Project SEARCH

I am very happy to be an intern at Project SEARCH because I am developing a lot of new skills and building my confidence.  

When I complete the programme, I would love to go on to a job that I enjoy and that keeps me busy. It is very important to me to get a job because I want to be independent and able to pay for my own things. For example, I am really interested in history so a goal of mine is to visit the National History Museum and buy my own entry ticket.

Since I started the programme, I have been working as a Catering Operative in the back of house at Whipps Cross. As part of my role, I help to prepare food for patients in wards across the hospital.

I start by filling the tubs with foods like cheese, carrots, salad, prunes and chicken. I then date stamp the tubs with the date gun and mark them with allergen stickers. This is a key part of my job because it means we can check when all the food was packaged and that patients don’t receive any foods they shouldn’t.

I also help to prepare the fruit trolley, stocking it with everything from grapes and apples to bananas and oranges. Once I have done this, I go round the wards and hand the fruit out to the patients, along with a napkin. Sometimes a patient might not be allowed fruit so I always make sure I speak to the Ward Sister first to get all the information I need.

To begin with I felt more comfortable completing my tasks on my own; but, as time has gone on, I have learnt how important it is to work as part of a team. I now enjoy working with everyone in the department and catching up with friends at lunchtime on what we have been up to that day.

I feel very confident in my role and am proud of how far I have come. Before, when I was going to college, I would rely on family members to drop me off and pick me up. Now I have the confidence to travel to and from work on my own which is fantastic.

My brother, Jacob, says he has also noticed I have become a lot more independent at home and that I am doing my own research into topics I enjoy without any prompts.

I am also getting better at timekeeping; I know that the work I do is valuable so I always try to make sure I am on time. If my bus is ever running late, I let the Project SEARCH team know straight away so that our department doesn’t fall behind schedule.

I enjoy working at the hospital because I am able to spend my time helping other people. I hope this is something I can continue to do in the future.