Eight young people with special educational needs (SEN) are looking forward to a brighter future following the completion of a tailored internship scheme created and delivered by Seetec Outsouce, in partnership with Avon and Somerset Police and the charity, Discovery.

These year-long programmes provided opportunities to work across a range of different areas within the police service, across four different sites. This included opportunities to gain experience in directly supporting police community support officers, as well as undertaking various admin and data entry roles across the service.

Matt Leatherby, 23, from Taunton, was one of the interns who completed the programme and he said the following on his experience: ““I think the traineeship is a brilliant experience for me. I have met a lot of new people and gained a lot more confidence.”

This fantastic opportunity was designed to create greater independence for the interns and prepare them for moving into work for the first time. Avon and Somerset Police offered lots of extra support, including transport to and from the sites and including specific learning on how to deal with worry, stress and anxiety in the workplace, a crucial soft skill to better enable the interns to thrive in the future.

Meanwhile, Discovery, a charity which supports individuals to support individuals with needs to lead a fulfilling life, delivered the work experience part of the programme and gave social and emotional support throughout. They are continuing to work with the interns in supporting their progression into paid employment.

Sarah Crew, Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset Police, explained why the programme was so important to the organisation: “I’m so pleased we’ve been able to offer these internships, with the support of Seetec and Discovery. I’ve followed the young people’s journeys closely and was really pleased to hear from them during their time with us.

“We’ve also learned a lot from the young people themselves and have been able to have conversations about how we become more inclusive as a workplace as a result. All eight young people have been a fantastic addition to our service, and we’ve enjoyed supporting them to develop their experience of work.”

For more information about Discovery, click here.