Naas General Hospital recently held a graduation ceremony for the Project Search interns who had completed the programme at the hospital. At the ceremony family, friends and staff of Naas Hospital heard that eight of the nine graduates from last year were in paid employment following their internship at the hospital the previous year.
At the event, interns of the class of 2017/2018 shared their unique experience of the programme and talked about the sense of purpose and being part of the team that they experienced in Naas General Hospital.
Emma McGrane, Physiotherapy Manager on behalf of the staff at Naas Hospital thanked the ‘real heroes of the department’ and acknowledged the valuable contribution of the graduates who had become an integral part of Naas Hospital.
Naas General Hospital has supported and participated in Project Search since 2012. Project SEARCH, developed originally in Cincinnati Children’s Medical Centre, Ohio, Massachusetts is a business-led initiative aiming to transform the lives of young people with intellectual disabilities through internship programmes and employment opportunities in the community.
Speaking at the graduation Hospital Manager Alice Kinsella said: “We are delighted to have Project SEARCH interns at Naas General Hospital and we are especially thrilled to see our interns graduate from the programme. We will continue to support this wonderful programme that plays a hugely positive role for the participants and for our hospital.”
Sonia Casey, Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG) Human Resource Director said: “We are delighted that Naas General Hospital participate in such an important programme and very pleased that another Hospital in the Group, Tallaght University Hospital is also running a programme.
“To the families, thank you for the support and encouragement you have given to the interns who have clearly embraced and excelled in their time here. The Hospital Group look forward to continuing this successful partnership with KARE into the future.”
Anne Coffey, Interim CEO of KARE which operates the programme said: “Our journey to date with Naas General Hospital mirrors the outcomes of the project across the globe, positively influencing attitudes and tackling stereotypes about people with disabilities. The graduation of the Project SEARCH interns is an important development in the lives of our graduates. I would like to congratulate the interns here today. You are the real winners and your development and confidence in the past year is evident for all to you. I wish you very well, but remember a job is just one important thing in life and this programme seeks to give you the confidence and life skills and we hope today is the beginning of new and exciting opportunities.”
The successful completion of the programme provides the graduates with QQI FETAC certificates through Kildare Wicklow Education and Training Board.”