Gulliver's Valley theme park gives work experience to interns with autism and learning disabilities

Six interns with learning disabilities and autism have received their first taste of employment at Gulliver’s Valley theme park in South Yorkshire.

Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 12:39 pm

The popular family-run theme park recently partnered with a leading transition to employment charity DFN Project Seach to give young people with learning disabilities and autism vital work experience to help them secure meaningful employment.

The interns, aged between 19 and 24 and from Rotherham, met with Rotherham Council members on a resort tour to discuss the programme.

During the tour, hosted by the Gulliver’s Valley managing director Julie Dalton, the intern have an insight into their personal journeys and working day across various roles including retail, cleaning, housekeeping, maintenance and animal care.

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Rotherham Council chiefs meet DFN Project SEARCH interns and tutor at Gulliver's Valley

The programme is delivered in partnership with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council, Rotherham Opportunities College, Newman Special Educational Needs school and Gulliver’s Valley.

Chief Executive Officer of DFN Project Search, Claire Cookson, said: “We are very proud of the team at Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park and the amazing work they are doing here in supporting our programme interns to obtain valuable work experience that will help transform their lives.

“It is very pleasing to have local council representatives visit the resort and meet some of our inspiring interns and showcase the fantastic work they are doing here at Gulliver’s and have the opportunity to demonstrate how young people with autism and learning disabilities, when given the right support, can truly thrive and make a huge contribution to society.”

Gulliver's Valley boss, Julie Dalton, said: “It’s been lovely to welcome Rotherham Council and representatives from DFN Project Search to Gulliver’s Valley so we can highlight how we have been involved in the programme and showcase the amazing work of our current group of interns.

Emily Coombs and Jack Harrison DFN Project SEARCH interns at Gulliver's Valley

“Inclusivity is vital to us and we always said that our aim for Gulliver’s Valley was for the park to become a really important part of our community providing jobs and opportunities for local people, including those who may find it difficult to get into the job market. We work closely with each individual to understand them and help support them the best we can to do the jobs in hand.

“It has been a real pleasure to work with our interns who have made such a positive impact on our team at Gulliver’s Valley as well as our wider business.”

The group from Rotherham Council included Chief Executive Sharon Kemp; Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health,Councillor David Roche and Strategic Director of Adult Care, Housing and Public Health, Anne-Marie Labanski.

Coun Roche said: “I am delighted that Rotherham Council has been able to support this pioneering initiative which is having such a positive impact on the lives of young people from our borough.

“As well as improving their chances of finding employment, it is helping to develop the life skills, independence and confidence which will benefit these young people in all aspects of their lives.”

DFN Project Search works to build a more inclusive society by helping to create much improved career opportunities for those with learning disabilities and autism through 70 supported internships schemes across the UK.