Project SEARCH Welcomes Royal Visitor
On Thursday 22nd January, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal visited Southfield School’s Project SEARCH interns at the Bradford Royal Infirmary.
Also in attendance at the event was Lord Patel of Bradford, Chairman of Bradford Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust (BTHFT). Project SEARCH is a partnership between Southfield School, BTHFT, HFT and Bradford Council which provides on-site work experience for young people with learning difficulties which aims to give them the skills necessary for employment.
Princess Anne visited locations across the site, meeting with the interns, their mentors and teaching staff. There were also presentations about the history of project SEARCH and a first-hand account by a graduate about the impact of the scheme on her life. The Princess also gave an address emphasising the importance of supported employment as a way of helping people with learning disabilities to improve their self-esteem, learn new skills and realise their potential, while earning a wage.
Project SEARCH enables students with learning difficulties to develop skills for the workplace and be supported in their search for employment. It was launched in Bradford in September 2013, after Southfield School took the decision to become franchisees and seek partners to offer the innovative programme to some of their more able students. Project SEARCH is a joint supported employment programme which is run in partnership by Southfield School, national learning disabilities charity, Hft, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, and Bradford Metropolitan District Council. During a nine month internship at BRI and St Luke’s Hospital, the interns gain work experience in three different departments, as well as accessing support in a dedicated classroom from a teacher and support staff who work with the students throughout their time there.