Project SEARCH graduation celebrations

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Photo of graduatesParents, relatives, colleagues and friends watched on with enormous pride as nine equally proud interns, graduated last week from Project SEARCH Derriford, following nine months of intensive work-based training.

Project SEARCH is a partnership between Plymouth Hospitals NHS Trust, Pluss, Serco and City College Plymouth who work together to create employment opportunities for young adults living in Plymouth who have learning disabilities.

The interns, all of whom have learning disabilities, have been working in Derriford Hospital on honorary contracts, whilst developing and learning new work skills.

With these nine interns graduating from the most recent cohort, this now brings the overall number of interns to have graduated from the initiative to more than 60 in the last seven years. In addition to this, four of this year’s graduates have secured employment.

At last Tuesday’s ceremony, held at the Derriford Centre for Health and Wellbeing, the students and their guests heard about the various internships the interns had undertaken, their experiences and the skills and confidence they had acquired from their time working within the hospital.

Describing her time at Project SEARCH, graduate intern, Georgina Clements, who has worked within the laboratories in the hospital, said: “Project SEARCH has given me the experience of working in environments that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise.It’s given me confidence and shown me I can do more than I thought I could do.”

James Palmer added "I’m proud of the skills I have gained and know that they will help me in the future”