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Allerdale occupational therapist nominated for top award

Pamela Armstrong

An occupational therapist who has helped transform people’s lives across Allerdale has been nominated for a top national award.

Pamela Armstrong, a housing occupational therapist, is currently working for Allerdale Borough Council on a secondment from Cumbria County Council.

Pamela, who studied at York St John’s University and graduated in 2009, has been shortlisted for Occupational Therapist of the Year in the 2019 Foundations National Healthy Housing Awards.

The award category recognises those whose work has helped individuals overcome adversity and by supporting them at home. The awards more generally celebrate innovative projects and the dedicated staff who support housing schemes and individuals across the country.

Emma Bundock, Pamela’s manager at Allerdale, put her forward for the award. Emma said how in the 12 months she has been in post, Pamela has had a “huge, positive impact” in the area.

An example of a case Pamela has worked on is that of a young west Cumbrian man who was severely injured in a crash and unable to return home. After being placed in temporary accommodation he was isolated from family and friends.

Pamela’s intervention in the case helped the man find a new premises, identify what specialist adaptations were needed and arranged for a dropped kerb to be put in place outside the property. The man is now living independently close to his family and friends. Without the time and effort put into the case the man may have waited several months or event years to find a suitable property.

Pamela started her career in Cumbria County Council’s adult social care team in 2011 and has worked in the Allerdale throughout that time.

“I’m chuffed to bits,” Pamela said.

“Housing has always been my passion. If someone is in suitable housing, feels safe, has the right facilities and is in the right location they have right tools to develop and be independent.”

Cllr Stephen Stoddart, Executive member for housing, health and wellbeing, said: “It’s wonderful that the great work Pamela has been doing is being recognised nationally. Everyone at Allerdale wishes her the best of luck.”

Doreen Singleton, professional lead for occupational therapy at the county council, said: “Pam has evidenced the positive impact that a dedicated occupational therapy post can make in the housing arena when working in a two tier council.

“Her passion for achieving the right outcomes for people is matched by her housing colleagues. Allerdale Borough Council’s drive for service improvements that make a real difference to people’s lives are realised through this initiative. Collaborative partnership working at its best, improving the offer to the people that we serve.

“Pam has been the linchpin in this initiative, she is a credit to the occupational therapy profession and the county council.”

The winner of the award will be announced at a ceremony on September 25.

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