Pam McEvoy, Art Therapist at UPA’s Murray Vale Shalem dementia care hostel in Lavington was last week named the Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) NSW Employee of the Year for her dedication to residents.
Mrs McEvoy has worked with UPA for 28 years, taking on the role of Art Therapist in 2004.
Care Manager, Jaqui Hastings said over and above planning and conducting the art therapy classes, Mrs McEvoy has a special gift for dealing with those affected by dementia.
“Pam is kind and patient and plans the classes to facilitate each resident’s ability to express themselves through their art. She is dedicated to improving the residents’ lives and puts in many hours of her own time to extend this. This has included helping residents submit their works in local competitions and compiling and designing two cook books and calendars, the sales of which have been used to fund other resident art projects,” Mrs Hastings said.
“The benefits of the arts program are obvious to everyone who has seen them in action. Residents who may not normally socialise join in and this reduces their anxiety. The program gives residents a sense of purpose and achievement. The families of residents love the art program too, with the classes producing some fine artists and works that they have on their walls at home.
“Pam plans her art program to include families and has a small group of volunteers who provide support.”
Mrs Hastings said she couldn’t think of a more deserving person for the award.