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Hospital supported interns success for young people with learning disabilities

This week is Learning Disability Week (17-23 June) and hospitals across mid and south Essex are celebrating a group of young people with learning disabilities and autism who have successfully landed jobs through a Supported Internship programme.

Five interns who started their journey across Basildon, Broomfield and Southend hospitals last year, have now successfully secured roles, including positions in care, housekeeping and portering.

The programme, which is now in its third year, is a collaboration between Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, local colleges South Essex College and Chelmsford College and Essex County Council. Through this programme, the interns gain valuable skills for their career prospects while also supporting hospital departments.

Among them is Caitlin King, from South Essex College, who has been offered a Healthcare Assistant role at Basildon Hospital. With dedicated support from a job coach and ward staff during her training, she developed a strong understanding of the role and successfully clinched the job.

Caitlin said: “I am excited to start my new role and am looking forward to the future. I really enjoyed my time as with the Supported Internship. It helped me get a job I always wanted.”

Colin Brown, from Chelmsford College, made a great impression on the hospital team he was part of during the programme. His attentiveness, sincerity and polite nature earned him a position as a housekeeper at the Trust.

Colin said: “I'm really enjoying working with my new colleagues on the Children's Burns ward. If you believe you can, you're halfway there.”

Luis Williams, also from Chelmsford College, worked with a successful supported intern from last year and has now secured a role as a porter at Broomfield Hospital. The portering team at the hospital were impressed by his exceptional commitment and strong work ethic, which led to his success in becoming a Pharmacy Porter.

He said: “This has been a really nice experience on the internship and I am really excited about getting a job thanks to my job coaches, my mentor and the Portering Manager. I can't wait to start my new job.”

Rob Brunger, Associate Director of Human Resources and Head of Inclusion and Engagement at the Trust said: “It is delightful to see the success of the young people who have secured roles with us, but more importantly how they have grown and developed as people since they started on the programme. The success of the programme will always be measured by how many of the interns secure employment at the Trust but that is only part of the story. The life-skills and confidence gained by the young people since they started the programme is where the true value of the scheme is evident”.

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