Project SEARCH student Tommy Robertson is the first person on the programme this year to gain employment. Tommy has recently started full-time work as a patient services assistant on Alex Ward at NDDH.
Project SEARCH is a scheme that gives young people aged 18-24 with learning disabilities or autism a unique opportunity to gain real work experience at NDDH. Over a year the students undertake three, on-the-job, 10-week placements across a variety of departments within the hospital, with additional support provided by an experienced mentor who will show them the ropes.
Tommy has excelled in his first placement in the role and was invited to apply for the position by his manager.
Amanda Fairchild, zone coordinator, manages Tommy. Amanda said: “Tommy’s first Project SEARCH placement as a patient services assistant on Tarka Ward and Lundy Ward has been a great role for him to start off in, and he has excelled in this role. The positive feedback from ward staff and patients shows how much Tommy deserves his new job with Sodexo. It has been a pleasure to have Tommy with us, welcome to my team Tommy.”
Nikki Bayliss, Tommy’s mentor during his placement, said: “Its been an absolute pleasure teaching Tommy, he’s done so well.”
Tommy said: “ It’s a real privilege to work in the NHS.”
Tommy started on Project SEARCH with his fellow students in October 2018. The remaining students will now be completing the second of their three placements at NDDH.
Last year we were delighted to see 100% of learners gain employment within the NHS – a fantastic achievement and a huge credit to everyone who works so hard to support the programme.