GEM ORANGE HR crop Feb 19The GEM Project is jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund. 

The GEM Project at The Beeches

The Tuesday group volunteers based at The Beeches Day Care Centre have been welcoming new GEM Project participants who have been signposted to us by our GEM Navigator Developer, Julie Wickham.

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The group have been venturing in to new areas like gaining woodworking skills by making garden bird boxes along with a new swift box design that we have embarked upon making.

A big thank you to John of Stroud Swift Group for his input - he helped us with the design and we are now in the steady production of a number of these types boxes (see photo). Look out for them on sale at our eco shop at 8 Threadneedle Street, Stroud!

As the group has been growing vegetables at The Beeches over the summer months, including cucumber, tomatoes and aubergine to name a few, we called in our own expert chef Katherine Hallewell to help us turn produce into product. This included teaching sessions in making chutney and damson butter (a spread not a jam) at the OPENhouse Community Kitchen, Gloucester Street, Stroud.

The cooking session run by Katherine was very well organised and had everyone (all 10 of us!) working at different tasks to produce both our own spicy tomato chutney and damson butter. All ingredients came from our sites and projects - for example, vegetables from The Beeches, damsons from Kingswood Newt Ponds - and jars were brought in by volunteers. This made the session more enjoyable for all.

Over the last few weeks the group have also embarked on a small project for the Back from the Brink Butterfly Conservation team based at our office. They have collected wild thyme cuttings from three commons around the district in the hope that we may be able to propagate and grow them on at The Beeches.

Wild thyme is the main food plant of the Large Blue butterfly whose caterpillars rely on it as a main food source. If this experimental project works then the plants will be planted back onto their particular commons in the hope of providing the butterfly populations with more food sources.

Several of our GEM participants are developing skills towards being self-employed and the project is looking at broadening their horizons in terms of what can be done in order to earn a living through self-employment.

 

Growing Making Selling

Have you been unemployed for 6 months or more?Growing Making Selling

Would you like to:-

  • Grow plants, fruits and vegetables and make them into saleable products?
  • Learn the skills needed to set up and run a market stall?
  • Develop marketing skills for products you create?

Enjoy a bit of support as you supplement your income.

Any GEM participant can come and work with us and create things that can be sold. We will be developing a variety of products and making them ready for market.

If you have been unemployed for 6 months or more and are looking to get back to work or to become self employed then this is the course for you.

Come and join us and have some fun.

 

Going the Extra Mile (GEM) project

Julie GEM

The GEM project continues to go from strength to strength for Stroud Valleys Project. People who have been out of work for 6 months or more can have help to find work through the GEM project via Julie, who is our Navigator Developer. Navigator Developers offer 1:1 support to help people make the most of the many talents they have.

We have been able to apply for small amounts of funding to help people take a new direction in their lives. We can also refer people to other agencies and charities who may be able to help them.

Julie title

Our specialism is outdoor and environmental work, but we also have supported work placements in our office, which has helped us with fundraising and marketing. It is a great way to help people gain confidence in a friendly setting.

We are very pleased to have recently been recognised as an Exemplar Employer through the GEM project.

Some recent successes include a participant who has just started a counselling course, another has found a new home since being involved with the project, and a third participant has been for a job interview – the first for them in ages.

The GEM Project is a unique partnership of organisations in Gloucestershire including voluntary, community and social enterprises who have committed to work together to help people to overcome barriers and improve their lives.

If you would like to find out more about this project, please contact Julie at our office on 01453 753358.

Autumn/Winter 2017

Gem garden before

TGem garden afterhis project now has 11 participants who have signed up through our charity. 

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund, the GEM Project aims to engage with and support individuals within Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work.        

Its aim is to move people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment. The programme is a unique and unprecedented partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council and we are proud to be a part of it.

Our Navigator Developer is Julie Wickham and she said, “We are really enjoying the GEM Project. Our charity has always been about ‘going

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the extra mile’. The GEM Project enables us to help our volunteers in a very constructive way.”

The pictures here show the results of some stone walling training undertaken by some GEM participants.

The Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Project aims to engage with and support individuals in Gloucestershire who are currently dealing with circumstances that are potentially causing barriers to work and move these people closer towards education, training, volunteering or work, including self-employment.

This programme is a unique partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.

The GEM organisations have committed to work together to help people overcome barriers and improve their lives. Navigator Developers within the GEM project offer 1:1 support to help people make the most of the many talents they have, and we are very pleased to host a Navigator Developer at Stroud Valleys Project.

“It means a great deal for our charity. The GEM project has given us the time and resources to enable us to get to know our volunteers just that bit better. It has given us the time to network with other charities and find out about other services that are available to help them,” said Julie Wickham, Stroud Valleys Project's Navigator Developer.

Thanks to the Extra Mile Fund we have recently been able to send two people on a Cotswold stone wall course, run by the Cotswolds Conservation Board, enabling them to study for their Llantra Level 1 certificate in Cotswold stonewalling. This will not only help them, but will help our charity in the outdoor work we do.

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Both volunteers have offered to help teach others involved with us the skills they have learnt.

One volunteer said, “It was well worth doing and very satisfying. I would recommend it to anyone. It’s a great way to keep the old traditions alive. Thank you to GEM and Stroud Valleys Project for making this possible.”

If you or someone you know may be interested in this project, or for further information, contact Julie Wickham or Clare Mahdiyone on 01453 753358.

The GEM Project is jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund. 

You can also find more information at glosgem.org

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

Stroud

Gloucestershire

GL5 1AF

Tel: 01453 753358

Email: info@stroudvalleysproject.org

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