A Day In The Life of Malcolm Mcmillan
I normally get up around 6.30am, and like to start the day with some exercise. I spend around 45 minutes on my exercise bike, and then I’ll have my breakfast. I’ll usually have porridge before setting off for the office. I get to work at around 8.30am, and the first thing I do is check my e-mails and catch up on the news over a cup of tea.
At Absafe, we’re very busy during the school term with visits from children of all ages. From our facility in the Bridge of Don, we teach our visitors about the fundamentals of personal safety – whether it’s fire and road safety or cyberbullying. Our lessons are fun and interactive, and we encourage two-way dialogue, so the children really get involved with the sessions. We find that kids learn best this way.
On the days where we have school visits, I ensure our interactive classrooms are set up and I brief staff and volunteers about the day that lies ahead. When the school visit arrives around 10am, we do a quick safety quiz with the kids at the start of the day so we can measure their safety knowledge. We also test their hazard awareness and perception, ahead of a full-on day of fun. Our lessons last 20 minutes, so alongside the Absafe team and volunteers, we’re busy teaching right up until lunch time.
At about 11.45am, we’ll stop for a quick half an hour break. This is normally a working lunch for me, as I’ll use the time to quickly check in with the team and review any e-mails that have come in the morning. If I have time during the break, I’ll call the school that are due to arrive the next day to confirm numbers and any special arrangements that need to be facilitated.
Once I’ve done that, I’ll quickly have something to eat before the lessons begin. I try to be as healthy as I can, so I’ll normally have a salad or wrap.
The pupils, teachers and Absafe reconvene in our main hall, and the kids split up into their groups again. One of my main jobs here at Absafe is to ensure our lesson content is kept up-to-date and relevant. I spent 30 years with Grampian Police and Police Scotland, and we work with the local authorities to ensure the information we include is correct and age-appropriate.
In the afternoon, we continue our lessons up until around 1.30pm, where we reassess what the children have learned. We put the pupils to the test with another interactive quiz – the kids can get competitive, but it’s great to see as you know they’ve taken in our important safety messages. We end our session with a safety-themed singalong, the kids really enjoy it but luckily I keep my singing voice to a minimum.
Once the school has gone, the volunteers and the Absafe team have a short debrief about the day. We discuss how the sessions went and if we need to change anything for the following day. The rest of the afternoon is spent completing follow-up administration, and preparing for the next day where we do it all over again.
I normally leave the office at around 5pm. If we’ve had a full-on day of sessions, it’s nice to relax at home in the peace and quiet. I spend a lot of my time watching sport, especially football. I’m a big Real Madrid fan so I like to catch their matches when I can.
To unwind, I’ll catch up on the news from the day and watch Netflix. I’ve recently been watching House of Cards and Homeland. In the summer months, I like to get out and about on my Harley Davidson.
The Absafe team is a brilliant group of people to work with. Together, we’re making a difference, and that’s a great feeling.
What we teach is varied and interesting to all that come here. It’s good to see people of all ages engaging in what we do.
I like meeting new people and the nature of the job allows me to do that.
I manage the recruitment of our new volunteers and it’s great to see them develop and learn new skills.
There’s great job satisfaction in knowing you’re working towards a worthwhile cause.
The flexibility that my job offers is great for me and my family.
I enjoy taking the Absafe message into the wider community. This could be at school assemblies or lunch and learns in local businesses.
Most of all, I have the best fun at Absafe. What we are informing people about is very serious, but we deliver our lessons in a fun way that really makes their Absafe experience memorable.