Finding Hidden Gems in Bideford

EDP Drug & Alcohol Services has received funding from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All grant scheme to develop its innovative programme Hidden Gems in Bideford.

Hidden Gems supports people who are out of work towards and into employment to develop and build employment skills. Over the course of the programme those who take part learn how to design, make and sell jewellery and other handcrafted products from recycled and reclaimed metals. Currently the project works with people in Exeter but this funding will enable us to offer Hidden Gems pop up sessions in Bideford, Barnstaple, Exmouth and Newton Abbot.

This means that EDP can help more people like Mike. Mike had been ill for a long time after having a brain tumour removed. He heard about Hidden Gems at the YMCA job club, was immediately interested and decided to sign up. He had never made jewellery before but found that it was something he could do and he enjoyed. He developed his own style of jewellery which he was able to sell at events and at a gallery in Teignmouth. During his time with Hidden Gems he re-established a ‘work/life routine’ and achieved a qualification. Mike said:

“I was ill for ages after my operation and I needed to get back to work. Hidden Gems was great! With references from Hidden Gems I was able to get a job placement and get back into factory work. Being in work makes me feel good and that I’m doing something for the community.”

The first pop up sessions will take place at Integr8 Wellbeing Centre in Bideford. The six week course will start on Thursday 27th July between 11am and 3pm – and then every Thursday until 31st August.

If you are interested in taking part in a Hidden Gems pop up session please contact Angela Holmes on or by calling 07841 922 181. You can visit for more information.

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