A YOUNG man achieved double medal success at the Special Olympics a fortnight after graduating from his work training scheme.

Aidan Knights, 20, from Cross Roads, an intern with Bradford-based Project Search, won silver and bronze medals at the National Games in Sheffield.

Fellow intern Neil Hartley, 19, from Eccleshill, got a bronze medal at the multi-sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Both are part of the Project Search scheme, based at Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, to help students with learning disabilities find employment through work experience placements and classroom teaching.

Aidan and Neil graduated in July after completing several 10-week placements at Bradford Royal Infirmary and beyond.

Aidan would like a full-time job in catering or retail, and he is already learning his trade working part-time at the M&S store in Bradford Royal Infirmary.

Aidan, who first got into athletics when he was only nine, was overwhelmed to win silver in the 100m and bronze in the relay – especially as it was his third Olympic medal, having won gold in the 100m four years ago.

He said: “The best bit was having so many people cheering me on; that was fantastic.”

The Foundation Trust’s head of equality and diversity, Lorraine Cameron, said: “I’m thrilled that we’ve got some Olympic stars at Project Search; Aidan and Neil have done brilliantly and we’re all so proud of them.

“They’ve achieved so much, both in sport and as interns, and have loads to offer potential employers.”

Neil won a bronze medal as part of the Yorkshire and Humberside basketball team, and already has his sights set on the next Special Olympics.

He started playing basketball in 2011 when he was a pupil at Southfield Grange School and was thrilled when he was offered the chance to take part in the 2017 Olympics in Sheffield, which took place earlier this month.

He said: “I really enjoyed it, there were over 10,000 people at the opening ceremony and the atmosphere was amazing.”

After graduating from his Project Search internship, Neil hopes to work outdoors as a groundsman, as he’s interested in the environment and also loves drystone walling.

Project Search, run jointly by Southfield School, national charity Hft, the University of Bradford and Bradford Council, has a 67 per cent success rate for getting its interns into jobs, compared with a national employment rate for people with learning difficulties of six per cent.