North Devonshire Healthcare Trust story

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16 / 6 / 2015 12.12pm

Partnership with Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, Project SEARCH, Devon County Council, PLUSS, and Petroc

Each individual completes three, ten to twelve week rotations where they can be placed in different roles to discover which roles they are best suited for.

Jenny’s Story

Project SEARCH has partnered with Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, Devon County Council, PLUSS and Petroc programme for people with learning disabilities. Each individual completes three, ten to twelve week rotations where they can be placed in different roles to discover which roles they are best suited for. Each role helps students increase their knowledge and skill base to enable them to gain employment.

In September 2014, Jenny’s joined the partnership to gain experience to get a paid job. Jenny’s first rotation saw her working hard as a domestic on staples ward. Jenny worked with a variety of team members and learnt a wide range of new skills. At the end of her placement Jenny’s mentor commented, “Jenny has been an absolute trooper, she has covered my shift when I couldn’t come in this week and other staff tell me she has been a terrific help”.

Jenny’s last rotation saw her supporting the physiotherapy team and she has currently applied for the position of support worker which will be a fantastic achievement.

How we did it

  • Project SEARCH has partnered with Northern Devon Healthcare Trust, Devon County Council, PLUSS and Petroc. 
  • Project SEARCH offers 12 month internships for young people with a learning disability with a large local employer. The supported internship programme consists of three, ten to twelve week internships in different departments at a local employer. 
  • Interns return to an on-site classroom to assess their day and learn communication, problem solving and job skills. They also follow an accredited course to complement their work skills.
  • Some adaptions are made to the interview process, such as allowing candidates to see the questions ten minutes prior to interview, if they had language processing difficulties. Working interviews are also undertaken.
  • The students go through an adapted induction programme at the beginning of the course to ensure they understand their new role and meet mandatory requirements for their honorary contract.
  • Mandatory training updated in smaller groups with trainers who have undertaken disability training to ensure their training is accessible.
  • Job creation based on business need.

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