St Giles Trust
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St Giles Trust works with people facing disadvantages such as homelessness, long-term unemployment, an offending background, addiction, severe poverty and involvement in gangs. A key feature of its work is training former service users who have successfully overcome barriers to provide help and support to others - using a mix of their professional skills and first hand experiences.
St Giles Trust was founded in 1962 as the Camberwell Samaritans as a soup kitchen. Its work has developed over the years and it now works across England and Wales. In 2016/17, the charity helped 24,432 people through its services.
St Giles Trust provides specialist services in the following areas:
- Prison and community based training as part of their award-winning Peer Advisor Programme
- Skills, education, training and employment support for ex-offenders and disadvantaged people
- Specialist support for disadvantaged families, especially those involved with the criminal justice system
- Preventative work with young people at risk of involvement in gangs and youth violence through their SOS Project
- Supporting adults with complex needs such as health and homelessness by working with the NHS
St Giles Trust's head office is based in Camberwell, South London. Their work is based in prisons and communities across England and Wales. Additional offices are in North London, Leeds, Ipswich and Cardiff.
St Giles Trust was originally established in February 1962 as The Camberwell Samaritans. Based in the crypt of St Giles' Church, Camberwell, it provided emergency relief and support for the large number of homeless men in the area - a prevailing feature of Camberwell due to a number of local hostels and shelters, including the infamous Camberwell Spike. Over the decades its work evolved to focus on providing support in a day centre located in its current head offices in Georgian House, Camberwell Church Street. In the late 1990s, it embarked on providing a housing casework service in HMP Wandsworth to help the large number of men leaving this prison only to become homeless. In the early 2000s, St Giles Trust re-positioned itself as an offender charity in response to the changing profile of clients using its services. It developed its prison and community-based work to other areas outside the capital. Today, it has expanded its services beyond the realm of criminal justice to also address unemployment, homelessness, troubled families and vulnerable young exploited by county lines.
St Giles Trust has won many awards in recognition of its work including The Charity Awards 2009 and 2007, The Third Sector Excellence Awards 2007, The Butler Trust Awards 2009, The Justice Awards 2009, The Centre for Social Justice Awards 2009 and the Andy Ludlow Awards 2007. It has also been included in the Sunday Times Best 100 Companies to Work For since 2009. It's SOS Project working with young people involved in gangs won the Advice, Support and Advocacy category of the Charity Awards of 2014. In November 2014, Mona Morrison of St Giles Trust received the Highly Commended Longford Prize, in recognition of successful projects with youth gangs. It's peer-led work with foreign national prisoners won second prize of the Robin Corbett Awards for Prisoner Rehabilitation in 2016. Chief Executive Rob Owen received an OBE in the New Years Honours List in 2015 and Elroy Palmer, Team Leader on the charity's SOS Project, received an MBE in the 2016 Queen's Birthday Honours List. The SOS Project's Founder Junior Smart was included in the Evening Standard's 1000 Most Influential Londoners in 2014 and 2015 in recognition of his campaigning work on the issues affecting young people involved in gangs and street crime.
- Centre for Crime and Justice Studies
- Centre for Mental Health
- Centre for Social Justice
- Howard League for Penal Reform
- Revolving Doors Agency