These recent success stories were shared from our partnership with the GEM Project in Cheltenham: 

Colin: having always had problems with his reading skills, which contributed to him losing a previous employment position, and due to a bad break up, Colin’s mental health took a decline; he shut himself away and this really impacted his wellbeing. When joining the GEM Project in Cheltenham, Colin was partnered with Sam from CCP. Being able to confide in Sam and talk about his mental health made a massive positive difference to Colin’s life and helped him to rebuild his confidence.  

"The support he gave me made me confident to do what I am doing now. I never thought I would be reading like I am now."

Sam was able to suggest Read Easy, a project that offers confidential 1-1 support and reading coaching. Colin has flown through each reading level, and with their support has achieved his first ever qualification in Health and Social care. Now Colin is working for Fair Care; he started his employment journey as a driver and providing general help. He has now since progressed with his career and is a carer for Fair Care, looking after an individual with a brain injury.

"I am really enjoying my job and my employment journey, Before GEM I was lost, GEM and Sam helped me find my path to where I want to be in life."

Jo: having previously worked as a primary school teacher and a special education needs teaching assistant, Jo had been out of work for 5 years due to her mental health. Having volunteered with the local NHS Trust she realised needed wanted a career change and really wanted to be her own boss.  
Whilst on the GEM Project, Jo worked with her Navigator Developer, Paul from CCP. Together they built a plan to help Jo achieve her goal of setting up her business, finding a way to balance her work and mental health, and raising mental health awareness as her job. Where Jo had no experience running her own business, Paul was able to enrol her on a free 8-week online course through GEM called “Creating your own business start-up”, which enabled Jo to develop a full business plan ready for her new business. To also increase her skills and knowledge further Paul helped locate a course which looked at “Understanding children and young people’s mental health” at a level 2 qualification.
Jo has gone on to set up her own business which provides lived experience mental health training called “Train with Lime” She was also able to secure a second job part time with the NHS trust as a peer support worker.
“Without GEM, I wouldn’t have had the courage to make the move back into work but thanks to them, in the space of a year I have gone from being long-term unemployed to having two jobs, including running my own business.”