David Abernethy


I retired after 37 years in the Scottish Prison Service in September 2023. I was Dep Gov at HMP Barlinnie, Head of SPS College, Deputy Director of Operations for SPS, HM Inspector of Prisons and Governor of HMP’s Inverness, Shotts, Low Moss and Edinburgh.

I knew of RLP and the great work they do from my time as Governor of HMP Edinburgh. Incorporating an awareness of the impact of trauma was something I was acutely aware of in my professional life and it was something I wanted to try and get involved in now that I’m retired. I reached out to Shumela and asked if my “lived experience” could be of value to RLP and I was thrilled when she said she thought it could. I am now getting to know how RLP work in more detail and get to know the people involved. I believe this work can make a huge difference to the lives of the people who are involved, recipients of the services and the facilitators. I want to do all I can to support that work. In my experience making a difference is all about relationships and I want to do everything I can to create and develop the kind of relationships that will let this work and the organisation flourish.

I am a local Clackmannanshire boy, I was brought up in Tullibody and now live in Sauchie. So I feel a real local connection with RLP. I am married to a retired teacher who is also very involved in supporting local families through her work with the Children’s Panel. We have 3 grown up daughters and spend our spare time playing golf and travelling.