The GEM Project is an employability and social inclusion programme, helping people in Gloucestershire to overcome challenges to employment and move GEM ORANGE HRthem closer towards or into work.

It is a unique partnership of nearly 50 community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of the lead organisation Gloucestershire County Council and is jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and European Social Fund.

Individuals signed up to the GEM Project receive personalised one to one support from a Navigator Developer to help them achieve their career based goal, developing life skills, building confidence and self-esteem, whilst overcoming any barriers which prevented them from finding work previously.

The GEM Project has been operating since September 2016 and was initially due to end in December 2019. However, over the last three years, the project has continued to go from strength to strength, being recognised as an exemplar programme and has been awarded additional funding to run until the end of 2021.

For more information about the GEM Project visit


SVP lunch

We are pleased to have recently secured funding for two new projects. Firstly from the Big Lottery Reaching Communities programme who are funding our project Building Sensory Gardens with Local Communities.

We will be working in partnership with a wide range of community organisations to support communities to build sensory gardens starting in Stratford Park and then further afield as the project develops over four years.

Volunteer Lunch, Sensory Garden September 2018 Photo : DeborahRoberts


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Sarahs Field 2The field is becoming a place! It has pathways, fruit trees, entrance gates, picnic tables, a bog and two ponds, and benches to sit on and contemplate the view. On Tuesdays, volunteers meet to manage, mow and create habitats. Sarah’s Field is named after the girl who kept her horses here in the early 1900s. Her granddaughter, Pamela Thorpe, bequeathed the field to Berkeley Town Council as a green community space with a water meadow. On the site are toads, voles, fox and badger paths, resident starlings and sparrows.

Berkeley Town Council

Tired, hot pond-diggers: SVP heroes in the heat wave of summer 2018




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Capels Mill dipping

From May, Stroud District Council, who own the land at Capel’s Mill, provided funding for us to do eight days of maintenance, which we have run as sixteen half days.

We are having monthly workdays through the winter, where a core of volunteers lead the maintenance, cutting back to improve access and visibility, litter picking, scything and raking up the meadow, while Richard’s team have been maintaining the young trees: removing tubes, tying up fallen trees, mulching with woodchip.

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Woodworking for health and wellbeing

Greenhouse 1Greenhouse 2The Green Health Team has been working on a new project in partnership with The Beeches Day Care Centre, Beeches Green, Stroud. The centre, run by Gloucestershire County Council supports adults with physical and and mental disabilities.

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Slow worm 1Our contract work continues well with monthly visits to Rowcroft Medical Centre, Omnitrack at Rodborough Court, Tesco balancing pond (a site adjacent to Rackleaze Wetland) and our quarterly visits to The Apperley Centre, Stonehouse.

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Our education project


                 Wild Classrooms - see our video here


Wild Classrooms aims to support children’s outdoor learning and builds on the foundations laid by our earlier educational projects, Get Growing and Growing Wild. The project is funded by the Cotswolds Conservation Board’s Sustainable Development Fund and was launched in January 2017. Tamsin, the Wild Classroom project officer, has developed free resources which link what’s going on outside with the primary science curriculum. Every participating school gets up to three free visits from Tamsin, a seasonal poster and a class scrapbook / notebook.  

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Summerfield Trust



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Rackleaze Wetland, Cam

Since the last article in the newsletter Stroud Valleys Project and its regular Thursday volunteer group have been busy with habitat management work including the start of the annual comfrey ‘bash’ (cutting back) which was scythed (less messy than a brush-cutter), and the management of the newly planted hedgerow. This has suffered over the hot summer months and a number of plants have actually died which we will replace this coming autumn.

The volunteer group has also completely rebuilt the footbridge that crosses the ditch on site, a job which was achieved over two sessions to take down and build (see photos). We also hope to start giving the old boardwalk a wire brushing and wood preserve if weather will allow us!

Rackleaze 1ARackleaze 2ARackleaze 3A




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Sensory Garden, Stratford Park, Stroud Sensory Garden 1


The Wednesday team have finished off the building of the pergola under the watchful eye of Mike McCrea, idverde contract manager at the park. The team has moved on to creating a large raised flower bed made from a Cedar of Lebanon tree (Cedrus libani) that had fallen in the park, increasing seating areas for the public by installing three oak benches and a hexagonal tree seat as well as completing a further section of footpath adjacent to the small child play area.

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 Eco ShopOpened in May 2011 to help provide unrestricted income for our charity, our shop sells a wide range of new eco products, which includes those that help around the house andShop front Oct20 garden, and gifts. 

We like to stock environmentally versions of things customers buy regularly so please let us know of anything that we do not currently have which you would like us to stock. We can then look into whether we can!

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Stroud Valleys Project is a limited company,
registered in England and Wales

Registered number: 2224016    

Registered charity number: 900107

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Stroud Valleys Project

8 Threadneedle Street




Tel: 01453 753358


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