St Giles is celebrating 10 years in Yorkshire, at a time when post-Covid effects and the cost-of-living crisis are increasing the level of need for its services in the region.
The team celebrated its achievements at an event today (28th October 2022) held at the St Georges Centre, Leeds, with attendees and speakers including Alison Lowe, the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime and representatives from West Yorkshire Police and Violence Reduction Unit also in attendance.
They started out as a small team supporting prisoners at HMP Wealstun Prison, in Wetherby and have now grown in size to provide a range of programmes across employment services, rehabilitative work with people who have been in the criminal justice system, support for families of offenders as well as help for vulnerable low-income families. It also carries out preventative work in schools and other educational settings around weapons crime, drugs, serious violence and child criminal exploitation.
Over the last year alone, over 500 individuals have been supported, with over 2,000 one-to-one sessions carried out and 1,000 group sessions delivered. Key sessions provided intensive support to young people at a high risk of child criminal exploitation, with group sessions raising awareness and equipping young people with the skills and knowledge to stay safe. In the last year, the Community Rehabilitation team has also helped almost 800 people across Yorkshire with accommodation issues and since inception, its Pantry has provided bespoke service to almost 50 families.
Speaking at the event, St Giles Yorkshire Head of Service Iain Hadley said:
I would like to thank all our partners as without their valued support we wouldn’t be able to help and impact the thousands of people we support each year to find homes, secure employment, exit gangs, and raise their own aspirations to be the best version of themselves.
Our work today is as relevant as it was 10 years ago. Providing food and advice to the most vulnerable through our Pantry, to help contribute towards the ongoing cost of living crisis. Our SOS and SOS+ initiatives help address some of the rising levels of violence within West Yorkshire and offer young people an alternative narrative.
Over the last 10 years we have established some fantastic partnerships across all sectors including organisations such as West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, National Probation Service, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Wakefield Council, Touchstone and Foundation”.
West Yorkshire’s Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe OBE said:
It is wonderful to be able to share in the celebrations of the St Giles Trust, recognising the national anniversary and their amazing contributions locally. They are a key delivery partner and have been a crucial ally, particularly through their work with our West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU).
From mentoring and support for young people and their families to custody diversion services drawing away from gangs and negative lifestyles, they have made a huge impact across our communities.”