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Two interns from Project Search have used their catering skills to make a cake to celebrate their graduation from a scheme which helps young adults with learning disabilities to gain paid work.
Catherine Astles and Sophie Bernardes have spent the last academic year working in various departments at Derriford Hospital developing their abilities and learning new work skills.
The only two female interns joined forces to make the cake which became one of the highlights of the graduation.
Sophie reported that they made the cake in an afternoon, “We had a bit of trouble smoothing out the icing but I am pleased with how it looked.”
Catherine admitted it wasn’t easy saying, “It was tricky mixing it up as there was so much of it, we had to make two cakes.”
Before coming to Project Search, Catherine had completed a catering course but decided to learn new skills and try office work, “I tried administration as I had not done it before and really enjoyed the challenge.”
Catherine has now gained paid employment in the hospital working as a full time Administration Assistant.
Talking about her first paid job she said, “Getting a paid job has made all the hard work worthwhile, now I will be able to save up for my holiday in Las Vegas.”
“It makes me feel so proud and all the hard work has paid off.”
Sophie, who is actively job searching said, “Project Search has given me confidence in the workplace and in my everyday life.”
“I used to be really shy and worry about things but now I can sort out problems for myself.”
Talking about her future Sophie said, “I have done three internships in offices and now I’m ready for paid work.”
All the graduating interns will continue to receive in work and job searching support from Pluss on the Workchoice programme.
Four of the nine interns on the scheme have already found employment while the others are keen to put their skills to work in a paid job.
Pluss Employment Advisor, Pip Critten, said, “These young people set them selves such high standards, higher than most other people in employment, proving that they would be an asset to any employer.”
Any employer wishing to find out more about the interns and how they can benefit their businesses should contact Pip Critten on 07919 227040.
Videos of the interns in the workplace can be found on Youtube by searching for Project Search Derriford.
In Plymouth, Project Search is a partnership between Derriford Hospital, Serco, City College Plymouth and Pluss who work closely together to help the interns reach their employment potential, enrich their lives and independence skills.