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A diverse range of services are on offer at St Giles Yorkshire, ranging from help for vulnerable women in the criminal justice system to projects helping adults overcome barriers to access employment. Our peer led approach underlines all our services in Yorkshire.
Based in Leeds, the Peer Hub Yorkshire offers adults who have overcome adversity the opportunity to train to a Level 3 information, Advice and Guidance under the Peer Advisor Programme. As part of the vocational element to the qualification, they undertake supported work placements with partner agencies who are addressing local needs, typically those around homelessness, addiction, unemployment and work with ex-offenders. As individuals with lived experience of these issues, they bring a mix of professional skills and their first hand experiences to offer highly credible services.
Funded by The National Lottery Community Fund, the Yorkshire Peer Hub was the first one of our national network of Hubs to be launched. It built on existing successful peer-led work, also funded through the lottery, which we had been delivering since 2012.
We are working with young people in Huddersfield who are involved in serious violence and criminal exploitation. By adopting our approach of using professionally trained caseworkers with direct, first-hand, relatable experience of these issues we are able to connect with some of the most vulnerable young people at risk, acting as a bridge between them and the authorities and improving their engagement with any other services.
We also carry out preventative work with young people through the SOS+ Service in schools and similar settings across the region. It uses our trained facilitators who all have lived experience of issues such as drugs, gangs and county lines to raise awareness of these issues and equip young people with the knowledge and resilience to encourage positive choices. All our facilitators are reformed, trained and credible, meaning young people can relate to them. They also deliver training for professionals who work with young people and parents.
Mainstream employment support services can sometimes struggle to work with people who have complex needs, histories of offending or who come from excluded communities. These services aim to fill this gap and help adults who need extra training and added help to improve skills and confidence to prepare them for employment.
Through the Footsteps Project, the team help women prison leavers resettle in the community. Our caseworkers support them to access the services they need to stabilise their situations and reduce the likelihood of re-offending.
Help for children and families who are coping with a parent in prison is also offered through our work in Yorkshire. Children are often the hidden victims when a parent is sent to prison. Our work in this area supports the whole family to ensure they are given the support they need during this traumatic time.
Through the Community Rehabilitation Company, we work in prisons in West Yorkshire to help serving prisoners get the advice, guidance and services they need to support successful resettlement and reduce the likelihood of re-offending. Further information on this work is available here.