Project SEARCH scoops national award

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Photo of awardProject SEARCH, our supported employment internship programme based at Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, has won another award to add to its collection.

The award recognises the achievement of 72% of its graduate interns gaining full time paid employment during the academic year.

The Project, now in its eighth year, assists young adults with Learning Disabilities to gain paid employment and is a partnership between Derriford Hospitals NHS Trust, Pluss, Serco and City College Plymouth.

The interns work within Derriford hospital five days a week for an academic year whilst completing a Level 1 Diploma in Employability and gaining work skills within a wide range of departments.

On presenting the award Anne O’Brien, Project SEARCH Programme Specialist for Europe, said: “The Derriford Hospital Project SEARCH is one of our longest established and most successful sites in the UK and have enabled over 40 young people with learning disabilities to gain full time, mainstream paid employment.

“They are true to our principles and have shown that by providing the right support people with learning disabilities can be excellent workers and an asset to any organisation.”

City College Plymouth tutor Michelle Petrie, who collected the award, commented: “I’m very proud of all the students who have been on Project SEARCH, they are so dedicated and committed.

“We look forward to continuing the project and supporting many more to reach the employment goals, it’s fantastic working with such a lovely team.”

Internships within the Hospital are co-ordinated by Pluss Employment Advisor, Pip Critten, who said: “One of the keys to our success is the way each partner is fully on board with the ethos of the programme and ensures that, where needed, processes can be reasonably adjusted to allow the interns to shine and achieve at the highest level.

“Being part of Project SEARCH is a huge privilege and humbling experience, supporting young adults to achieve and develop beyond their dreams is immensely rewarding.”

For further information about the programme contact Pip Critten, Employment Advisor for Plymouth Project SEARCH on 01752 439008 or 07771 967804.