Housing assistant goes full circle after growing up in Bield developments

Retirement housing assistant, Stacey Devine has shared her unique story of growing up in Bield developments and having numerous grannies and grandads.

Stacey spent 12 years between the ages of 6-18 living in developments across the country with her younger sister, and her mother and housing officer, Linda Wilkie, who spent 24 years working for Bield.

The 34-year-old has now gone full circle after joining the team in 2016 and helping tenants at Ochilview Court in Armadale.

Stacey said growing up on a Bield development was an amazing experience, and felt like having multiple grandparents living under the one roof and added: “My mum was a manager at the developments, and back then the manager stayed on site to provide help for any tenants who needed assistance.

“For me and my sister it meant we spent most of our childhood running around the development speaking to all of the tenants each day, it felt like having 30 grandmothers, and 30 grandfathers, it was great.

“Each tenant felt like an extension of our own family and they were intertwined with our lives growing up. At the end of the day these people were our neighbours, and we experienced a lot of personal milestones with them as well as celebrated special holidays. From our birthday parties to having fish supper nights.

“My mum would have me and my sister help serve breakfast rolls during power cuts, make tea and coffee for the tenants, we’d even recite poetry and sing songs.

“We shared so many memories with them, and in many ways it taught me how to interact with people, and how everyone is young at heart.

“It was such a unique experience, when all my friends were growing up in their normal houses, I had the privilege of being around so many different characters, with tremendous stories”.

After leaving Dean Court at the age of 18, Stacey returned in 2016 and took up a job at Manderson Court for two years before moving to Belgium with her family.

Upon her return, Stacey became the retirement housing assistant at Ochilview Court in November 2020, and has since reflected on how Bield has changed through the years.

Stacey said: “I have been involved with Bield for 28 years, and have seen so many things change in that time.

“Whenever I hear my keys rattle it takes me right back to when my mum used to walk around the developments with her keys in a pocket. When I first started working for Bield my mum and I briefly crossed over: with her finishing up, and I just starting. I had gone full circle.

“Despite the many changes Bield has undergone, the fundamental values and sense of community have always remained.

“Bield are a fantastic organisation to work for and have been so supportive to my family through the years. My grandad is currently living in a development, and my son and daughter have both regularly visited the developments making it four generations of involvement, it’s quite surreal.

“Although the job comes with its challenges it is really fulfilling, and I can’t wait to see what difference I can make in the future.”