Meet Pam Fenna
Pam is a member of the Isle of Wight LINk's Enter And View Team. We like to get to know all of our active members, so we asked Pam if she'd be kind enough to answer a few questions about herself...
What's your background?
"All my working life, (from 21 to 60 with a 7yr break for child rearing) I was an Occupational Therapist in 'Working Age Adult', then in 'Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Services', but the bulk of my experience was in 'Psychiatry of Old Age' treating patients with both Organic and Functional Illnesses. In addition to my clinical work I was the Head of OT and had staff working in the full range of Psychiatric Services, and was involved in their service developments."
"For several years I was Vice Chair of Age Concern Teesside and in addition to the usual responsibilities associated with this position obtained a research grant from Age Concern England to set up a service for ex-psychiatric patients facilitating their running a variety of activities from holidays to lunch, art, craft and sporting groups."
"Our daughter has also become an Occupational Therapist working in a psychiatric service so through discussions with her I keep somewhat up-to-date with current issues."
"My Aunt who lives in the Midlands is the only one of our preceding generation still alive and unfortunately has a variety of health issues. Due to this I have current experience of navigating round the range of social and health services albeit not locally."
What would you say are the LINk's priorities for 2012?
"I have only been involved in the Enter and View activities of the LINk so do not have an overall view of all aspects of its work. From an Enter and View perspective I feel that we should continue with the current areas of work and try to interest more people so that the work can progress at a more rapid pace. Recruiting more interested people is essential if the work load is to be increased as I feel there is a need for."
What's the best thing about being a member of the LINk?
"The best thing about being a member of LINk for me is meeting people. I have lived on the island for five and a half years, but family reasons meant that I was unable to make the necessary steps immediately to meet people. When the time was right, I was eager to meet like-minded people and being a member of LINk also fulfils a need in me left by the loss of my professional life."
Do you have any amusing anecdotes that you'd like to share?
During my working life we had many laughs with patients, but never at them. Working with people with mental health problems you can never get 'above' yourself. I was complimented by one young patient on the sweater I was wearing, who being fashion conscious asked where I had bought it from. When I replied “New Look” his response was 'Oh, isn’t that a place for young people?'"
Do you have any hobbies?
"Having trained as an Occupational Therapist many years ago I of course am interested in a wide range of craft activities: basketry, sewing, lace making among them. My main activity hobby however is gardening. I am very involved with the Jubilee Sailing Trust, which sails their two tall ships, with half the crews having physical disabilities. I’ve just come back from doing a spell of maintenance as a volunteer on The Lord Nelson and also sail in the volunteer position as Cook’s Assistant on either of the two ships. Our only Grandchild now lives on the Isle of Man so it’s a new hobby to go and see him as often as we can."