Emmaus residents have been enjoying the ‘Dare to Dream’ photographic project thanks to the photographic skills of Amanda Wilmen and the support of Sharmain Peterson, both caring staff members who were looking for ways to brighten spirits during the most recent COVID Lockdown.
One resident, Lance Devine, reckoned he wouldn’t have his photo taken unless it was on the back of Harley. Rising to this challenge, the team said, ‘Not a problem, what day is good for you?’
Lance’s son, Anthony, who was thrilled to see the pleasure his Dad got from this photo opportunity, emailed his thanks.
‘Thanks, that’s an amazing photo. He couldn’t stop talking about the ride when we rang him yesterday. It’s the most talkative that he’s been in weeks. This lockdown has been so hard on him, but it’s just so gratifying to know that the carers there at Emmaus are doing what they can to keep the residents’ spirits up during these trying times,’ wrote Anthony.
The Dare to Dream project came to be through a casual conversation between Sharmain and Amanda about putting some of Amanda’s beautiful landscape photos up in the lounge room at Emmaus. Sharmain twigged to Amanda’s obvious interest in photography and asked, ” Why don’t you take some photos of the residents?”
‘We did a little trial one afternoon of some portrait photos, and then it just grew from there,’ says Sharmain.
‘Amanda would take photos, I would run around with props, and then she started editing and using different applications on the photos and it has got bigger and better as we have gone along,’ she added.
The purpose of the project is to try to capture some of the residents’ spirit and history through such things as music, their previous careers, hobbies such as surfing, outdoors. Some residents has specific requests for photos they wanted taken.
With the support of Facility Manager Alan Pretty, Gerry Buckland from Lifestyle communicated with all staff about photos shoot times and supplying props (which included, surfboards, feather boas, animals, and a Harley, among other things) and organising residents for their Photo Opp.
Sharmain emails the final edited photos to the family as a way of helping residents stay in touch with them during lockdown. The photos have been really appreciated by the families who have sent so many wonderful replies to these emails.