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After our first few successful weeks of #GEMonline; we bring you another week of online activities to support GEM participants and the wider community; including family and friends, partners and supporters, organisations and colleagues... #GEMonline is open to everyone.

#GEMonline is here to support you with your employability journey, develop new skills or simply help your mental health and well-being with various activities. 

It's also worth noting that you can join these sessions and be fairly anonymous too, not sharing yourself on camera or even speaking. We've had people join activities without having to comment or speak, just simply to enjoy the session. We understand it can be daunting having to speak out loud in front of strangers and would not want to put you in that position... #GEMonline is simply here to help you and if you'd like to contribute you can!


Below is the programme of activity planned for week commencing 20th April. 

#GEMonline timetable for week commencing 20th April

A reminder: if you or your organisation is interested in supporting this initiative by providing a session for #GEMonline, please get in touch by emailing

#GEMonline - our online platform open to all. New timetable for week commencing 20th April now released

by Nikki Davies

As we reach near the end of our first week since launching #GEMonline we wanted to take this time to remind you that this online platform is open to everyone... GEM participants and the wider community, including family and friends, partners and supporters, organisations and colleagues. 

This week so far has seen mock interviews, Yoga sessions and online course support. We're excited to announce even more activities for next week and various other sessions in the pipeline from GEM partners and other stakeholders. 

Below is the programme of activity planned for week commencing 13th April. 

#GEMonline timetable for week commencing 13th April

Next week's sessions include activities from our friends at, the National Careers Service, GL Communities, BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Forwards Gloucestershire.

As mentioned last week, we really want for this to grow each week to provide the best support possible for people during this Covid-19 outbreak. Therefore, if you or your organisation is interested in supporting #GEMonline by providing an activity, please get in touch by emailing

#GEMonline Timetable for week commencing 13th April - Designed for ALL to take part in

by Nikki Davies

This week we are pleased to announce the launch of our new initiative #GEMonline; a programme of online activities to support GEM participants and the wider community.

This online training and support programme will provide opportunities for people to continue their development, maintain their wellbeing and minimise the effects of isolation during this time. Filled with five core themes, #GEMonline will offer:

  • Activities to help GEMs continue their employability journey: #EMPLOYABILITY
  • Taster sessions to learn new skills and talents: #SKILLS
  • Ideas to support mental health and wellbeing: #WELLBEING
  • Practical and relevant advice and information: #INFORMATION
  • Fun and social activities to help reduce isolation: #SOCIAL

Each week a new timetable of activities will be released for everyone to access and join in. Below is the programme of activity planned for this week, week commencing 6th April. 

#GEMonline timetable for week commencing 6th April

We are keen for this to continually develop to provide support and activities to help people during this time. Therefore, if you or your organisation are interested in supporting this initiative by providing a session for #GEMonline, please get in touch by emailing

Now more than ever, we need to be there for our GEM participants and the community, show our support and help in any way possible. 

Introducing #GEMonline... An online training & support programme designed for you

by Nikki Davies

Now, more than ever our core focus is providing the best support we can to our GEM participants. 

Samantha Mullaney, Navigator Developer at the Brandon Trust shares some of the activities she has been doing to ensure her participants feel supported during this uncertain time and even keep on track with their GEM goals. 

"As a Navigator Developer on the GEM Project, this was always going to be a testing and difficult time to carry on working with our participants.

Not being able to support my participants with face to face meetings has caused me to think outside of the box!

To begin, I made sure that most, if not all of my GEM’s had access to some form of video calling to help keep in touch.  

 I then made a list of which of my participants were particularly vulnerable with their mental health, living alone or had other complex needs. These participants were my main priority to keep the channels of communication well and truly open. I also created daily routines for those that need structure around their spectrum barriers.

I’ve enrolled most of my participants onto some online learning, keeping this relevant to their GEM education or employment goal.  I’ve been helping a young adult who is doing his functional skills, so we video call twice a day so I can support him with the terminology as he is from another country, an hour for maths and an hour for English.

Some of my participants may struggle with some of the course contents and terminology, so we book video calls daily and I go through the course with them explaining anything they are struggling with. On occasions, my participants can lack focus and motivation so I also book video calling slots to support them whilst they are learning, being on hand to encourage them when needed.

A handful of my participants struggle with social anxiety; since supporting them on the GEM Project, we had worked really hard on being out in the community to help build confidence, but with the latest government restrictions this is led to them not going out at all even for their one daily exercise.  Therefore, with the use of video calling I am joining a young lady on a short walk, keeping close to our own houses chatting to each other about our different surroundings. This is proving a huge success, it’s giving her fresh air and a sense of reassurance knowing she still has company albeit in a slightly different format.

I also feel this whole experience is improving their communication skills and keeping a sense of time.

These calls are a time to provide them with some social interaction, just chatting about day to day things and providing them with some much-needed reassurance that we can still progress on their GEM journey. We can still hit our goals but just in a different way and in a slightly different time frame and that we need to continue to be positive and just adapt our plans when needed."



Our Navigator Developer's are Going the Extra Mile for our GEM's to ensure they stay safe and are supported during this time

by Nikki Davies

Over the course of the last three years, the GEM Project has been working with employers across Gloucestershire to provide work-based opportunities to participants.

During this time, it has been made clear that businesses have been able to reap a huge range of tangible business benefits from employing or providing an opportunity to participants who may have not been considered previously.

There have already been various employers across the county who have benefitted from embedding an inclusive workforce including Specsavers, Gloucester Services, Emma Willis, Coventry Building Society and Hubble Bubble Coffee House, which has positively impacted on each business; from tapping into a new pool of talent to reducing staff turnover and recruitment costs, increasing staff morale and better understanding their own customer base.

As a result, a new initiative has been developed, Inclusivity Works, with the ambition to support employers in recognising the real business benefits of being more inclusive in their workplace.

This campaign will provide a useful resource hub and support network for employers which contains relevant and engaging information to help and assist organisations in becoming more inclusive and how to tap into these business benefits.

Inclusivity Works will be officially launched at a special event on Tuesday 21st April at the Business School, University of Gloucestershire in which employers will be able to hear first-hand from Gloucestershire businesses as they share how becoming more inclusive has benefited their own business.

Lord Mark Price, former Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership will also be attending the event as keynote speaker to share his thoughts on leadership and inclusivity.

By sharing business experiences, Inclusivity Works aims to inspire more employers to work with us and with our support, take advantage of some fantastic, talented and motivated potential employees.

Join us as we work together to make Gloucestershire a beacon for inclusivity in the UK.

For more information about the campaign and to register your interest for the event, please email

The GEM Project is a partnership involving more than 40 organisations across the county managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. It is jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund. 

Inclusivity Works… the new campaign to showcase that being more inclusive works wonders for your organisation

by Nikki Davies

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