Life-changing support praised for ‘incredible’ Harrogate Hospital's young interns with learning disabilities
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Charlize Barik, an intern working at the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Cancer Centre in Harrogate, and Lewis Grayston, an intern working in the Sterile Services Department at Harrogate Hospital, were recognised at an event organised by Hft, a national charity supporting more than 2,500 adults with learning disabilities to live the best life possible
The two Harrogate Hospital interns’ life-changing progress over the last 12 months has been hailed as “incredible” after they enrolled in the DFN Project SEARCH employability programme, which provides real work experience combined with the support of Employability Coaches and training in independent living skills.
Charlize was nominated for the Biggest Impact award for acting as an outstanding ambassador for Project SEARCH interns and having a positive impact on breaking down barriers with her unique perspective and insight.
Patrick Barker, Hft Employability Coach, said: “Charlize a gave a presentation relating to the work she had done to Harrogate Hospital’s diversity committee.
"The response to this was remarkable and many present were moved to tears by her story, and by her determination to help others."
Lewis took home an award for Most Progress following a nomination for his hard work and determination.
Patrick Barker, Hft Employability Coach, said: "In February 2023 Lewis became aware of a post which had been advertised within the Sterile Services Department at Harrogate Hospital which he applied for, and he was successful in securing an interview.
“He then attended the interview and gave an outstanding account of himself and the skills he had learned.
"This led to him being offered the job less than halfway through the nine months of the programme which constitutes a remarkable achievement.”
Both interns praised the scheme at the awards ceremony.
Charlize said: “I want to tell as many people as possible about Project SEARCH as it has been a life-changing experience for me which has made me feel valued and included.”