How did you first get involved with PAMIS?
As part of my final year studying Occupational Therapy at university I was given the opportunity to select a non traditional setting for this ‘role emerging’ placement. I put forward my interest to be placed within PAMIS and I was lucky enough to be allocated within the Dundee office.
What inspired you to work with PAMIS?
I really enjoyed my placement with PAMIS, prior to this I had very little experience of working with people who experience learning disabilities. This really opened my eyes to how intense our families caring roles really are and the level of support PAMIS provides. I knew this was an area of work which I would enjoy however I didn't have a specific career path in mind at that time. Jenny had said she would keep in touch if there were any vacancies and I was really fortunate that before I graduated I had a secured a job working on the Future Choices Project in Glasgow.
I am currently involved in a few different PAMIS projects. One if my roles is to support families through the transition process from school to adult services within Greater Glasgow and Clyde. This is part of the Digital Transitions Project. I also work as part of the Self Directed Support Project to support families in South Lanarkshire through the Self Directed Support process. Both of these projects involve providing families with individual support during a time of change, uncertainty and stress. A key element which links both of these roles is the support I provide to help families to develop Digital Passports, which is a really positive tool in this often anxiety provoking period for families.
I also have involvement with the accessible leisure project within Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Currently I am trying to scope out opportunities as to where we can receive funding in order to roll out some exciting new projects in Glasgow so watch this space!
As a relatively new member of staff (just over a year) I am unsure of my expertise! I feel like through my work I am now knowledgeable about transitions and how I can support families to make this a more positive experience through support and preparation.
As a recent graduate I feel I also have real empathy towards students on placement at PAMIS and I endeavour to facilitate a positive placement experience for the students I support through I'm unsure if that is an expertise!
What does working at PAMIS mean to you
I really enjoy working at PAMIS, it’s lovely to be part of a small team who all have very different backgrounds and roles but all have a real passion: to support our families. Our family carers who have the most challenging care roles so it’s brilliant to be able to work with the entire family unit which sets us aside from statutory services.
Day to Day
Like most of us there is no typical day. I try to get into the office first thing to catch up on some phone calls and emails. Then I will generally be spending time with a family, this could be at a home visit, school review, meeting with social work or visiting a service. I don’t drive so I try to use my traveling time to reply to some emails. I then will generally drop into the office to touch base with my colleagues, grab some lunch then I am normally back out visiting a family again. After this I try to get back into the office to follow up on any typing up, emails etc that have come from my meetings. Sometimes I have some work to do helping families to develop digital passports which I really enjoy as it’s a more creative side to my role. I also supervise students who are on placement with PAMIS which is a good opportunity to share my own knowledge as well as brush up on some of my Occupational Therapy theories!
Something you wouldn’t know.
As a child I was very accident prone. I broke my arm on two separate occasions, fell out of a sledge which resulted in several stitches on my leg, and I was hit by a car where I broke my leg (which got me out of school for two months!)
Why do you think it's important to know about PAMIS
I feel like generally there is a poor understanding of PMLD in comparison to other long term conditions. However, these individuals have such complex needs there needs to be much more education around how to effectively support this group. PAMIS can provide that support in so many different forms; individual support, training professionals, research, campaigning- the list could go on and on. Hence why we are such an important organisation, even if we are a small team!
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think” A.A Milne.