We were extremely thrilled and extremely humbled to have been firstly nominated and then to have won the category, especially considering the calibre and profile of the competition! The other charities nominated are really excellent organisations who really value their people and their clients. So we were very proud to be amongst the best in the sector.
Where are you going to go from here with your work?
We are an ambitious charity that hopes to make a meaningful difference to many more very disadvantaged people’s lives in the future. This all needs funding to achieve and we hope our unique model, of using highly motivated, well trained and well managed ex-clients as our main frontline paid staff can make a seismic difference to both our clients we strive to serve; but to the wider sector who will also start to see the unique benefit in terms of reach and credibility they bring to engaging successfully with those most disengaged within our society. We want more and more ex clients of charities to actually find paid work within the sector. We feel this generates a huge win-win solution for those often most disadvantaged become genuinely world class at this very specific skill – that of genuinely and meaningfully helping those most disempowered to turn their lives around.
What does Diversity & Inclusion mean to St Giles Trust?
Everything – it’s the cornerstone of all that we believe in. We believe that everyone has the potential to change. That the very best caseworkers, doing the hardest and most complex of work, with the most challenging clients very often may have been there themselves and uniquely know what that client is and will be facing. But through that shared life experience be able to actually help someone up and out and back into mainstream society where they can become positive contributors.
We also feel strongly that everyone, regardless of their background and past, should be able to have equal access to our services. We work with some of the most hard to reach, vulnerable people in society, most of which have let down or turned away from other services. We pride ourselves on giving this group of people a chance.
Where does this rank within your Diversity & Inclusion achievements?
This is like reaching the summit of Everest!
What were yours and your colleague’s thoughts on the awards?
We have a very vibrant group of people working and volunteering here at St Giles Trust. There was a great deal of noise and excitement – for some it was lovely external verification of what we believe in being recognised that was so powerful. But interesting to many others it was already known to them in themselves that we are a wonderfully diverse organisation – and this then no surprise, but still a great thrill, that we might be selected against such a fabulously talented field. I love quotes and I saw this one recently and it made me think this is what life is all about
“A winner is somebody who has given their best effort, who has tried the hardest they possibly can, who has utilized every ounce of energy and strength within them to accomplish something. It doesn’t mean that they accomplished it or failed, it means that they’ve given it their best. That’s a winner.” ― Walter Payton