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Success Stories

This section provides the chance to read about real individuals and their unique journey in how the GEM Project has helped them to move closer towards employment.


Gloucester | CCP

Before joining the GEM Project Honor was struggling to pay her rent. With two children and being a single Mum, she needed to find a job to suit school and childcare hours.

After a meeting with the Housing Association, she was put in touch with Navigator Developer Paul at CCP to help her find a suitable role.

Paul and Honor worked on her CV and looked together for different roles to apply for. An admin-based position came up at CCP which Honor applied for and is now working for CCP in their Cheltenham office, helping VCSE’s share their knowledge.

"I’m now no longer in rent arrears and have a role that I enjoy which fits in with school hours too. The GEM Project even helped me with childcare costs whilst I was on the project which was so helpful.

I’d definitely recommend the project to anyone even if you just need some extra help with your CV."


Gloucester | Brandon Trust

Dan was referred to the GEM Project through the enablement team after wanting to find work and get out of the house but not knowing where to turn.

“Before joining GEM I felt lonely, isolated and sad. I just stayed at home and didn’t talk to anyone.”

Sam, Dan’s Navigator Developer, worked with him to help build his confidence and provided lots of support with interview practice to get him job ready. He then applied for a role and is now a valued member of the Brandon Trust team working part time at their offices in Gloucester.

Sam comments “Being on the spectrum can make it hard to learn a new routine, so I was always on hand to support Dan, particularly when he first started his new job. He was really anxious that he would be unable to do the role, so we worked together to create a list of jobs that needed to be done and how much time to spend on each and now he’s like a completely different person; confident, capable and a model employee.”

“Earning my own money has made me much happier, I no longer feel sad. I go out much more often and have made new friends since working.”


Gloucester | Artshape

Gail shares her GEM journey so far and how art has helped her heal.

“For a long time I have struggled with quite severe mental health issues including bi-polar disorder.

Over the years, I have lost several people close to me which hasn’t helped me with my state of mind. I tended to just potter around my house and garden and turned to art in order to help me deal with things in the hope of healing me. I started working with cement and making various items including trees and teddy bears.

My artistic friend Dan, actually saw me as an artist… he brought the artist out in me and said how we should work together to create something. Unfortunately, earlier this year he also took his own life.

Then this Summer, I became involved in Gloucester Carnival and volunteered as an artist to help create some of the costumes. This led to meeting Donna at Art Shape and signing onto the GEM Project.

As part of my journey, I organised a community poppy painting workshop, inviting the local community to the Art Shape studio to paint cement poppies that I created. Last year, Dan produced various poppy paintings and I wanted to do something in order to commemorate him and his work but also do something for the local community.

Creating my art pieces has really helped me, it’s given me a focus, and I really want to help others who may also be struggling by providing an opportunity for them to get involved with art.”

The finished poppies will be placed around the local remembrance garden in Brockworth for everyone to enjoy.



Gloucester | GL Communities

Before signing up to GEM Daniel was struggling with an alcohol addiction which resulted in him losing his job. Although he knew he had a problem, he was unsure where to turn and as a result was recommended to sign up to the GEM Project.

Daniel had always been into music to help with his personal issues so worked with his Navigator Developer to turn this hobby into something more. After completing some confidence courses and volunteering at the Phoenix Centre, his self-esteem increased, and he has been playing at several small gigs with one of our other Navigator Developers.

“Joining GEM has been amazing. Dorrett has been like a rock. Playing at the Participants’ Council Summer Event was great – in fact it was my first time playing sober.

My end goal is to hopefully set up a band and to use music as some sort of therapy. It’s really helped me so can hopefully help others too. I’m still on my GEM journey but I’ve come a long way already and feel a lot better!”


Gloucester | Fair Shares

Karl was looking to find work after previously losing his job, which meant he was at risk of losing his home. After helping out at the Friendship Café for a few hours each week, he was put in touch with the GEM Project and met his Navigator Developer Farhanah.

“I had been homeless before and knew I had to find something to stop this from happening again. I was struggling with food and in rent arrears so knew it was time to get help rather than being on my own.”

Farhanah supported Karl to get back on track, and helped him with applying for a Community Researcher role with Gloucestershire Gateway Trust (GGT), a role she had previously done before becoming a Navigator Developer herself.

Now throughout the Summer Karl has been working as a researcher collecting data, views and suggestions from people in the community. This new role has also helped open more doors in the future, by providing the opportunity for him to find out more about different positions with other GGT partners.

“Before GEM I was in a bad place mentally, always anxious and depressed but now I have seen a real change in myself. It’s not only boosted my self esteem and confidence and helped me find a job but also helped me with general life related stress. Working with Farhanah has provided a sense of fresh air, it's been great knowing that you have support and someone just being there to help.”

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