The ‘overwhelming differences’ seen in Barnsley College students currently on the DFN Project Search supported internship programme at Barnsley Hospital have been celebrated, and more areas at the hospital have been encouraged to offer the opportunity to students.
Students from the College’s Learning for Living and Work department, which supports students with additional needs, are gaining vital work-based learning opportunities in various roles at the hospital thanks to the scheme.
Representatives from Barnsley College, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, DFN Project Search and Barnsley Council, who collaborated to bring the DFN Project Search programme to Barnsley, met up at the hospital to celebrate and discuss the programme and encourage more areas at the site to participate.
The year-long programme sees the students attend internship rotations in three different departments across the year and is designed to equip participants with transferable skills in order to secure meaningful, long-term employment.
Students have been working across several departments since September, including Stores, Portering and Waste Management, Sterile Services, Waste Management and Estates. Staff members who have been mentoring the students shared how successful the scheme has been so far.
Kelsey Heaton, a Medical Records Team Leader at Barnsley Hospital who has mentored one of the interns, said:
“When our student first started, he wasn’t overly social, but now he’s come along so much and it’s been an absolute pleasure to have him.
“Now he’ll really try to engage in conversation and always gets on with his work.
“If there is any day he can’t come in he will always let someone know beforehand, he’s very responsible. It feels good for me too as it feels like we’ve done a good job and can see the difference it makes.”
Stacey Greenman, Learning for Living and Work Programme Manager, added:
“The purpose of this event was to celebrate the success and overwhelming differences seen in our students since they began on the project, and to onboard different departments at the hospital to offer more rotations of work experience.
“Hospital managers spoke at the event on how ‘seamlessly’ the interns had embedded into their teams and how valued they and their contributions are. They aren’t just fulfilling their roles, they are adding real value to the workforce.
“It was great to discuss the accessibility of recruitment processes and what further rotations might be suitable, or even job roles for this year and looking forward. We’re hoping to expand into catering services and other departments.
“It’s really important to touch base and give everyone collaborating on this project a holistic view of how it’s going, and to encourage growth to give these young people the best opportunities we possibly can.”