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Richard, Company Director at Sound House in Gloucester shares his experience of working with the GEM Project. He provided a five-week work placement to one of our GEM’s Rob.

“Rob was a keen musician but has mental health issues so therefore we needed to be realistic with what we could offer and support him with whilst he was with us.

Over the course of the placement we found that Rob found it hard to smile, maintain a conversation and use his own initiative, but his attention to detail was very good. Any tasks we set him that weren’t in public view where he was able to work independently, we found that if we set Rob clear instructions, he delivered these really well such as stock control.

It was really interesting dealing with someone with social issues. I’m an extremely honest and upfront person and felt that it was good for him to get an honest appraisal of his role.

We felt it was our responsibility to help Rob understand what job roles would be suitable and discover what could work for him, particularly as based on his strengths and weaknesses a customer facing or retail role wouldn’t be the most suitable.

Despite having to sometimes "spoon feed" Rob and make adjustments where relevant, this experience also helped our Assistant Manager Ben who is new to his role. It gave him the opportunity to develop his people management skills, learning how to talk to someone and get to grips with the ways that you manage people. It’s been a great first-hand experience for him.

We all saw Rob as a friend and wanted to help him as much as we could. We really enjoyed the experience and would be more than happy to take on more people to help them find their feet. It’s important to always put your faith in people, take people at face value and not let their past impact on their future.”

Sound House is a small independent musical instrument shop based in Gloucester, specialising in guitars, drums, keys, brass, woodwind, orchestral strings, sheet music, P.A and live music tech. The store has recently been awarded the GEM Exemplar Employer award for the support they have provided to Rob and the project. 

Sound House Company Director shares his experience of working with the GEM Project

by Nikki Davies