Based in Leeds,the ESF CFO3 project is designed to help disadvantaged individuals in the criminal justice system move towards social inclusion and mainstream provision. It is funded through NOMS ESF working in partnership with APM. Focussing on individuals who are the hardest to reach, the aim is to help them engage with services, training and secure employment. We will also help with other barriers such as housing and addressing substance misuse issues, which could be preventing someone from achieving this,.

We engage with offenders in the community and from HMPs Leeds and Wealstun, working with them up to 12 weeks prior to release. We then continue our support in the community to help individuals become more engaged and secure education, training and employment when released.

To be eligible for the project individuals will need to:

  • Be within the community on licence or supervision order, or in HMP Wealstun/HMP Leeds with less than three years until release.
  • Not engaging in mainstream provision but willing to engage with St Giles Trust.
  • Returning to or living in West Yorkshire.
  • Eligible to work in the UK.
  • Unemployed upon release.
  • Willing to engage with St Giles Trust in the community

The project assists with:

  • Support for employers, in terms of identifying suitable potential employees, providing funding to train and qualify employees
  • Facilitating volunteering, work experience, work trials and similar
  • Help and advice in custody continuing into the community from the day of release
  • Assistance with accessing suitable education, training, volunteering and employment
  • An all-round holistic support service including mentoring and advocating

ESF CFO3 Mentoring

The ESF CFO3 Project is designed to help serving prisoners and ex-offenders in the community improve their chances of employment.

St Giles Trust provides a mentoring service to help people engage with services and training to secure employment in the North and West Yorkshire areas.

We train and support volunteer mentors to assist individuals to overcome barriers to social inclusion, like confidence and low self-esteem. Some of our mentees may lack the skills and training they need to create a CV or the confidence to attend an interview. We provide the encouragement and support they need and help identify their goals and assist clients to achieve them.

Our St Giles Trust mentors help with any issue that needs addressing before their mentee can focus on employment or training. Typically, these could include substance misuse issues, education and training or housing issues.

We also offer the opportunity to become a volunteer mentor with the possibility of gaining a qualification (NVQ Level 2/3 Qualification in Mentoring).

The aim of ESF CFO3 Mentoring is to:

  • Offer mentor support to serving prisoners and ex-offenders
  • Reduce re-offending
  • Promote social inclusion and choice
  • Increase employability and employment
  • Reduce unemployment within the North and West Yorkshire areas
  • Overcome the barriers to getting back to work, education or trainign
  • Support individuals to access and use services and facilities

To access CFO3 you must be living or returning to live in the North and West Yorkshire area and be an existing CFO3 client.


St Giles Trust Yorkshire offers a counselling service to clients of this team. This is the only team at St Giles Trust to currently offer counselling. It offers clients 12 sessions of one-to-one therapy to help address issues which may be preventing them from moving forward. They are offered after-hours at St Giles Trust’s offices in Leeds to ensure discretion and confidentiality. Engagement with the service is entirely voluntary.

The therapists are engaged from local universities who are undertaking placements as well as fully qualified therapists who offer their services. All cases are reviewed and the therapists have external supervision meeting the requirements of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.