WALKways Tallaght University Hospital Programme Hosts Graduation Ceremony

2019 WALK Group Graduation (Sept 5th 2019The Centre for Learning & Development at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) was the location for a momentous occasion this evening as it hosted the graduation ceremony for the second year of the Walkways programme.  

The WALKways TUH Programme is a transition programme for adults with intellectual disabilities to gain employability experience in order to access paid employment in the open labour market.  After a very successful first year, eight of the 11 graduates are currently in paid employment. Carrying on the success of the first year, all 10 of this year’s trainees have completed the programme and are moving to paid employment or further training to enhance their career prospects.  

Over the course of the last 12 months, 19 departments across the TUH campus facilitated work placements of approximately 14 weeks each. Each trainee completed three placements across departments including the Children’s Health Ireland at Tallaght, Occupational Therapy, Material Supplies, Medical Records, Catering, Physiotherapy, and the Centre for Learning & Development. Within each department, they were educated and provided with a range of work skills. 

The education partner to the project is Dublin and Dun Laoghaire Education and Training Board (DDLETB). Their adult education service delivers an accredited course as part of the project which supports trainees to achieve modular qualifications for what they are learning throughout the WALKWAYS programme. Everything the trainees do is developed into an opportunity to learn and achieve. 

Of the group that are graduating this year, three are moving on to paid employment of their choice and seven are moving on to further education and training, including the Oireachtas Work Learning programme.

“We are delighted with the continued difference participating in this initiative has made to our working environment. Feedback from staff that have been involved has been overwhelmingly positive, the interns have developed their employability skills and lifelong friendships have been made. On behalf of all the staff in the Hospital we would like to congratulate the interns on their graduation and wish them every success in their new jobs or next work placement. We are looking forward to welcoming the next group of interns and continuing provide a worthwhile and fulfilling internship” commented Lucy Nugent, Chief Executive TUH. 

Speaking about the success of the programme Catherine Kelly, Director of Services in WALK said ‘It has been a huge honour for WALK to work in partnership with TUH and DDLETB South West. The WALKways Tallaght University Hospital programme has provided a rich learning ground for people with intellectual disabilities to experience the world of work in a structured, nurturing and inclusive environment. The participants of this programme have grown in confidence, learnt new skills, overcome real life challenges and developed new relationships. The WALKways Tallaght University Hospital programme is a major step in the journey of the participants’ lives, one that should be recognised for its immense significance.’ 

Graduates from the 2019 programme were: Fiadhnait Canning; Michael Boylan; Leia Donnelly; Gavin Burke; Laura Delaney; Riona Cullen; Gavin Gilvarry; Sarah Carroll and Ross Hughes

Editors Notes 
TUH is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The Hospital has 495 adult beds with 3,000 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialties. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre. 

The Hospital also has 67 paediatric beds under the governance of Children’s Health Ireland and 52 mental health beds under HSE governance. TUH is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. TUH is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties. A new paediatric outpatient and urgent care centre is to be built at TUH as part of the Children’s Health Ireland project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally. 

The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 51,084 Adult Attendance and 32,424 Paediatric Attendance in 2018. A further 267,623 patients were treated through the Hospital’s Adult and Paediatric outpatient clinics in 2018. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities and aligned with Community Health Organisation 7.