60 seconds with: project search intern David McMaster | News from Whipps Cross Hospital

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60 seconds with: project search intern David McMaster

David McMaster joined Project Search as an intern at Whips Cross Hospital. He is currently doing his first placement as an assistant.


Project Search is an international transition to work programme committed to transforming the lives of young people with learning disabilities and autism.

Project Search is part of Barts Health’s WeBelong programme which actively engages with the community to become an outstanding place to work with equality of opportunity for all staff with diversity reflected at all levels of the organisation.

We talked to David about his role, what he's learnt so far and his ambitions for the future:

David, how did you hear about Project Search?

My mum told me about this programme as it sounded perfect for me. My friend also took part in the programme in the previous cohort and it piqued my interest. I looked into it and was keen to give it a go.


What is your role at Project Search David?

I am an assistant for Janet who is the manager for Project Search at Whipps Cross Hospital. I work alongside her supervising the interns, helping them with the learning tasks and I also design posters, newsletters and displays.


When did you start your internship and where do you see yourself in 2 years’ time?

I started 3 months ago in September 2021 and my internship will finish in September 2022. With the skills learnt here I’m hoping to get a job working in a school as a teaching assistant or as a work coach.

What makes Project Search different from the rest?

The level of freedom and choice, the lack of defining you by your condition and the lack of unnecessary restrictions. I can do my work the way I want to and my opinions are actually considered and even used which I appreciate. All that and more; it makes it feel like a dream come true.

How do you think Project search has helped other people with special needs and disabilities?

They give them the independence and freedom they need to work in the future. It provides a space for people to pick up many different skills from their placements. Project Search will guide and mentor you but also encourages you to be independent in your decisions.

They also encourage you to travel independently. They told me that it’s not your condition which defines you but the choices you make. You're only as capable as you allow yourself to be.

What has Project Search taught you about yourself?

My internship at Whips Cross Hospital helped me build up my confidence and independence which is very important when getting a job. 75% of Project Search interns get a job offer.

Why should people apply to join Project Search?

If you want to work somewhere where you aren’t defined by your condition, then Project search is an ideal start for you.

What one message would you want people to take away from this interview?

Throughout my life people have put me down and made me feel helpless and incapable but I always felt I could do so much more. However, before Project Search I was never given the chance to reach that potential and for that chance I am truly grateful and I know many other interns feel the same.

When Janet is not around, she lets me supervise.

For someone to have that level of confidence in me and letting me achieve what I believe I can achieve has changed my life.

David working on his laptop

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  1. David McMaster Wednesday, 20 April 2022 at 11:15 PM

    The project actually ends in July but everything else is true. Thanks to everyone who supported this, I found it very enjoyable doing the interview

  2. David McMaster Wednesday, 20 April 2022 at 11:27 PM

    The program actually ends in July but the rest is true. Thank you everyone who supported me, I very much enjoyed doing this interview