Young people with learning disabilities get chance to impress at Gulliver’s Valley

Gulliver’s Valley has hosted a successful open day aimed at giving young people with learning disabilities and autism work experience at the Rotherham theme park resort.

Gulliver’s held the Project Search Open Day with Rotherham Opportunities College, which helps young adults with special educational needs find employment.

The theme park and college are working together under DFN Project SEARCH, an international transition to work programme committed to transforming the lives of young people with learning disabilities and autism spectrum conditions.

About 70 people attended the Open Day, ahead of a Recruitment Day on Monday, April 4.

As the host business in the programme, Gulliver’s Valley offers interns from the college real-life work experience. The course also equips them with training in employability and independent-living skills to help young people make successful transitions to productive adult life.

Last year, 80 per cent of the interns that joined Gulliver’s Valley from Rotherham Opportunities College as part of the programme ended up in employment at the theme park.

The other 20 per cent went on to further training or employment elsewhere.

Laura Bladon from Gulliver’s Valley, said: “The Project Search Open Day was a huge success and we were thrilled to welcome so many potential interns and their families to Gulliver’s Valley.

“We are really pleased to continue working with Rotherham Opportunities College as part of Project Search and can’t wait to welcome our next cohort of interns which will be our third intake so far.”

Lauren Jeavons, a tutor at Rotherham Opportunities College who is the job coach for the project, said: “DFN Project SEARCH is a great internship programme that pairs a college with a host business to give people who have barriers getting into work, like autism, anxiety or down syndrome, a year’s work experience with a support network of job coaches.

“Gulliver’s Valley has been a fantastic partner for the project and previous interns have learnt invaluable on-the-job skills and secured employment. Our Recruitment Day is on April 4 and we’re looking forward to meeting our next group of Project Search candidates!”

Rotherham Opportunities College are accepting applications for the DFN Project SEARCH programme until Monday, March 21 ahead of their recruitment day on Monday, April 4.
Please email [email protected] for an application form.

For more information about Gulliver’s Valley Theme Park Resort, visit

For more information about Rotherham Opportunities College, visit

For more information about DFN Project SEARCH, visit

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