The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

LTHT celebrates graduates of Project SEARCH internship programme

1 August 2022

The achievements of young people were celebrated at a graduation ceremony last month following the completion of supported internships at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (LTHT).

At a special ceremony, interns Joshua Shoulder, Chris Howard, Thomas Cardiss, and Daniel Bedford, received certificates recognising their success on the Project SEARCH supported internship programme over the past several months.

Project SEARCH is an international transition-to-work programme committed to transforming the lives of young autistic people and those with learning disabilities. The internship programme has been successfully embedded across a variety of different sectors including the NHS.

M20220506 012DSC 0455The graduation ceremony in July was an opportunity for the interns to talk about their experiences on the programme and celebrate with their hosting teams. LTHT Chief Executive Sir Julian Hartley presented each of the graduates with a certificate and commended their efforts.

He said: “At LTHT we are committed to challenging discrimination and promoting equality both as an employer and a major provider of health care services. This fantastic scheme enables young people with learning disabilities to gain valuable experience in the workplace. It was an absolute pleasure to present our graduating interns with their certificates and I want to thank each of the teams who have made them feel welcome in our hospitals during their time here.”

He added: “Partnering with Leeds-based Lighthouse Futures Trust, this is a brilliant way to empower those in our community who might need a little extra help to progress in their careers. I look forward to our continuing partnership over the coming months.”

The Project SEARCH programme provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent-living skills to help young people make successful transitions to productive adult life. The intern works approximately 5-6 hours a day in a hospital department learning the standard work tasks and procedures of a team with time at the beginning and end of each day with their work coach.

The programme began in November 2021, and over the intervening months, each intern was able to gain a wealth of knowledge and skills. Read about each of their journeys on the programme by navigating via the links below:

The graduates now have apprenticeships and jobs lined up for the next year with LTHT.

This programme is hosted by the Trust and run in partnership with Leeds-based charity and Specialist College, Lighthouse Futures Trust.