Successes on Gulliver’s Valley scheme get Christmas started

“FLOURISHING” interns on a scheme for people with learning disabilities and autism have got the Christmas season officially underway at a Rotherham theme park resort.

Chloe Gadd (19) and Ben John Hague (23), both from Rotherham, officially opened the Santa House and Grotto at Gulliver’s Valley.

The pair are on the DFN Project SEARCH internship programme, delivered locally by Rotherham Opportunities College.

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The one-year scheme offers young adults with a learning disability, autism, or both, real-life work experience opportunities, as well as training in employability and independent-living skills, with the aim of helping young people make a successful transition into employment.

Ben said: “I’m so excited to be here at Gulliver’s over the Christmas season — I love working here and can’t wait to meet our customers and get everyone in the festive spirit.”

Resort manager Andy Flowers said: “We love working with Rotherham Opportunities College to provide supported internships to young people like Chloe and Ben.

“Both will be playing an integral part of our team here this Christmas, meeting and greeting our guests, working in the food outlets and shops, and in the grotto itself, too.

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“It’s truly heart-warming to see how both of them are flourishing during their time here and I can’t think of anyone else who would be better suited to getting the festive season underway for us.”

AFour-fifty of the Project SEARCH interns who joined Gulliver’s as part of the programme last year ended up in employment at the theme park, with the rest going on to further training or employment elsewhere.