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Sue Cunningham, Manager of GL Communities recently shared with the GEM team how the GEM Project has helped compliment the services GL Communities offers to their local residents.

“Everything we do is person centred; an individual comes to GL Communities and they are our core focus, placed in the middle of our organisation. We have four themed areas; wellbeing and social inclusion, advice and advocacy, community economic development and education and employability. GEM leads our employability thread and helps us to focus on how to really support GEM participants within our organisation.

GEM has had an amazing effect on us, it’s helped us to change our thinking as an organisation. It has been the seed which has grown everything else, providing a knock-on effect into lots of areas in GL Communities.

Working with GEM has enabled us to work with organisations with different specialisms, we may not be able to help someone who comes to us with a specific need but can tap into other GEM partners and their expertise to ensure the best experience for the individual.
GL Communities focuses on wellbeing and helping to grow our local people, providing opportunities for people whilst also offering different services and resources.

A recent GEM has just started her own yoga business and we are now working with her to provide “armchair” yoga to an over 65 group and a community yoga session for local residents. We have also supported her with links to other organisations in the area which we currently have to see if there are other opportunities for yoga to be taught. It’s all about working together! We have helped support her business, but she has also helped us to increase and develop our service offering, adding value to our organisation.  

GEM is definitely a tool – it provides resources that you can use. It’s about embracing what GEM is achieving and seeing the bigger picture; not only supporting GEM’s through 1:1 support during their time on the project, but after their journey to develop them further, which in turn can benefit your own organisation.”

The GEM Project not only helps participant's but partner organisations too

by Nikki Davies