Project SEARCH Launches at St Bartholomew’s Hospital

3rd Mar 2022

Project SEARCH Launches at St Bartholomew’s Hospital 

~ Highly successful supported internship programme launched at second site ~ 

~ More young people with SEND to be prepared for permanent, meaningful and paid employment ~ 


Whitefield Academy Trust has announced that it is expanding its successful supported internship programme.  From September 2022, Project SEARCH East London, which gives young people with special educational needs the opportunity to gain real-life work experience, will be offering placements at St Bartholomew's Hospital in addition to its current base at Whipps Cross Hospital.  Both hospitals are part of east London’s Barts Health NHS Trust

The ten-month long Project, which is run in partnership with DFN International, sees young people aged 17-24 undertake different placements across the hospital including as ward hosts, porters, administrators and catering assistants.  The interns are key members of the hospital team and are supported by job coaches who help them carry out their roles.  In addition, interns take part in employability training and gain an ASDAN-accredited employability qualification.  ASDAN qualifications are nationally approved qualifications based around the development of personal, social and employability skills. 

Now in its ninth year at Whipps Cross Hospital, Project SEARCH East London has successfully prepared more than 140 young people for the workplace with approximately 70% of interns securing permanent employment shortly after graduating. 

Launching the project at Britain’s oldest hospital, St Bartholomew’s in the City of London, Janet Wingate-Whyte, Project SEARCH East London Co-ordinator, said: 

“We are so excited to be launching our Project SEARCH at a second site in September.  Our interns benefit so much from the Project, gaining key skills, becoming independent and growing in confidence.  I am really pleased that we will be able to offer this opportunity to more young people across north and east London. 

“As well as being prepared for employment, our interns make a real difference to the hospital and are highly valued members of their teams.  We look forward to making an important contribution at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and opening up the world of work for our interns.” 

Applications for Project SEARCH at both Whipps Cross and St Bartholomew’s Hospitals are now open.  For more information and to apply, please visit

Vivienne Monk, project lead at St Bartholomew’s Hospital, said: 

“We have been inspired by the progress made at Whipps Cross and hope to emulate this success at a fellow Barts Health hospital.  2023 marks the 900th anniversary of St Bartholomew’s Hospital, meaning our interns will join us at a hugely exciting time in our history.” 

Kirstie Fulthorpe, Chief Executive Officer at Whitefield Academy Trust, said: 

“Launching Project SEARCH at a second site signals how successful the Project has been and how much of an impact it can have on young people.  Barts Health NHS Trust has been a fantastic partner for Whitefield Academy Trust in delivering this project and we are thrilled they are extending the Project to a second hospital.”