To celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on Sunday 21st March, we wanted to highlight the positive work of our Work Familiarisation programme which the Widening Participation Team has been running for several years.
At Lancashire Teaching Hospitals we are proud to support students with learning difficulties by offering them opportunities to engage in activities that will help them understand the working environment.
The programme runs for seven weeks and sessions are tutored by seven different departments across our Trust including catering, portering, x-ray and security, and offer a ‘have a go’ approach.
Upon completion of the programme students attend a celebration presentation where they are awarded a certificate to highlight their achievements.
Afterward, students are offered six weeks’ worth of work experience in one of the departments they have experienced on the programme which has led to some students being offered employment opportunities and volunteering positions within the Trust.
Since its pilot, approximately 350 students have taken part in the programme and two participants have shared their stories with us for World Down Syndrome Day.
Daniel is in his third year of the Pathways to Adulthood programme at Midstream and always brightens the room with his singing and dance moves! Daniel really enjoyed his experience at Chorley hospital, particularly the X-ray and security departments because he had the opportunity to try on the uniforms!
He also did a brilliant job practicing CPR and was proud that he had learned what to do in case of an emergency.
Since completing the Work Familiarisation Programme at Chorley hospital, Daniel has achieved his Certificate in Skills for Working Life, which was presented to him by the Mayor of West Lancashire. He continues to attend Midstream and is now working towards his Diploma in the City & Guilds qualification.
Tom has been attending Midstream for three years and is known for his big personality and cheeky sense of humour! He is a hard worker and really enjoyed getting stuck-in when learning about each of the different departments on the Work Familiarisation Programme.
One of Tom’s favourite aspects of the programme was learning about the hospital’s Catering department and trying out the dishwasher!
Since completing the Work Familiarisation Programme, Tom has continued to develop his interest in catering through work in the Midstream kitchen and placement with the catering team at Little Digmoor Primary School in Skelmersdale.
Tom’s jobs include helping to serve lunch to the children and washing the dishes. With his hard work and enthusiasm, he has made quite an impression on the school staff and is very popular with the children there too!
Thank you to our partner colleges who help us to deliver this service: Midstream, Runshaw College, Cardinal Newman College and Sir Tom Finney High School and Sixth Form.
Find out more through our Widening Participant Team.