A day in the life...

With Alice Dunning, Operations Manager at Pratt House

Tell us a bit about your background

I came into this line of work at 17, when I became a cleaner for a care organisation. When I turned 18 the same company offered me a job as a carer and I really enjoyed it. I took some time out to have my three children, but when I was ready to get back to work it was an easy decision to go back into the care sector. That’s when I discovered Abbeyfield!

How long have you been at Abbeyfield?

It’s been quite a journey! I started at Pratt House in 2012 as a carer and became team leader a year later. After a couple more years I became a house manager, then moved to Care at Home part time for a while. I also did a stint as senior house manager at Winnersh when it first started, supporting with the care plans and the medication. I then came back to Pratt house at the end of 2017 as head of care and became the manager in July last year. So I’ve moved around a fair bit and done a bit of everything which is quite nice.

What’s a typical day at Pratt House like for you?

No two days are the same but everyday is spent making sure everything is running as it should.

In the mornings I generally catch up on what’s been going on since I was last in, and then spend time on my emails and answering phone calls, which start coming in quickly.

Normally late morning I do the rounds with the residents while they’re having their coffee. The rest of the day is spent answering queries from staff and residents and spending time with families, as well as doing all the health and safety bits and pieces. Normally I spend lunch in the lounge with residents and staff and I try and join in with the activities as much as I can. The residents really like it when the local children’s nursery come in and it’s lovely to see them so animated.

What’s your favourite part about working with the residents?

Just spending time with them really; sitting in the lounge with a cup of tea and chatting. I also love getting to know their families. It’s about building trust and making sure they know that we’re friends and are here to help.

What’s the most useful advice a resident has ever given to you?

Look after your skin. One of our residents is 104 and has amazing skin, which she puts down to drinking lots of water. I’m sure it’s good genes too!

Outside the office, how do you spend your free time?

With three young kids, I mainly spend my time driving them to various things like dance or guitar lessons. But my husband and I like to go out for dinner when we can and we try to get away at least once a year by ourselves for some sun and peace and quiet.

What are you currently watching / reading?

We love a BBC or ITV drama and Baptiste is fab!