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GEM News Archive

All past news articles are available to read, listed by date.

On Monday 24 September, GEM participants took part in a taster session to learn about the day to day running of Gloucestershire airport. Organised by GEM and Fly2Help, an aviation charity dedicated to bringing the enjoyment of flight to those who may not have had the opportunity to experience it, the day involved learning about the varied employment opportunities available at the airport and enjoying  a short flight in a small aircraft. The day was a great success, with all GEM participants enjoying the experience.

Another four participants attended the day to record the day for GEM publicity purposes and to utilise their marketing skills, from interviewing and reporting to photography and production of case studies after the event. 

GEM participant Keith said that even though he had lots of experience of airports around the world, it was still interesting to learn about the workings of a smaller airport. Fellow participant Jon, who has previous experience flying gliders and light aircraft, wanted to learn more of airport operations and hopes to one day work in an airport.  Other participants also said they’d like to find employment in the airline industry. 

Everyone who went up on a short flight loved the experience and the spectacular views, with some even having a chance to steer the aircraft for a short while. 

Article written by Daryl, GEM participant





GEM participants take flight on airport experience day

by Becky Boseley

We were delighted to be recognised with a mention from Alex Chalk MP in his recent article for The Cheltonian.  In the article, Alex talks about how he is urging local employers to look at the 'overlooked' pool of talent in their local area, including those with disabilities, and highlights the Access to Work Scheme as a great opportunity to support both parties.

  • cheltonian politics

This month with...

Alex Chalk MP for Chettenham

Unlocking the Potential

Cheltenham MP Alex Chalk discusses why he is urging employers to look at the 'overlooked' pool of talent that.our town has to offer

This monthat the Queen's Hotel, I heard a speech which knocked my socks offf. It wasn't from a famous politician, a well-known sportsman, or a captain of industry. Nor was it a soaring piece of highfalutin oratory. Instead, it was a quiet, understated address from a young Gloucestershire man who had set up an ice cream business. He called it Adam's Gelatos. What gave the speech added impact was that Adam had achieved his success despite being significantly disabled.

But Adam didn't want pity  He didn't want special treatment. All he wanted was a level playing field to let him show the world what he could do. It was immensely powerful and moving.

I have long been inspired to support people like Adam to fulf il their potential and achieve their dreams. I believe it is society's moral duty.

And Cheltenham is uniquely well placed to discharge that duty. Our town is home to the brilliant National Star College, recently graded as outstanding across all areas by both Ofsted and CQC. St Vincent's and St George's does remarkable work providing a range of care and support services to disabled people. The GEM project is breakindown barriers to work for those struggling with disabilities and mental health issues. GCHQ is a renowned public­ sector leader in this field. And who could forget the incredible Butterfly Garden?

Despite this local expertise, Adam emphasised that some employers are apprehensive about takingon disabled people. Despite noble intentions, they can be nervous about inadvertently saying or doing the wrong thing. But help is available. The Access to Work scheme offers over £20,000 in central government funding to companies to make necessary adjustments when taking on a disabled member of staff The Disability Confident campaign too provides advice to employers on how they attract, recruit and retain disabled workers.

Over 5000 employers have signed up.  I would urge local employers to look again at this pool of talent. Let's unlock potential in our disabled community. And let's support the next generation of disabled Gloucestershire entrepreneurs. 


GEM mentioned in article by Alex Chalk MP for The Cheltonian

by Becky Boseley