Thursday, 13 June 2024
UK Charity Week 2024 - Sponsored by Sinclair Method UK
Thursday, 13 June 2024

Hft Honours Achievements of Disabled Interns and Graduates

THE incredible achievements of learning disabled interns and graduates and those with autism were recognised recently which saw no fewer than 24 awards being handed out at an online event hosted by learning disability charity Hft, in partnership with DFN Project SEARCH.

The event highlighted the incredible journeys interns and graduates on the programme have been on over the past 12 months.

Employment levels on Hft’s DFN Project SEARCH programme for 2022 – 2023 saw 43 graduates find paid employment while, in 2023-2024 so far, 18 interns have already started jobs. Many others are undertaking work trials and interviews. Job titles include pathology assistant, service support advisor, patient access administrator, medical secretary clerk and maintenance apprentice.

Since Hft’s partnership with DFN Project SEARCH began in 2013, 209 graduates have started in paid employment. This goes against the actual employment rate among this demographic which remains as low as 4.8 per cent in England.

Bryony Dolby, Senior Work Options Manager at Hft said:

“Each intern has made a huge amount of progress this year, developing new skills, confidence and professionalism.

“This is our third celebration event and not only are we celebrating everyone’s achievements, but also the fact that we have a record 132 interns on this year’s programme, but also three new employers.

“Hft is incredibly privileged to work with a wide range of supportive and inclusive partner organisations and a cohort of talented, hardworking interns and graduates. Our team of Employability Coaches works with partners to provide tailored support to interns and graduates to give them the opportunity to gain and develop the skills needed for paid work in their chosen careers.

“Year after year we are blown away by the commitment shown by those we are supporting, their positive attitude and perseverance towards achieving their goals. This year has been no exception.”

Interns from 18 partner employers received ‘Most Progress Made’ awards, as voted by their peers and employers. A further six received special awards, which included Breaking Down Barriers, Creative Thinking, Above and Beyond, Supporting Others, Biggest Impact and Biggest Contribution to Hft.

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