Motorpoint has helped save an internship scheme for disabled youngsters from being made homeless.
The pandemic meant Derbyshire Education Business Partnership’s Project Search, run in partnership with St Martins special educational needs school, had to leave its base at the Royal Derby Hospital for the time being.
The project faced cancellation for this academic year, but now the independent car retailer has given partnership managing director Clare Talati and her team space at its ex-training school for class-based learning for 11 interns plus a job coach and mentor.
Chris Goodison, general manager of Motorpoint Derby, said: ‘When we heard that this year’s Project Search programme might have to be cancelled because of a lack of suitable space, we immediately stepped in and offered our former training school as a potential new home.
‘We are delighted that Derbyshire Education Business Partnership took us up on our offer. The students have been an absolute delight since they have been on site.’
Project Search helps young people who have learning disabilities gain new skills as well as practical, work-based experience via a structured personalised study programme.
The 18-to-24-year-olds began at the Chartwell Drive base in September and the programme will run until the end of the 2020-21 academic year.
In the meantime, discussions will be held about work placements at Motorpoint, such as in customer service, sales and vehicle preparation.
Talati said: ‘We really can’t thank Motorpoint enough for their generosity. Chris and his team have provided us with the means to deliver Project Search over 2020-21.
‘I am sure I speak on behalf of everyone involved when I say it simply wouldn’t have been possible to run this programme and all that it involves without their support.’
Sarah Cutler, job coach at the partnership, added: ‘We look forward to 2021 and hopefully being able to offer placements with Motorpoint.
‘We also can’t wait to be back at Royal Derby Hospital, who have supported the programme since September 2019.’
Pictured from left are Sarah Cutler, Harrison Losh, Johnathan Leach, Ryan Stevens, Callum Brown, Sean Jenkins, Imogen Colebourne, Jack Corbin, Amanda Cartwright, Kieran Burton, Matthew Sharp and Motorpoint Derby sales manager Lee Wheadon