Meet Uroosa Chaudhry, Project SEARCH with Newham Workplace

Hi my name is Uroosa and I’m 25 years old. I work as a receptionist 2 days a week in the maternity unit at Newham General Hospital.

I went to Newham College and did a Diploma in Retail level 1 and 2. Part of the course I also did work experience in local shops. After completing my course tutor suggested I join Workplace to find a proper job where I would get paid. Workplace referred me on to the Project SEARCH supported internship.

Project SEARCH provides a supported internship for young adults with learning disabilities and or autism. Offering real job experience, support to find full-time paid work and then support for both ex-students and employers once they are in work.

I was successful in my interview and I remember feeling so happy I’d got selected for the internship.

As I’d studied retail I thought I wanted to work in retail. In Project SEARCH I completed three placements in the year and I worked as a pharmacy assistant, office junior and dietician office administrator. Each morning our tutor taught us employability or functional skills. It was sometimes difficult to work at the hospital but my tutor, job coach and mentor where very supportive and soon I found it easier. I completed the programme in July 2017 and there was a celebration event at Mile End Hospital with Cllr Clive Furness presenting the certificates. I felt so proud of what I had achieved and my family were also invited to the event.

Project SEARCH is a great way to motivate people with disabilities to become independent and find work. I’m able to travel alone to work and I’ve now got the confidence to go out. After I completed the internship, Project SEARCH helped me to apply for jobs. I was able to join an agency and I’m now working at the hospital .

My shifts tend to be for 12 hours. I monitor who comes in and out of the maternity ward and direct people where to go. It’s quite a noisy environment but I get to see the new born babies. I love the job I do!

Newham residents looking for training and work can register here with Newham Workplace.