Today (29 September) St Giles celebrated 10 years in Wales with a reception today (29th September) at the Senedd (Welsh Parliament,) in Cardiff.
The event looked back at the achievements of St Giles and also forwards to its positive vision for people who have been held back by poverty, mental health problems, exploitation, abuse, caught up in crime or a combination of these issues.
In attendance were a host of members of the Welsh Assembly, the Police & Probation Service, Charitable Foundations, Trusts, the NHS and Financial Institutions. Hosted by Mike Hedges – MS, speeches came from Jane Hutt MS – Minister for Social Justice and Rob Owen OBE, CEO of St Giles. Powerful testimony of lived experience came from peers and staff who have used the power of their pasts to grow positive futures for them and those they work with.
Operating since 2012 in Wales, St Giles runs a number of award-winning services, with offices in Swansea, Cardiff, Newport and Wrexham and 20 hubs for Personal Wellbeing support across the region.
Projects include supporting disadvantaged families, the long-term unemployed and economically inactive in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, alongside work with young people who are involved in serious organised crime youth violence in Swansea, Cardiff and Gwent, St Giles also facilitates sessions in schools in Newport for knife crime prevention, raising awareness of child sexual and criminal exploitation.
A vital aspect of St Giles work focuses on Peer Hubs. Originally established in Cardiff and Wrexham, these help people from disadvantaged backgrounds in local communities to become a qualified Peer Advisor who in turn go back to their communities to make the same journey of positive change.
Speaking at the event, Wales Business Development Manager Anne-Marie Rogan said:
We are so proud of our work across Wales, helping people overcome barriers and get the support they need to move forward with their lives. By enabling people in local communities to become empowered and get the skills they need to transform their lives, we are able to help others make the same changes. Uniquely, we work across a wide area encompassing both the inner city and rural communities. Our services are delivered in close collaboration with our partners, addressing local needs distinct to each community. We’d like to thank all our partners and supporters, without whom we wouldn’t be able to help so many people make positive changes”
Sponsor of the event, Mike Hedges MS said:
I am pleased to sponsor the anniversary event; St Giles have made a real contribution to Welsh Communities over the last ten years. I know that work such as the Children and Families Cymru Service and the work the organisation does with people leaving prison have real and lasting impact, and help people turn their lives around. I congratulate the organisation on working within Wales for 10 years and wish it all the best for the future. I look forward to attending (if not sponsoring) the 20th anniversary event after a further 10 years success in Wales”