Young people with learning disabilities or autism celebrated finishing their hospital internships with a graduation ceremony, with several already having secured jobs.
The small graduation event, for 32 youngsters from Chelmsford College and South Essex College, took place at Basildon Hospital, where they received their graduation certificates from Cllr John Spence CBE, Cabinet Member for Health, Adult Social Care and Integrated Care System at Essex County Council
Over the past year the interns have worked in Basildon, Broomfield and Southend hospitals through the supported internship programme, providing them with skills and experience that they can use in the next stage of their career.
The interns gained first-hand experience in roles such as portering, catering, and working with Healthcare Assistants (HCAs), receiving guidance from skilled job coaches who helped them to prepare for roles in busy hospital departments.
The programme is run by Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust, Chelmsford College, and South Essex College, in partnership with Essex County Council. Some graduates from it have already been offered jobs at the Trust, which runs the three hospitals.
Because of this programme I now have a job and I feel really accomplished about what I have done over the past eight months. The programme has prepared me for the future ahead. The job coach and the Trust staff were very helpful throughout, and the patients were really kind.”Oliver Henson-Web, a Chelmsford College intern who has been offered a job at the Trust as an HCA
I’m really happy to have completed the course and to be here with the others from the programme. I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up, but within a week of starting at the hospital I was already asking for more hours!”
“The department has made me feel really valued, and so I’d say to anyone thinking of signing up, ‘give it a go’, and see where it takes you.”Archie Harrison, supported by South Essex College, who works in the stores department at Southend Hospital
It is wonderful to celebrate today with our colleagues from the Anchor supported internship programme. Across our hospital sites they have made such a valuable contribution to the Trust, both directly through their work placements, helping patients, visitors, and staff, and in helping us understand how to be more welcoming and inclusive as an employer.
“We know that any investment in young people is an investment in our future, and the success of our interns just proves how true this is in mid and south Essex.”Charlotte Williams, Chief Strategy and Improvement Officer at the Trust