St George’s celebrates Project SEARCH graduates
“It brightens up my day, it brightens up my life.” – That’s how Front of House Host Colin Davis describes his experience of being a mentor and soon-to-be volunteer for Project SEARCH.
This week we celebrated our six Project SEARCH students graduating after completing placements throughout the year at St George’s Hospital.
Project SEARCH is a scheme for young people with learning disabilities that helps to improve their skills in the workplace. It is a collaborative programme between Action on Disability, Cricket Green School and St George’s. The scheme has been running at St George’s for four years, has seen 21 people graduate with 15 now in employment. You can learn more about it here.
This year Adonis Gallimore, Sam Darby, Hayley Hall, Emily Martins, Nana Okai and Trevor Slinger took part in Project SEARCH at St George’s.
Karen Charman, Director of Workforce and Occupational Development, welcomed trainees, their families and staff alike to the Project SEARCH graduation 2016.
Bethany Madigan, Tutor, and Catherine Pymm, Job Coach, awarded the trainees with their certificates and spoke warmly about their experiences with each student.
Here both the students and their mentors share their thoughts on the scheme:
Adonis says: “I like teamwork, working in a team, I’ve always loved that. I like being busy and active. I would like a job to get better, I also want to be out and about – I don’t want to stay at home doing nothing with no one to talk to – that isn’t fun.”
Simon Clayton, Assistant Health Records Manager, says: “Adonis is an excellent, enthusiastic and customer driven young man, I believe he will be an asset to anybody who takes him on board.”
Sam says: “I would like a job to work hard and get lots of money. So you can use money to go to any places. I would go to museums in London and to steam railways and to go away to Lancaster because it has museums, canals and a steam railway.”
Robert Holdawanski, Head Gardener, says: “Sam is naturally a quiet lad, however when he joined us his confidence grew daily and he was very soon reacting with the rest of the team showing his daily sketches of plants and tools and expressing his own ideas.”
Hayley says: “I would like a job because I like learning new things, I like to be independent. It would make me feel happy and fantastic to have a job.”
Paula Lewis, Induction Programmes Co-ordinator, says: “Hayley is a very conscientious member of staff and is a real team player. She is courteous, punctual and reliable. Hayley works well with tasks that are clearly-defined and have a formal structure.”
Emily says: “I really enjoy working with people. I have been told I am a very happy bubbly person who inspires others. My laugh has been described as infectious and gets others laughing too. I would like a paid job because I get to be independent, I wouldn’t rely on my parents.”
Genevieve Dodoo, Play Specialist, says: “You get quiet children, but Emily gets them talking. Emily asks a lot of lovely opening questions, interacting really well with children, encouraging them by interacting with them to try new activities.”
Nana says: “I would really like to work in an office because it is quiet, it’s just you and the table and the stuff on the table. I would really like to find a job because I don’t want to be at home doing nothing. I would like to learn different things that I’ve never done before in the office.”
Clive Beckett, EDM Manager, says: “Nana comes in and she wants to work, she just gets on with it. I wish I had 20 Nana’s!”
Trevor says: “I have always wanted a job, when I was 17 I wanted to be in a job, but I have been volunteering. I would like a job because I enjoy working and it would be satisfying and rewarding. It’s a reason to get up every day and of course I would like to earn my own money.”
Ewa Ogbonna, Matron, Inpatient Recoveries, says: “We are very lucky to be able to offer one of our posts to Trevor. He will definitely be a valuable asset to our team.”
Congratulations to all our Project SEARCH graduates!