Project SEARCH interns show their support for key workers

Project SEARCH interns have helped boost the morale of key workers at Forth Valley Royal Hospital by sending them positive messages.

The seven remaining interns, three others have gained paid employment, on the one-year internship programme – a partnership between Forth Valley College, NHS Forth Valley, Serco, Falkirk Council Employment and Training Unit – are currently working on their studies from home, but wanted to support the people who have helped train them.

The programme supports young people with learning difficulties to gain skills and experience aimed at helping them move into sustainable employment. Now after sending through their goodwill messages, Serco and NHS staff have turned them into a morale boosting poster which has been put up around the hospital in Larbert.

Hellen Smith, said: “I hope that all Serco workers are safe. I am thinking about them and the awesome job they do for the hospital. I hope you are all well and I hope to see you all soon.”

Hazel Griffiths, said: “I’d like to thank Serco staff for doing their utmost best to shine through this pandemic. We are thinking of you all. Keep doing what you are doing which is both admirable and incredible. I’m proud to say that I once worked alongside the best public service company.”

Sean McKinnon, added: “I would like to say that I think you are all doing a great job trying to get people better in this crisis.”

FVC Job Coach for Project SEARCH, Jean Allan, said: “I would like to praise all staff who work in NHS and Serco, especially during Covid19, for their effort, dedication and services at all times. I would say to them that they will get through this with their excellent skills and their caring and compassionate natures. It has been a pleasure working with Project SEARCH interns and FVRH staff. We hope we will see everyone soon, safe and well. Take care and stay safe.”

Head of FVC’s Department of Business and Communities, Jacqui McArthur, said: “I am so proud of the Project SEARCH interns and the staff like Jean and Alan Ritchie who guide them through their course. Since August they have built up a wonderful relationship with the key workers at Forth Valley Royal Hospital and they just wanted to let them all know that they are thinking of them and supporting all the great work they are doing, especially at this time.”

Linda Donaldson, HR Director, NHS Forth Valley said “We would like to thank all the Project Search Interns for these lovely messages. Our staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital really appreciate their support at this challenging time.”
Tony McLaughlin, Serco’s Regional Director for Health, said: “The Serco team at NHS Forth Valley has always been delighted to offer work opportunities to our friends on Project Search, helping them to develop useful skills for future employment. Their good wishes at this challenging time have been a real motivation for the whole Serco team as well as our colleagues in the NHS.”

The original ten interns were: Dylan Allison (20), Zoe Andrews (19), Kyle Cochrane (24), Natalie Davidson (20), Hazel Griffith (19), Chloe Hendry (18), Sean McKinnon (18), Helen Smith (19), Ross Vickers (20) and Alexander Young (22).

Based at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, the second group of 10 young interns aged between 18-24, began their programme on Monday 26 August 2019. They will experience work placements across a range of job areas, all based within the hospital, from Monday to Friday 9am-4pm.

On-site, interns will be assisted throughout by a college lecturer and a job coach as well as hospital staff and supervisors. The programme helps interns to learn transferable job skills that will prepare them for work by rotating them through a variety of different work placement experiences. This work-based learning is then supported by classroom activities each day, as well as regular discussion and feedback from supervisors throughout the programme.