Hackney Council,

Project SEARCH interns graduate from Homerton Hospital


Parents, relatives, colleagues and friends watched on with enormous pride as eight equally proud interns graduated on Friday 5 July from Project SEARCH at Homerton Hospital, following nine months of intensive work-based training.

The Project SEARCH internship is a partnership between Homerton Hospital NHS Trust and Hackney Council, who worked together to create employment opportunities for young adults with learning disabilities, special education needs and/or a disability (SEND) living in Hackney. 

The interns including Alexandra Njoku, Summai Lerner-Edgell, Shakhae Merrifield, Jordell Allen, Jason Young, Shay Al-Rumaithy and Satpal Singh have been working in Homerton Hospital on different placements ranging from retail, catering and ward support, whilst also developing and learning new work skills.

At the award ceremony held at the Education Centre at Homerton Hospital guests heard about the interns’ individual experiences, and the skills and confidence they had acquired on their placement at the hospital.

Alexandra Njoku, 22 completed three placements including Outpatients 1, Outpatients 2, Fracture Clinic and note taking for Healthcare Records.

This internship has prepared me for paid employment. I now know I want to work in either an office or catering environment.  I look forward to my future career.
Alexandra Njoku, 22

Satpal Singh, 24 also completed multiple placements such as working at WHSmiths and the hospital restaurant, Chatters.

I have developed my communication skills, listening skills, ability to make eye contact, reading skills and have enjoyed working in a team. In the future I want to work in a coffee shop, supermarket or in an office similar to Healthcare Records.
Satpal Singh, 24

The ceremony was attended by senior members of staff from the hospital and Council, including Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources, Cllr Carole Williams, who handed out the awards.

Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources
It is an honour and a privilege to be presenting the certificates to the interns who have worked hard over the past nine-months. Not only have they developed the skills employers are looking for, we have learned from their managers and mentors how much their confidence has grown since starting the programme. 

The positive difference this has made has been borne out in the successful application for paid employment at the Homerton and will make a big difference for those moving on to paid work placements, or attending  apprenticeship scheme assessment days.

The Project Search placements work hand-in-hand with employment and training opportunities available to all residents, through programmes such as the Council’s Hackney 100 scheme and Apprenticeship programme.
Cllr Carole Williams, Cabinet Member for Employment, Skills and Human Resources

The Supported Employment initiative is part of the Council’s wider work around building an inclusive economy so that all residents can participate in and benefit from the opportunities which arise from a successful economy in Hackney.

We have been delighted to partner with Hackney Council to launch Project Search at the hospital. The interns have made a significant contribution within their teams and it has been a joy to host them here and we are excited to welcome the second cohort of Project SEARCH interns in September.
Andy Williamson, Head of Resourcing at Homerton University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

To find out more about the Council’s Supported Employment scheme and other employment opportunities visit: https://hackneyworks.hackney.gov.uk/