Hello to our new YPWD team member

Amy Pagan officially joins the charity in January 2021 and you'll see her on our video workshops and out and about on walks and micro-groups. We managed to grab a few minutes of Amy's time to ask her a few questions and to find out more about her before she starts her YPWD journey

What was it that initially attracted you to apply to work at YPWD?

Before my Nan passed away she lived with dementia for many years, so making a difference for younger people with dementia is something that I feel very passionate about. Whilst I was at university, I also worked on the dementia floor at a care home and am keen to understand more about dementia and its many forms. I have a really caring personality and what drew me to apply to work at YPWD is that the charity is all about caring for, supporting and helping people. 

You’ve been through the application and interview process – and following this what would you say is the most appealing part of this new job at YPWD?

I honestly think that what the charity does every day is amazing, and the services that are provided are fun, therapeutic, educational, and collaborative. I love that I will get to make my mark with the role by bringing my own expertise whilst participating in different workshops and learning from my colleagues. I think that the most appealing part of working for YPWD is how rewarding the role is, and the positivity surrounding the charity and team which I have already seen. I think it is great that YPWD have been able to continue their support and services during the COVID-19 pandemic by using Zoom and I am so glad that means that I will definitely be able to start my role regardless of the circumstances.

What would you say you are most looking forward to about being part of the YPWD team and services?

I’m really looking forward to getting started now, I can’t wait to be a part of the workshops and see how they run. The positivity of the team is also something that makes me excited to get started and I cannot wait to work alongside everyone. YPWD have already made me feel so very welcome and have done everything to make me feel included, which makes me feel incredibly positive about beginning this new chapter in my life. 

Can you share with our readers a little about what you currently do and how that will influence you at YPWD?

For two years since graduating from university, I have been working as a Lead Drama Coach for an acting company in Reading. I have also been lucky enough to be the Head of the Drama Faculty for another performing arts company, running classes all day on a Saturday for just over a year. This means creating lesson plans and leading drama workshops for children and young adults aged 4 to 19. I also prepare my students to get the best score possible in their London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMBDA) qualifications.  I coach children and young people in musical theatre, mime, acting, public speaking, verse and prose. Alongside gaining performing arts skills, my students gain skills in communication, organisation, focus, teamwork, and self-confidence. I think these life skills are very important for everyone, and I hope to bring elements of these to my workshops at YPWD. 

You are clearly passionate about the arts, so with that in mind are you able to tell us what your favourite theatre production or film or TV show or book is and why?

I believe that every genre should be celebrated for their own distinctive reasons in TV, film, literature, and theatre. I feel that these platforms are amazing places to display and pick apart current issues in the world and really make you feel something. I have watched a lot of theatre, film, TV and read a lot of books, so I always struggle to pinpoint a real favourite, however I recently watched the TV series 'Chernobyl' and it was definitely one of the best things I’ve watched. It was educational, hard-hitting, and taught me a lot that I did not know about one of the most tragic events in recent history.  

What is the most interesting place that you have visited in the world and why?

The most interesting place I have visited in the world would have to be New York, simply because there is so much to do and so much to see. The buildings are amazing in themselves as they are exceptionally tall, and the streets are constantly buzzing with life. Times Square is the most picturesque place with colourful billboards all around and there are theatres on every corner producing every show you could think of. It is such an incredible city with countless things to see and is worlds apart from where I live in the UK.

If you had to choose one person in the world that you would aspire to be like who would that be and why?

My inspiration in life is my mum, she raised me on her own despite her dreams of having a big family and played both roles of a mother and father. Every year while I was growing up she made sure I saw a different part of the world and sourced everything I needed even though she was struggling financially. My mum taught me the importance of being a strong woman and standing on my own two feet. She taught me how to be selfless, kind and loving and to focus on the positive aspects of life, even when life had been seriously unkind to her. I have been extremely fortunate to have her as my mum and I can only hope that I am half the beautiful woman that she is.

Do you have any interests, hobbies, life experiences or skills that would surprise people?

I’m not sure I have any hobbies or life experiences which would surprise people, but I do love to try new things and learn new skills. When I was younger, I was part of a swimming team, played badminton, took tennis lessons, and competed at trampolining competitions. Alongside this, I danced, sang, and acted; I always like to give everything a try. 

What is your favourite meal and why?

My favourite meal is a curry, I’m a real foodie and I think a curry is really flavoursome. I like to experiment with different flavours and ingredients.  

Cat or dog and why?

I love dogs because they are so loving and as soon as you walk into a house where a dog is, they are there to excitedly greet you. I love cats as well, but you do meet some grumpy ones!