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Hospitals Give Placements To Young People With Learning Disablities

Hayley Connoly, Kieran Fisher and porter Zac

Young people with learning disabilities, difficulties and/or autism have been taken on as interns at Andover, Basingstoke and Winchester's hospitals.

The Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust has signed up to a national programme which gives some young people the chance to experience a working environment.

10 people, aged between 19 and 21, will spend the next year working alongside hospital staff in a variety of departments, including speciality medicine administration, discharge lounge and support services.
 
One of the young people enrolled on the programme is 20-year-old Kieran Fisher, who has Autistic Spectrum Disorder.  Kieran is working as a radiology porter at Basingstoke and North Hampshire Hospital and explained that Project Choice seemed like a perfect fit as he was feeling unsure about the idea of leaving college, but full time employment seemed like a daunting prospect. 
 
Kieran said: "I am really enjoying meeting new people and feeling like I can help them. There is so much I have already learnt and this job has given me a real insight into what hospitals are like - there are lots of areas I'd never thought of or knew about."
 
Hayley Connoley, performance manager for radiology, got the department involved in the Trust-wide programme by taking on two interns, including Kieran. She said: "Project choice is a great way to encourage young people who may have struggled in other areas to really build confidence and fundamental skills that they can apply to a work place. 
 
"The whole department has really embraced Project Choice and we are so proud of how our two interns are progressing in such a short time. Kieran is already part of the team. His personality shines through and we know both of our radiology interns have so much to give." 

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