GEM Project, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust celebrates 1st birthday helping people facing barriers to work

The Gloucestershire GEM project, managed by the Gateway Trust, celebrated its first birthday with a large gathering at Pittville Pump Rooms in Cheltenham.

People representing the project’s 60 partners from the voluntary and community, business and public sectors heard how GEM (Going the Extra Mile) has already made contact with more than 500 people, helping them move closer
to training or work through a range of initiatives and activities.

In its first year, GEM has:

  • Helped 108 people into work
  • Supported 20 people with self-employment or start-up businesses
  • Delivered 110 practice interviews
  • Helped 108 people with finding a job
  • Placed 150 on volunteering or work experience
  • Supported 231 people gain a qualification or move into education or training

There was praise for GEM’s successes so far from Cllr Roger Wilson, Gloucestershire County Council Cabinet member, Tom Mcculloch from the Big Lottery – one of the two main funders – business owners and GEM participants.

The independent evaluators of the three-year programme, which supports people facing barriers to training and work, reported that a lasting legacy will be the links made between all the partners through the GEM network.

For a full report of the celebration event, including video interviews filmed by Fair Shares’ Reyaz Limalia, see

What is GEM?

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

GEM will reconnect people with their local services and ultimately help them achieve their desired work-based outcome through an individual personalised action plan. This programme is a unique partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council.

Going the Extra Mile GEM logo

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

For more information, please visit