Seven students with learning disabilities from Brooklands College celebrated with a lunch together and a cake baked by one of the students after completing a six month work placement at Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals as part of their Learning for Employment And Progression (LEAP) Pathway Entry 3 course, with the support of the Surrey Choices EmployAbility team.
They were joined by Ashford and St Peter’s Learning and Development Lead Gwen Atkinson and Deputy Director of HR Phil Spivey. Also attending were EmployAbility, Surrey Choices’ Employment Support Officer Jessica Lewsey and Employment Development Officer Runnymede and Spelthorne Miriam Lloyd and Brooklands College’s Audrey Hayes who all provided job coaching and learning support on site throughout the project.
The students presented Gwen Atkinson with a card and gift as a ‘thank you’ for her help and support. James Bearfoot-Fallon said: “Thank you, it was a good opportunity to work at St Peter’s, we learned new skills and now we’re all grown up!”
Speaking about the placement Brooklands College student, Catriona Penfold said: “It has been a wonderful experience and I’ve learnt all sorts of skills. Over the weeks I’ve been gradually improving on the skills I wasn’t so good at, so now I’m more confident. I’ve made friends with co-workers and I will definitely miss this place, everyone has been lovely.”
One of the other students, Daniel Way added: “It’s been enjoyable and busy. It has really helped me be more talkative and confident.”
The seven students were placed in various departments at St Peter’s Hospital in negotiation and with the support from Employability, Surrey Choices who work with and alongside both employers and colleges in securing student work experience placements.
The seven students were placed in various departments at St Peter’s Hospital. Catriona Penfold – Central Booking Office/Quality Department; James Bearfoot-Fallon – Portering/Transport;
Daniel Way – Facilities Helpdesk/Central Booking Office;Thomas Truscott-Smith – Food Services on Aspen Ward/Facilities Helpdesk; Annabelle Da Silva – Catering in Aspects Restaurant/First Steps Nursery and Simon Cassidy – Transport/Catering in Aspects Restaurant
For the past several years, EmployAbility, Surrey Choices has worked in partnership with Brooklands College and Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals to support students with learning disabilities, who are looking to gain work experience as part of their LEAP Pathway Entry 3 course.
Speaking about the placements, Gwen Atkinson said: “It’s always fantastic to see the change in the students after they’ve finished their placements. They start off shy and a little unsure of themselves and blossom into these amazing young people with great confidence.”
Jessica Lewsey added: “We work closely with Brooklands College to make sure that from the students enrollment in September that they are prepared for the placement when it starts in January. This includes helping them with their applications forms, applying for the DBS checks and preparing them for interviews. We also provide them with travel training to make sure the students are able to travel independently to their placement.
“During their 18 weeks work experience with the Trust they have excelled in their challenging roles and have been able to complete job tasks given to them to a very high and exacting standard. They have also overcome a lot of personal anxieties and fears, with all of them becoming a real asset to the Project.
“We wish our Students the best of luck in their quest for gaining employment skills for their working life!”