David Pratt is well known face around Inchmarlo Village, because he’s our longest serving member of staff. He’s worked with us for over 20 years, so we caught up with David to find out what has appealed to him, over the decades, about the Inchmarlo lifestyle.
Let’s start at the beginning. Where does your Inchmarlo story start?
“I was a Post Office driver down in Dunfermline, so I was entrusted with valuable property, money and vehicles, so it was responsible role. My brother-in-law, meanwhile, already worked at Inchmarlo, and told me they were looking for a Security Guard/Warden. The timing to apply was perfect as my wife wished to be closer to her father in Aberdeenshire, so, in 1999, I went for the interview and, as they say, the rest is history.’
‘Over the years I’ve progressed through the ranks, and I’m now Head of Security and Facilities Manager. This means I’m involved more in the management side of things. We’ll talk about projects in meetings, but it’s often down to me and my team to get things done, and ensure that projects become a reality. Naturally the security and maintenance team has increased in number as Inchmarlo has expanded, so now there’s seven of us in total, keeping things up to scratch and safe.”
How Have Things Changed Over the Years?
“The residents have changed so much since when I first started – these days they’re all about their technology. Nowadays they move in with tablets, smart phones, smart TVs, so I need to keep across all these new systems so I can help them settle in.’
‘New arrivals are very young at heart — life begins when they retire, rather than the other way round. They have higher expectations of what their retirement will feel like and what it will involve. They’re off hillwalking, or running the Inchmarlo Pub on a Friday night, or hosting Quiz Nights. They’re creating a community, and enjoying their lifestyle and freedom.’
‘To give you an example, my immediate task, for example, is setting up Inchmarlo’s new wireless PA system for a Homeowners event. I enjoy these challenges and learning new things that enable our residents to live life to the full.”
Do You get to Know the Homeowners & Residents?
‘When I initially joined the Inchmarlo team I was only 22, the youngest member of the security team, but I’ve often been told I have an old head on young shoulders so I naturally got on with many of the retirees.’
‘The aim of Inchmarlo is to enhance independence, so many homeowners here just get on with their own lives, but they know I’d help them if and when it’s required.’
‘We also get to know people’s routines. Every night our team drives around the estate every for security purposes, and if we see a light on in a house at 3am we’ll knock on the door to check if the person’s ok or had a fall. Or if the curtains are still drawn at 10am we might check in on someone. On the other hand, some people like to stay up till 1am, then lie in, so we learn and notice things, so we can judge when someone isn’t right.’
‘And, if anyone’s concerned about their neighbour, I can pop in to carry out some routine maintenance, and simultaneously have a chat with them. Then, if need be, I can call a nurse of liaison officer. We’re all a team, a community, and we look out for each other.’
‘Ultimately I like helping people, and I’ve been here so long, it’s quite instinctive judging how much help each individual needs and wants. It’s about figuring out how people tick.”
What’s the Most Rewarding Aspect of the Job?
“Incharmarlo is home for residents’ golden years, their final fling. My team and I aim to make their life as easy and as fulfilling as possible, for as long as they have here. From witnessing Inchmarlo’s Carols at Christmas, to the homeowners’ Friday night Pub, I see people’s eyes light up and it gives me great satisfaction.”
Inchmarlo – Where Gracious Living Comes Naturally
Today Inchmarlo consists of over 190 houses and apartments and a 52 bed care home designated Grade 4 by the Care Inspectorate. If you or your relatives have any questions about Inchmarlo please contact Dawn Ronaldson on 01330 824981. We’d happily give you a guided tour, send a brochure or answer any queries.