Milly left Rednock School with several GCSEs in June 2017 and had lots of ideas about her future ranging from going to university to study English Literature, Travel & Tourism or Journalism to seeking work.
“I left school with lots of ideas but no real direction or plan and spent my first year out of school doing pretty much nothing,” reflects Milly. “Out of the blue last year the Gloucestershire Youth Support Team rang me to see what I was doing and spoke to me about the GEM Project”.
GL11 is a partner in the county wide Going the Extra Mile (GEM) Project which is committed to supporting individuals to move them closer towards education, training, volunteering or work. The project is unique in that support is tailored around the specific needs of the individual, working at their pace, building confidence, self-esteem and motivation.
“Having been referred to the GEM Project I met with Lucy at GL11. I have Cerebral Palsy and based on my experiences at school I was worried that Lucy may judge me. I could not have been more wrong! Lucy has taken the time to get to know me, to understand my dreams and aspirations and together we have come up with an action plan which has given me a sense of purpose and direction”.
“Working with Milly has been so rewarding” comments Lucy Farmer, GEM Navigator Developer at GL11. “When Milly first came to us, I could see that she was a confident, positive young person with a lot to offer an employer although her self-esteem was low. Together we looked at her strengths and interests and identified that she enjoys administration and project support. We looked at various options and the apprenticeship route seemed perfect. Milly was shortlisted for an apprenticeship at Stroud District Council and is now in the process of applying for an apprenticeship with the National Association of Therapeutic Parents”.
“Even though I did not secure the apprenticeship at Stroud District Council, I learnt a vast amount from the process: from completing the application, preparing for the interview, undertaking the skills test and getting feedback” says Milly, “Lucy has shown me different pathways which I did not know existed, she has been a professional friend. I still feel positive about my future and I know that with Lucy’s continued support I will find something soon”.
The Going the Extra Mile Project – also known as GEM – aims to engage and support individuals within Gloucestershire whose circumstances or experiences are potentially causing barriers to work, helping them to take positive steps towards employment.
This programme is a unique and unprecedented partnership of community based organisations, managed by Gloucestershire Gateway Trust on behalf of Gloucestershire County Council. The GEM Project is jointly funded by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund.