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Three autistic young people celebrate graduation from their supported internship

Three autistic young people with learning difficulties are celebrating their successful graduation from a supported internship programme at the Whittington Hospital in north London.

Angus, 25, Ronan, 22 and Tayo 24, have been gaining valuable skills and experience working in various support roles at the Whittington Hospital over the last 18 months, as well as overcoming the challenges of living and working through the pandemic.


What are supported internships?

Supported internships are courses aimed at young people aged 16-25, who have an Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan and want to move into work but need extra support to do so. Alongside DFN Project Search, we have been working in partnership to offer supported internships at the Whittington Hospital in north London.

Teacher, Gemma Mullan, who runs the supported internship programme, said: “We are enormously proud of everything our graduating interns have achieved over the past 18 months, despite living and working through a global pandemic. Angus, Ronan and Tayo have demonstrated resilience, flexibility and determination to achieve their personal goals. It’s been inspiring to watch them grow in confidence and independence and we are honoured to be part of their journey.”


What have the interns been up to?

Angus worked as a grounds person in the facilities team and as an admin assistant in the health records department. Ronan has worked as an admin assistant across various departments including women’s health, bariatrics, health records and pediatrics. Tayo, 24, has worked as a ward host in an elderly care ward and for the past two rotations worked as a porter.

Graduating intern, Tayo, said: “I feel proud of working in the NHS because when I was younger, I spent a lot of time in hospitals because of my epilepsy, so I feel proud working for the NHS because it helped me. After the internship, I want to get a job as a sports or football coach, or personal trainer.”

Angus, said: “I wanted to join the internship as I wanted to gain more experience and learn about what it is like to be in a real workplace. I have improved my listening and communication skills. I am still practicing my conversation skills as I like to talk to my team and others.”

Ronan, added: “I feel that I have gained more confidence and experience in the working environment and have a better understanding of the type of role and working environment would suit me best.”

Learn more about the programme and what it offers autistic young people.