In October 2016, Apex Charitable Trust in Merseyside where recognised as a centre to offer accredited courses and qualifications through Open Awards.

Our service users (women ex-offenders) can access our Level 2 Award in Peer Mentoring, which offers training and support to equip our service users with the skills they need to act at Peer Mentors. Their role is then to support others who are at an earlier stage in their journey towards desistance from offending.

The Level 2 Peer Mentoring Award is a key qualification for our peer mentors to have when moving into further training, education or employment. This offers a progression route for those who wish to undertake voluntary work as a means of developing work experience and/or building their skills.

Apex Trust team complete the Manchester Color Run on the 1st July 2017

EMPLOYEES from St Helens based charity Apex Trust took on the Manchester Colour Run to help raise vital funds to continue their work.

Founded in 1996, Apex works with ex-offenders to help them back into employment and training.

Twenty years on, the team comprises seven staff, three of whom first came to Apex as service users, and eight volunteers – many of whom also know the services from the other side.

Over the last two years, 43 per cent of those who have signed up for Apex’s accredited training programme have gone on to secure employment.

In order to maintain current service levels the charity needs to fundraise an additional £15,000 over the coming six months. The money goes towards funding childcare, so women can attend training courses, as well as equipment such as hairdressing starter kits, CSCS cards and providing clothing to attend job interviews.

Kim Hughes, Apex Chief Executive, said: “It is rarely a simple life story that leads to a local woman living with a conviction and feeling that she has few, if any, prospects.

"Apex regularly listens to people who have been caught in the eye of a perfect storm of a combination of circumstances ranging across poor mental health, physical and psychological domestic abuse, debt, drug and alcohol problems, and disrupted education. With the right support positive change can start to happen fast.”