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Project Search

DFN Project SEARCH at St George’s is a supported internship programme hosted

by St George’s University Hospital, designed to help young people with learning

disabilities and or autism into work. It is a year-long programme of on-the-job training.

We help young people with learning disabilities and autism find work opportunities.

It is now the 11th year of DFN Project SEARCH at St George's Hospital (or DFN Project

SEARCH has been running at St George’s University Hospital for over a decade!), and

the interns are in work placements around St George’s University Hospital. The Interns

are working in the various departments around the hospital: Porters, Main Reception,

Midwifery, Gardening, Ingredients Restaurant (kitchen and service), Vascular,

Respiratory, Nursery (Little Hillbrook School), Cricket Green School and The Student

Union Shop.

The interns are at work Monday to Friday from 9am until 3pm.

The interns are supported by a full-time course tutor and a supported employment co-ordinator, who will help the students to find employment throughout the year and particularly at the end of the year either within the Hospital or externally. For the first month interns will begin the year learning employability skills in the classroom which will involve skills such as teamwork, communication, professional standards and many more.  The interns will spend then majority of their day in a work placement within St George’s University Hospital, alongside a mentor and team.

DFN Project SEARCH changes the way people think, as it challenges ideas about what people with a learning disability and or autism can do. It raises expectations of employability, and the general public can see people with a learning disability and or autism hard at work as part of everyday life.

Only 4.8% of people with learning disabilities nationally are in any form of paid work, and 75% of people with a learning disability want to find work. 

However, many of our interns are now in meaningful employment within the hospital and externally. 

From our previous years we have graduates employed at the Hospital; in Sterile Services, General Portering, Theatre Portering, M&S, medical records, and at the Canteen. We also have graduates working at M&S, Shangri-La at the Shard, KPMG, Poplar School, the Unicorn Theatre, Next retail, Law firms, Starbucks, Pret and Tooting Leisure Centre. One of our graduates is working at Cricket Green School as a Lunch-time Assistant and Teaching Assistant.

The other graduates returned to college to pursue their studies or are supported by employment services to continue their search for employment. Working alongside the St George’s staff has greatly increased the employability skills of each of our graduates and allowed them to show what they can do.

We send our congratulations to all these young people and wish them all the best for the future.

We are very fortunate to have an enthusiastic DFN Project SEARCH team

supported at the Hospital by the Business Liaison partners, who have

helped us move the project forward each year.

As ever, the mentors in the hospital departments are working hard to

support our interns doing a great job - we are very grateful to them all!

We look forward to another positive and successful year with our thanks to

all who contribute so much.

For further information, please contact:

Matthew Kaye at

Sarah Darby at

Like us on Facebook:

Twitter: @search_georges

Instagram: @projectsearchstgeorges


Please see these articles to find out more:


I really enjoy my placement doing Admin work in the Recruitment HR Department. 

My mentors are very funny and friendly. I like learning new tasks and putting the recruitment packs together.

I feel I do a really good job.

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