Two Interns stand in front of multicoloured artwork

Arts Centre welcomes DFN interns

Monday 14 March 2022

Mitchell and Ryan from Tile Hill's Hereward College have temporarily joined Warwick Arts Centre’s team, thanks to the DFN Project SEARCH programme.

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

The scheme works with colleges and other organisations to place young people within businesses - delivering transformative change, supporting and helping young people with autism and learning disabilities into the world of work. 

Warwick Arts Centre welcomed Mitchell and Ryan to the team from Hereward College, Coventry, in late 2021 as DFN Project SEARCH Interns. Their stay with us was part of a year-long placement with the University of Warwick. 

“I think I have learnt how committed everybody is to provide the best service possible for the community to enjoy,” says Mitchell of his experience. “The centre is constantly changing to keep up-to-date with the ever-changing world around it.” 

Ryan and Mitchel have undertaken activities both as part of the Creative Learning and Front of House Teams. Work has included administration tasks, creating festive craft packs, welcoming visitors, and reviewing a campus tour of the University Of Warwick Art Collection. 

Mitchell reflects on the experience of the tour: “We visited different buildings on around the university campus. Some of the art was paintings on the wall and some were statues. There are two big pieces of artwork that are actually painted on the wall, one is a timeline of rock and roll and the other is striped lines dripping down the wall, which the artist dropped from the top of the wall - it was really good because the lines were so straight. I love how expressive art can be, because it’s an interpretation of something, it is all about making your voice heard through a different format... the most important thing about art is that it can bring awareness and help inspire people to follow their dreams and fight for what they believe in.”

Mitchell and Ryan also met with and interviewed the wider team, and gained a range of experiences across the arts centre. They then chose their preferred team to be placed with, gaining the best experience for them from the variety of roles at a multi-platform arts centre, and both chose Operations and Front of House.

Ryan reflects on this experience: “I’ve met with most, if not all the staff that oversee the functions that make up Warwick Arts Centre. Part of the DFN Project SEARCH experience was to complete an exercise in listening to job roles that could pique my interest, and introduce me to possible roles of employment (generally, or in an art setting). I am happy to report I think I have the perfect role for me. I’m eager to start my operational placement next week.”

You can find out more about DFN Project SEARCH here: DFN Project SEARCH