NHS hero from Bow refuses to let autism hold him back

Bobby Price is an NHS worker at the Royal London hospital, Whitechapel. Picture: Emma Price

Bobby Price is an NHS worker at the Royal London hospital, Whitechapel. Picture: Emma Price - Credit: Archant

The battle against coronavirus has shown the true value of the NHS, as its workers receive the hero status they have always warranted.

Bobby Price is one such hero; the 24-year-old from Bow works at the nearby Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel, as a trainee equipment manager.

Though he didn’t expect to be working under such extraordinary circumstances, Bobby – who has autism and learning disabilities – has always aspired to work for the NHS.

That determination led the then 22-year-old to join a supported internship programme in 2018, which was designed to help Bobby develop the skills to transition into meaningful work.

And that he did.

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Bobby has been an NHS worker since last year, much to the pride of mum Emma Price, who chose to tell his story in World Autism Awareness Week:

“All Bobby has ever wanted is to work for the NHS, and it’s come true for him,” she said.

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“It makes me so proud to see him in his scrubs, working at the hospital and doing his part for the NHS; young people like Bobby are making an amazing impact.”

Calling her son an “inspiration”, Emma says Bobby’s success is down to mindset: “I take the lead from Bobby because his attitude is amazing. He always says to me ‘I work for the NHS and the NHS needs me’ – I find that so inspiring.”

The journey for mother and son hasn’t been easy, however.

Emma acknowledges that Bobby “wouldn’t be where he is today” without the efforts of the DFN Project SEARCH, which runs the internship programme that so improved Bobby’s employment prospects.

The 24-year-old always had the desire to work for the NHS, but thanks to the programme, he now also has the skillset.

Emma says he is popular amongst his colleagues too: “I get told by his managers that the storerooms have never been this tidy and stock control has never been so good.”

The NHS needs dedicated workers more than ever. That’s why it has never been more important for people like Bobby to have a pathway.

He is proof that, with the right nurturing, those with autism or learning disabilities can become NHS heroes themselves.

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