Havering College helps students with learning disabilities gain work experience at Queen’s Hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:07 17 May 2016 | UPDATED: 11:07 17 May 2016

Havering College of Further and Higher Education

Havering College of Further and Higher Education


A college has joined forces with a service industry provider to create unique opportunities for those with learning disabilities.

Havering College of Further and Higher Education had meetings throughout last year with representatives of Sodexo, about providing work experience at Queen’s Hospital to those on Realistic Opportunities for Support and Employment, better known as Rose, courses.

Possible candidates from the college were selected to meet their buddies from Sodexo during a tour around the hospital and were assessed on whether they would fit the job roles available.

The buddies then received disability awareness and systematic training from the college.

A panel of judges made up of a mixture of staff from the college and Sodexo decided on six students to take up the positions within the hospital with two working as porters, one in the office and the others in the restaurant, coffee shop or patient dining.

Sylvie Smith, curriculum manager of School of Inclusive and Foundation Learning, said: “Sodexo are a breath of fresh air.

“We have worked with many employers this year but Sodexo have gone that extra mile.

“From our first meeting it was it was clear not only managers were on board but also many of their staff who volunteered to be buddies to the students.”

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