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We are so proud of our Navigator Developers and behind the scenes GEM team, and how they are truly 'Going the Extra Mile' to support our participants. 

Here are a few snippets of some of the activities our team has been up to, to ensure our participants have the best access and support to the GEM Project, whilst also helping their general wellbeing. 

During this time, accessing information online is vital but we understand this can be difficult for some of our GEMs without the right technology. Sam from The Brandon Trust recently helped one of our GEMs get access to their own laptop so we are still able to continue supporting them.

"Having this laptop is the best thing that's happened to me in a long time. It's so much easier to apply for jobs and take part in online meetings and I couldn't be happier with it."


Emily, Navigator Developer at Inclusion Gloucestershire has also been continually supporting one of her GEMs and providing online help.  

"Throughout the lockdown period I have continued to engage as a GEM participant.  I have received regular contact and support from my Navigator Developer which has helped me feel connected at a time when other services and opportunities are on hold.  Over the last few weeks I have taken part in a variety of online sessions focusing on interview skills and wellbeing via GEM Online.  The sessions are useful and help take my mind away from negative thoughts.  I am pleased to be continuing in my voluntary role with Inclusion Gloucestershire.  They have provided me with a laptop which enables me to complete admin tasks at home and I engage with my colleagues regularly via Microsoft Teams.  Video conferencing is a new skill for me.  My mental wellbeing has been affected by the lockdown.  However, my engagement with GEM and Inclusion Gloucestershire has helped me to stay positive and connected."


Navigator Developer Daniel from GRCC has also been going above and beyond to help his participants, most recently supporting a GEM in getting a new fridge freezer. After being informed that it was broken, Dan sat on the phone with the GEM whilst they did some mindful arts and crafts to help reduce their stress levels which was strongly impacting on their mental health. He then helped with applying for a grant to purchase a new appliance as well as searching local companies that could provide a fridge freezer that was the correct size and cost. 

The GEM Project is always here to support our GEMs even more so right now

by Nikki Davies

Jen, Navigator Developer based at the Forest Upcycling Project has been supporting a GEM participant during this lockdown period who had been struggling with social isolation and anxiety. 

"Running 100 miles a month and reading are the two things most important to my GEM participant. Over the last couple of weeks I found out that he has run out of books and that his running shoes were worn beyond use. I have been able to get some books to him quite easily but knowing he cannot afford new running shoes I thought I would try social media to see if anyone had a pair they no longer needed. I posted the request on the community page where I live as part of the GEM Project one afternoon, and by the following morning a number of people had offered donations to buy him a new pair - £55 has been given which allowed him to choose his own pair."

Ben, GEM participant comments, "I honestly don't know what to say, I'm absolutely flabbergasted. It's one of the kindest things anyone has ever done for me. I'm sure how I can put into words how appreciative I am. The embarrassment of wearing them out and about never bothered me really, but they had become literally unwearable and were starting to do damage."

The support from Jen and the kindness from the local community has now enabled Ben to continue with his running, an activity that really helps support his mental health and wellbeing. 

Click here to hear Ben's Thankyou

We'd love to hear your #GEMThankyou too. Simply send your message to

Let's share our amazing stories and spread the word about how thankful we are during this time. #GEMThankyou is open to all - whether you are enrolled on the GEM Project, supporting someone on the GEM Project or just part of our wider community.


Ben shares his #GEMThankyou for the help provided to buy some new shoes!

by Nikki Davies

We're really excited to publish our latest #GEMonline timetable which is filled with various activities to help you develop new skills or support your general mental health and wellbeing during this time. 

Not only do we have some regular slots such as our Yoga session and Mock Interviews, this week also includes new activities from Gloucester Rugby Foundation, Artshape, Forwards Gloucestershire, former GEM participant Ines and @ExploreChange. There is also a new course due to start from Gloucestershire Deaf Association following their taster session this week. 

Below is the programme of activity planned for week commencing 27th April. 

#GEMonline timetable for week commencing 27th April

Remember #GEMonline is open to all, designed to support everyone during this uncertain time. 

If you have any suggestions on other activities that we could potentially include in our #GEMonline timetable or can provide a session, please get in touch by emailing

A massive thank you to everyone who has supported this online programme so far and we look forward to growing this platform. 

New week = New Skills: Our #GEMonline timetable for week commencing 27th April is now available!

by Nikki Davies

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

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