Back in July 2015, staff from The School of Inclusive and Foundation Learning within Havering College of FHE and Sodexo, a provider of specialist catering, life support and remote site facilities management joined forces to create a unique opportunity for Havering’s students within S.I.F.L

Bobbie-Jo Rumsey is completing her work experience with Sodexo in Queens in patient dining

Over the course of the year, meetings were held to explore options and plan ways to progress initial ideas. One in particular was to offer those on a ROSE course (Realistic Opportunities for Support and Employment) a chance to gain work skills and ethics with various work experience placement in Queens Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford, Essex. RM7 0AG

These talks continued into September of that year with the focus on identifying suitable jobs for students and confirming how Sodexo could see these students fitting into their team. 

By January 2016, Havering College had selected 16 possible candidates to work in the hospital and had arranged for them to meet their respective buddies (supplied by Sodexo) and tour the hospital.

Sudexo were able to assess which students they felt would fit the roles available. The buddies would be on hand to support them in their roles. Job Coach from the S.I.F.L would offer advice, guidance and training as well as track their progress. The buddies then received Disability Awareness and Systematic training, which was delivered by Jayne Hart Enterprise and Work Place Co-ordinator and Maggie Longman Job Coach form The School of Inclusive and Foundation Learning at Havering College

Maria Osborn-Thompson is completing her Work Experience with Sodexo in Queens Hospital as an admin assistant

Sylvia Smith Curriculum Manager, Jayne Hart together with Gareth Jenkins and John McMullen from Sodexo, then decided on six students to take up the positions within the hospital. These positions were 2 porters, 1 in Costa Coffee, 1 in the Restaurant, 1 in Patient Dinning and 1 in the office. Five out of Six of these positions also offered the potential of paid employment on completion of the course, thus making this another unique career opportunity.

On the 14th of March, after all training was complete, 6 students from S.I.F.L at Havering College began their work experience in Queens’s hospital. Supported by their Job Coaches Maggie Longman, Gina Gogman and June Llewellyn as well as their buddies from Sodexo. These students have been in place a month now and are progressing extremely well.