National charity St Giles Trust makes its Yorkshire home in Unity’s Leeds Media Centre

A national charity that helps people facing severe disadvantage to access jobs, homes and specialist support has set up a new regional base in Leeds, West Yorkshire.

St Giles Trust has moved into the Leeds Media Centre, one of three facilities close to the city centre owned and managed by Unity Enterprise. The company is a for-profit subsidiary of housing association Unity Homes & Enterprise (UHA).

Ali Akbor, UHA’s chief executive, said he was thrilled that the charity had chosen Leeds Media Centre to broaden its support for local communities in Yorkshire.

“St Giles Trust is a perfect fit for us,” he said. “Unity was set up as housing association more than three decades ago to help people in greatest need, with a particular emphasis on BME communities. We have achieved a lot in the intervening period, but our ethos has never changed.

“We have expanded our range of activities over the years to support local entrepreneurial endeavour through Unity Enterprise, and help our tenants and others to access jobs and training opportunities through Unity Employment Services.

“There are clear opportunities for synergy between St Giles Trust and ourselves, which I look forward to exploring. It is wonderful to welcome St Giles Trust staff into the Unity family.”

The trust was established 57 years ago in Camberwell, South London as a soup kitchen. It has since expanded its work across England and Wales to offer a vast array of services including skills training, help for individuals and families affected by financial hardship, prisoner rehabilitation and professional guidance for vulnerable adults.

In 2017/18, the charity helped 24,982 people through its services.

“As a charity who are committed to using our resources on our frontline work, finding high quality office space at affordable rates can often be a real challenge but is a necessary tool to be able to develop our work,” said Penny Hales, St Giles Trust’s support services manager. “We are very pleased to be working with Unity Homes and Enterprise, and our team are working well in Leeds Media Centre.”

NH

Main image: St Giles Trust staff with Unity Homes & Enterprise chief executive Ali Akbor (back row, second from right) and Unity Enterprise manager Adrian Green (back row, extreme right)

 

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