Supporting interns to develop self-confidence and social skills

Thursday, April 1st, 2021
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One of the key benefits of the Supported Internship programme is that it can help to develop self-confidence and social skills. Read about how Joel has benefitted from the programme. 

Young man looking at camera wearing a face mask standing in a pharmacy

Supported Internship Case Study: Joel

Joel’s background

Joel has a diagnosis of Autism and has a stutter which has, at times, presented him with social barriers. He can get very overwhelmed and stressed in specific situations, usually if given too much information at once or too many tasks to complete leading to confusion which can cause him to be anxious and so needs a little time to manage these emotions.

Prior to starting his Supported Internship, Joel spent some time volunteering at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital signposting out-patients to the relevant departments. He also interacted with the children giving them fun activities to do whilst in the waiting area including reading, drawing and colouring. 

Joel started out as a student of Greenbank College successfully achieving qualifications in Customer Service (Level 2), Maths (Entry Level 3) and English (GCSE Grade D). He eventually progressed into a supported internship at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, however due to the COVID pandemic he was unable to complete it. He was given the chance of a supported internship role with Broadgreen where he was able to use the skills he had already learnt in the new role of Pharmacy Assistant.

About the Supported Internship role

Some of the tasks Joel undertakes as the Pharmacy Assistant include: 

  • Filing away completed prescriptions received at reception desk 
  • Restocking shelves with new medications that have been delivered 
  • Logging prescriptions in the courier book, ordered by patients name and address
  • Write out labels with name and address, attach to the prescription and close prescription ready to be picked up by the courier 
  • Delivering medicines to Wards on the Broardgreen site

Once trained, Joel will also start to use the Pharmacy computer system to log unused medication back into the Pharmacy for either restocking back on shelves or removing expired medication.

Alongside the practical elements of the job role, he also studies employability skills such as Infection Control, Manual Handling, Money matters, Positive working relationships and Health & Safety in the workplace.


Joel has made great progress in the way he has managed to contain his anxieties around the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to attend his placement within the hospital setting. He has voiced his concerns yet remains determined to do well on the Project Search Supported Internship programme. His self-confidence and communication has improved immensely, as well as his recognition of change sometimes being necessary within a working environment.

Joel says:

“The thing I enjoy most is helping with the deliveries of medicines, going to and from Broadgreen and the Liverpool Heart & Chest Hospitals and going to the different wards. Support is always available if I cannot find a place for a specific medication. My mentor or the other Pharmacy staff give me the directions I need to complete the task. If I have any other problems, I ask for a bit more clarification on the instructions given to me. I also have on-going support from my Employability tutor and the job coaches who are always on-site.”