Accessing Pages() in models

I have a site with Projects, where each Project has a number or related Pages fields to link to Associates.
To show the reverse relationship on the Associates pages (i.e. list any Project where that Associate is linked), I’m using the following model:


class AssociatePage extends Page

    public function projects()
        $page = $this;
        $projects = Pages()->index()->template('project')->filter(function ($project) use ($page) {
            return $project->client()->toPages()->has($page)
                || $project->agency()->toPages()->has($page)
                || $project->illustrator()->toPages()->has($page)
                || $project->designer()->toPages()->has($page)
                || $project->photographer()->toPages()->has($page);
        return $projects;

On the template:


$something = $pages->index(); // why does this need to be here for model to work?
  <?php foreach ($page->projects() as $p) : ?>
    <?= $p->title(); ?>
  <?php endforeach; ?>

If I don’t call that unused variable at the top of the template, I get no results from that model function. If it’s there, it works…

Am I accessing the Pages() collection correctly in the model? (as the $pages() variable isn’t available in models)