In Your Shoes - Jenny MillerAll members Prev: Keith Haggart Next: Nicola Donnelly
I became involved with PAMIS when it was first established 26 years ago – (am I really that old?!) I was an occupational therapist and supported some of their first family carer workshops and then I was hooked. People with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families are the best educators that we have – they teach us how to care, how to act with compassion, how to communicate and how to work together to make life more inclusive for everyone. PAMIS and this group of people taught me so much in those early years that I took forward into my practice and career in health and social care. I remained involved both through work and later as a PAMIS Board member. When the post of CEO came up 4 years ago I applied and was delighted to be successful starting in January 2015. Still learning every day from the best teachers and an amazing bunch of staff.
Up north for the weekendMonday 10 September 2018
Supposedly on leave today – up North for the weekend. However couldn’t resist the opportunity to appear on a radio show about inclusive sport. On the way home however did resist a detour to Inverness shopping centre to see if we could nudge them into making the right decision about developing a changing place toilet, not sure they really get the absolute need for this life changing facility. People with complex healthcare needs cannot access their communities without this facility. It is not only a human rights issue but in my mind a really good business proposal. So many people are now shopping on line, but our families love a great day out as long as there are the right accessible facilities available. Five hours driving to contemplate next steps although short stop off in Aberfeldy to drop in laundry for the fabulous accessible holiday cottage that we are running.
Early startTuesday 11 September 2018
Early start into the office to prepare a funding application and speak with the funders about possibilities of a project to support family carers that want to have an opportunity to work. We will support them to develop their skills as educators in areas like postural care and to gain recognition for the wealth of skills they have developed as carers. They can dip into the PAMIS portfolio of courses. Then off to Edinburgh to the Cross Party Group on Learning Disabilities with the main topic on loneliness. Excellent presentations by several organisations talking about their projects to tackle this issue. I raised the lack of appropriate changing places toilets for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities as being a key issue to their exclusion from their communities and therefore leading to isolation and loneliness. Opportunity afterwards for networking and a catch up with a civil servant.
GlasgowWednesday 12 September 2018
Travelled through to Glasgow for a day of meetings. First one with Scottish commission for learning disabilities about a piece of research they would like our support with regarding quality of life of people with a learning disability. Then met with PAMIS staff in the Glasgow office to discuss programme for the Occupational Therapy students coming in a couple of weeks’ time. We also looked at the access audit tool which is currently being developed for a new project assessing accessible toilets. I am a trustee on the Board of Scottish Commission for Learning disabilities and we had one of the quarterly Board meetings this afternoon. Afterwards I met with our lead for the postural care strategy for Scotland to find out how the national meeting had gone and to discuss the next steps of this important project to support the knowledge and skills of family carers and practitioners in understanding how to prevent body deformity.
meetingsThursday 13 September 2018
Off to the Scottish and Southern Electricity external advisory panel meeting at the Perth office. Always impressed with their high standards of safety and would have loved to have reverse parked if only there had been a spare place! Joined the diverse group for lively discussions that support the organisation to consider the wider needs of their customers. It was good to see that our contributions were being listened to - use of accessible web browser, inclusion of extra priority service category and more training on mental health for staff. This meeting we looked at the strategy wheel and I made an offer to support practice placement opportunity for occupational therapy students. We also had a session with Alzheimer Scotland on Dementia. I am now proudly wearing my dementia friend’s badge. Back to the office to prepare for the PAMIS board meeting tomorrow and to catch up with emails.
Great to be a part of DundeeFriday 14 September 2018
Our chair came in early to prepare for the Board. Lucky to have an experienced and committed Board but recognised today that there were some possible gaps - members with a finance and/or business expertise. The agenda was focussed on finance and our work on becoming less reliant on Scottish government funding. Challenging in this current economic climate and we considered together the business plans for current projects and ideas for future fundraising.
A telephone meeting about our contributions to the royal psychological society conference in December. Proud to share our passion for co-production and the PAMIS model of family carer involvement as valued, respected and equal partners.
Ended the day with emails, and preparation for a session with occupational therapy students at Robert Gordon University. Left after 7pm for home as traffic jams due to the concert and celebrations of the opening of the V and A – great to be a part of Dundee.