Today seven young people with a learning disability graduated from our Project SEARCH programme.
Project SEARCH is a ground-breaking internship scheme based at Torbay Hospital. The project aims to remove the significant barriers faced by people with learning disabilities looking for employment and has had success all over the world. This is the fourth year it has been delivered in Torbay by Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, South Devon College and Pluss.
The graduates were presented with their certificates by Paul Cooper, Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Finance, Performance and Information at the trust.
Two of the six graduates have already secured paid work and the others all have job interviews
Nicole Ross, 19, from Barton in Torquay, has just been appointed as a Hospital Porter at Torbay Hospital. "Project SEARCH has been really good," explains Nicole "I have met some lovely people and was able to learn what it felt like to be in work. Now I have found my first ever paid job which has given me my independence. I was absolutely buzzing when I found out I had got the job. I have a learning disability and epilepsy but I have lots of skills to offer an employer. I am punctual, flexible and hard working. Thanks to Project SEARCH I have a future - I am so grateful to them for helping me find paid work"
Phillip Peters, 21 from Hele village in Torquay, has a learning disability and has also secured a job undertaking maintenance work across the hospital. "I am happy, hard working and enthusiastic. I never stop and will have a go at anything. I had never had paid work before and I feel so happy. I am independent now, can help pay the bills and support my Mum."