7th September 2018 WALKways Tallaght University Hospital Programme Hosts Graduation Ceremony
(August 29th 2018) The Centre for Learning & Development at Tallaght University Hospital was the location for a unique graduation ceremony this evening as it hosted the first graduation ceremony for the Walkways programme.
The WALKways Tallaght University Hospital Programme is a transition programme for adults with intellectual disabilities to gain employability experience in order to access paid employment in the open labour market. After a very successful first year, the 11 trainees graduated having completed their 11 month internship. Due to the success of the first year of the programme, 10 new trainee applicants have been accepted and they will start their internship next month.
Over the course of the last 11 months, 17 departments across the TUH campus facilitated work placements of approximately 14 weeks. Each trainee completed three placements across departments including the National Children’s Hospital, speech and language therapy, medical records, catering, facilities and physiotherapy. Within each department, they were educated and provided with a range of work skills. The education partner to the project is Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB). Their adult education service delivers an accredited course as part of the project that supports trainees to achieve modular qualifications for what they are learning throughout the WALKWAYS programme. Everything the trainees do is developed into an opportunity to learn and achieve.
Of the group that graduated, seven are moving onto paid employment of their choice and four are moving onto further training.
“We are delighted with the difference participating in this initiative has made to our working environment. The feedback from staff that have been involved has been overwhelmingly positive, the interns have developed their employability skills and lifelong friendships have been made. On behalf of all the staff in the Hospital we would like to congratulate the interns on their graduation and wish them every success in their new jobs or next work placement. We are looking forward to welcoming the next group of interns and continuing provide a worthwhile and fulfilling internship” commented Sharon Larkin, Director of Human Resources at Tallaght University Hospital.
Speaking about the success of the programme Catherine Kelly, Director of Services in WALK said ‘It has been a huge honour for WALK to work in partnership with Tallaght University Hospital and DDLETB South West. The WALKways Tallaght University Hospital programme has provided a rich learning ground for people with intellectual disabilities to experience the world of work in a structured, nurturing and inclusive environment. The participants of this programme have grown in confidence, learnt new skills, overcome real life challenges and developed new relationships. The WALKways Tallaght University Hospital programme is a major step in the journey of the participants’ lives, one that should be recognised for its immense significance.’