A new group of ten trainees from Project SEARCH, which supports young people age 16-25 with a learning disability and/or autism who are on a journey to seek paid employment, have moved into their new base at Ysbyty Gwynedd.

The project began at Ysbyty Gwynedd in September 2017 and the group previously met at a temporary base inside the hospital. Thanks to the management team at Ysbyty Gwynedd the project is now benefiting from a larger space inside the old crèche on the hospital site.

Mandy Hughes, Workforce Modernisation Manager, said: “We are thrilled to now have a permanent base for our Project Search interns.

“Last year we were in temporary accommodation but I’m delighted to see the Health Board has shown they are committed to this project long term. We would especially like to thank Ysbyty Gwynedd’s Hospital Management Team for finding the project a permanent home.

“It is nice for the interns and delivery partners to have their own space and it creates a stronger identity for the project.

“The new interns are now very much looking forward to starting their placements to develop their skills, gain experience and grow their confidence and independence.”

The Project SEARCH team saw huge success in their first year which has seen 70% of interns going on to paid employment.

One of those was Sarah-Jayne Mawdsley, who was diagnosed with Mosaic Down Syndrome at a young age, Sarah, secured a two year apprenticeship at Ysbyty Gwynedd after her internship within the Pharmacy department last year. She said: “I’m just really happy that this has happened to me.

“From a year ago I never thought I’d get here and it’s a big deal for me. If it wasn’t for Project SEARCH then I wouldn’t be here at all.”

Tracey Amos, Senior Workforce Modernisation officer, said the project is always on the lookout for placements across the Health Board, and in particular in Ysbyty Gwynedd for the Project SEARCH interns.

She said: “We have been successful in securing placements for our interns in areas such as the Emergency Department, Pharmacy, Facilities, Estates, Admin, Radiology, Sterile services, Pathology and community health centres within the first year.

“However, we would be keen to find placements across all areas in BCUHB for our Project SEARCH interns.

“We would encourage anyone who would be able to offer a placement in their department to get in touch with us on BCU.ProjectSEARCH@wales.nhs.uk.”
Project SEARCH is made possible through funding from Engage to Change and a collaboration between BCUHB, Grwp Llandrillo-Menai, Agoriad Cyf and Learning Disability Wales.

For further information visit http://www.engagetochange.org.uk/

Photo: The group outside the new Project SEARCH home.