Staff in the Spotlight
Kingdom Homes Limited employs around 350 people in Fife. Throughout the organisation there are many different job roles. Here are a few of the people who currently work for the company.
Colleen Duncan – Cook
Colleen is one of two cooks employed at Alexander House Nursing Home in Crossgates. Having worked for the company at Craigie House before moving to Alexander House when it opened in 2007 she now has over 13 years service with Kingdom Homes.
When Colleen first left school she worked in the hotel that her parents owned as a chambermaid and also in the kitchen.
When asked what she enjoys most about her job Colleen confirmed that it's the people she works with. She said the team at Alexander House are a very close knit one and everyone supports each other in all aspects.
When residents first move into the nursing home Colleen meets them to establish their dietary requirements and more simply their likes and dislikes food wise. This means she gets to know everyone right from the start. Some residents families are daily visitors and often stay to eat their meals there too so Colleen feels that she gets to know the families as well.
Outside work Colleen is a recent convert to cruise holidays. She has been on two cruises and plans to add a few more destinations to her list. Cruising gives Colleen the chance to relax whilst someone else does the cooking for a change!
It was on one of these cruise holidays that Colleen developed a liking for running. Seeing the treadmill in the ship's gym as a way of working off all the lovely food she soon found that she enjoyed running and bought her own treadmill after returning home. She now runs about five times a week and recently completed her first Race For Life charity run.
Hazel Beattie – Receptionist
Hazel Beattie has been receptionist at Alexander House since 2009. As well as her receptionist duties Hazel acts as the main point of contact for all eight Kingdom Homes care homes for the software application which records staff timekeeping and absence data.
When asked what she enjoys most about her job without hesitation Hazel said "the banter amongst the staff and working for Sharon Adams (Manager of Alexander House) - she is brilliant to work for". Hazel also enjoys speaking to the residents and helping them out with little problems.
Hazel's previous job was quite different from working in a nursing home - she was a member of the British Army for 15 years in total. She spent 5 years with the Royal Signals as a Telecoms Technician and 10 with the Adjutant General Corps as a clerk dealing mainly with pay and administration. She married and had her two children whilst still serving in the Army and served in various countries including N. Ireland, Cyprus, Germany and England.
Hazel's hobbies include running - she completed several half marathons whilst on tour with the army and swimming and reading.
Rhona Laing – Assistant Support Worker
Rhona has worked at Barrogil House in Cluny since summer 2010. Her work experience before joining Kingdom Homes was varied with spells as a Shorthand Typist in a solicitor's office, Shop Assistant, Barmaid and Cleaner. Her most recent job before joining the company was in an electronics factory for a total of 10 years.
Rhona's working day begins at 7.30am by setting up the breakfast trolley, selecting a nice music CD to play while the residents eat and then serving breakfast. Rhona says serving breakfast every day gives her a good idea of everyone's appetite and if someone doesn't seem to have eaten as much as usual she can pass on any concerns to a more senior member of staff. Next on her list of duties is cleaning but, as residents needs always come first, she may pause her cleaning to assist someone and sometimes she also helps with activities. Her personal favourite activity is helping with the carpet bowls.
Outside work Rhona has a rescue greyhound as a pet. Ike is a former champion who was rehomed from the Newcastle area when his racing days were over. She also loves James Bond movies, Sean Connery being her favourite actor in the leading role. Rhona likes to watch ballet and confesses to being mad about sci fi.
When asked what she enjoys best about her work at Barrogil House, Rhona said she loves talking to and getting to know the residents. "That's where the job satisfaction is, they are brilliant".
Lindsay Anderson – Admin Assistant
Lindsay joined Kingdom Homes in 2007 as an Admin Assistant at the company's Head Office in Cluny.
Her role is varied and includes ordering stationery, medical requisites, care aids etc for all of the care homes in the group, processing recruitment applications, invoice processing and many other admin related tasks. "I enjoy my job as it is non-stop and I'm always busy" said Lindsay.
Lindsay studied for her HND in Business Administration at Adam Smith College in Kirkcaldy and worked briefly at a call centre before joining Kingdom Homes. She was also the assistant manager of a kilt shop in St Andrews for a time.
Whilst still at school she was selected to be one of a group who travelled to Ingolstadt, Kirkcaldy's twin town in Germany, where she represented her home town at a week-long festival encouraging the German people to try traditional Scottish produce including haggis.
Tom Slowey – Minibus Driver
Tom Slowey's main role involves driving the minibus, taking residents on outings from each of the care homes in the Kingdom Homes group. First thing each morning however he drives the children who attend the Kingdom Kiddies Nursery breakfast club to school. After dropping off the children he drives to whichever of the care homes has use of the bus that day. The eight care homes share the minibus on a rota basis. They either have one full day trip or shorter morning and afternoon trips depending on the number of residents who want to go out that day and on the distance of their chosen destination. Certainly every day is a different experience for Tom.
The residents are in very capable hands when they are out on his bus as Tom has his SVQ Level 3 in Health and Social Care, having previously worked as Senior Carer at Methven House nursing home before choosing to apply for the job as minibus driver.
Tom's previous career was in the manufacturing industry having worked for Forbo Nairn, the floor covering manufacturer and Flexel International. It was whilst working for Flexel that he was fortunate enough to receive an invitation to Buckingham Palace to attend a reception with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for the winners of "The Queens Award for Export and Technology". Tom recalls having a fabulous time that day and has kept his invitation and lapel name badge as keepsakes.
Anne Ewan – Activities Co-ordinator
Anne Ewan has been the Activities Co-ordinator at Alexander House in Crossgates since November 2007. Anne's role has plenty of variety including organising concerts and special theme days, acting out short plays, accompanying residents on trips in the minibus, arts and craft work, reminiscence sessions and many other activities the residents enjoy at Alexander House on a one-to-one or a group basis.
After having brought up her own family Anne decided to sit her Higher in Art and having accomplished this went on to complete an HNC in Art and Design at college. Her natural creativity is a huge asset in her role and something that Anne tries to help bring out in the residents. Anne says she loves all aspects of her job - she enjoys bringing a smile to someone's face and encouraging them to enjoy new experiences and "to be as much as they can be".
Anne worked in the theatre before her children were born and her claim to fame is having ruined Rudolph Nureyev's tights when his Russian ballet company visited the Palace Theatre in Manchester where she was the assistant wardrobe mistress. By all accounts he was not amused but Anne insists no-one told her the tumble dryer was faulty that day. By the time she realised, the tights (his favourite pair she learned!) were melted to the side of the dryer.
Steven Hunter – Maintenance Team
Steven is one of Kingdom Homes longest serving members of staff, having joined the company at the original Methven House care home in 1993. Steven remembers his interview when he was offered the job there and then and started work the following day!
His career began as a trainee carer and he progressed to the level of senior carer. Steven recalls that in those days carers also cleaned, prepared snacks and supper for the residents. On night shifts there was ironing and preparing the vegetables to keep staff busy.
Steven was real a "Jack of all trades" also turning his hand to repairs and redecorating around Methven House. When the maintenance man retired in 1998 Steven replaced him and has worked as part of the maintenance team which has grown over the years as the company's expansion continued. His job takes him into all of the care homes and the nursery.
Joining Kingdom Homes was certainly a life changing experience for Steven as he met his wife Dawn at work in 1996. They married in 1998 and now have two daughters. Loyalty obviously runs in the family as Dawn also still works for the company as a senior carer at the new Methven House nursing home.