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DFN Project SEARCH interns celebrate graduation and 10th year site anniversary

Interns and staff from St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are celebrating the graduation of their 2022 cohort of interns who have successfully completed the lifechanging DFN Project SEARCH transition to work programme.

The young adults who took part in the programme with the hospital, which from June this year has now been running for over 10 years, will harness the skills that they have now learnt and go onto explore job opportunities with organisations in the local area.
Jacqueline Totterdell, Chief Executive St George’s University Hospital, said “Project SEARCH is one of the best things I’ve seen during my time here, and involves young people with learning disabilities being given job and career opportunities at the Trust. 70% of our trainees have secured paid employment over the last 10 years, two thirds about the national average, which is huge achievement. Everyone has the right to work, but people with learning disabilities are not always given the opportunities to realise their potential.”

“Having Project SEARCH trainees in our teams brings a number of benefits to the Trust, and helps create a more inclusive culture, so please do think about whether you can offer a placement in your team. I’ve attended previous trainee’s graduation ceremonies and hearing about their development and contribution to patient care is inspirational.”

Claire Cookson, DFN Project SEARCH CEO, said “On behalf of everyone at DFN Project SEARCH, I’d like to say a huge congratulations to these brilliant interns graduating this year, and thank you to all our partners for providing them with this life-changing experience. Everyone who has completed the programme has tremendous talent to offer as new employees. I’d encourage employers to invest in that talent, because I can guarantee they won’t be disappointed with the results.”