensive support to help families
overcome their problems and ultimately gain stability, employment and
Work with Offenders
Since 2015, St Giles Trust Cymru has been working under the Wales Community Rehabilitation Company, led by Working Links, to provide custody-based resettlement support in prison across Wales to help reduce re-offending. Our role is providing custodial-based resettlement services. The service offers prisoners help with a range of issues including housing, education, training and employment, advice with finances and debt and referrals to specialist services offering more targeted support. It uses our peer-led approach of recruiting, training and employing offenders in these prisons who support our resettlement teams and increase their own skills and employment prospects through their work. Community-based support is also offered to prison leavers and ex-offenders to help them resettle and prevent re-offending. This is typically around housing, welfare benefits and health. The caseworkers – with the support of peer mentors and volunteers - offer practical help and signposting to other support services following release in the community for as long as it is required by the client.