Manager dedicates three decades to providing housing services in Buckhaven

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Rachael England, Manager at Bield’s Braehead Gardens.

A LOCAL retirement manager with three decades of experience has hailed the importance of community spirit as an integral part of the development.

Beginning her career at just 17, Rachael England (Rae) has been working within the housing sector in the area since 1982 and joined Bield in 1991.

Rae currently works as a Retirement Housing Manager at Braehead Gardens in Buckhaven, Leven and has undergone an array of health care, leadership and management qualifications.

She said: “I’ve seen many changes in the sector over the 30 years however, the transition over the last year has probably been the biggest.

“The pandemic has seen staff from different developments coming together virtually to support each other.

“It’s one of the many things I love about working at Braehead Gardens – there’s always been an amazing community spirit and kindness shown from staff as well as customers and the local community.

“In good weather and more normal times, customers like to sit outside in the sun or at the entrance to chat with visitors as they arrive or leave.”

Part of the community spirit comes from the active social calendar Rae and her team organise with regular social events adapted to interests of the customers.

Rae added: “During the pandemic one of the local community groups managed to organise a piper, dancers and a singer to entertain tenants which was really special. Previously we’ve also hosted many concerts with a buffet tea.

“In normal times there’s always something going on, we have a volunteer visiting regularly who joins customers to play board games and has a chat and a cuppa.

“We also have a hair salon every Wednesday with the regular visit from a local hairdresser which customers really enjoy.”

The development benefits from an optional meal service, a main lounge with a kitchen for customers to use, a small sitting area, two library areas, a laundry room, kitchen, dining room and a twin bed Guest Flat.

Rae said: “The optional meal service involves a 3-course lunch and tea prepared by our two excellent cooks who ensure tenants receive two healthy nutritional meals seven days a week & home baking daily.

“Braehead Gardens is often described by visitors as being fresh, clean, and always smelling lovely – which is due to the diligent cleaning by the Scheme Assistants.”

Rae is responsible for managing the 27 properties within the development which includes eight studio flats and nine one-bedroom flats on the ground floor and 10 one-bedroom flats on the upper floor.

She added: “The properties are surrounded by a lot of greenery which I think makes Braehead so special. We have an orchard with benches all around so customers can help themselves to apples, pears and plums while enjoying a view of the sea. It’s really peaceful here.”

Braehead Gardens has three ground floor studio flats available all designed with a wet floor shower.

Bield is a registered charity dedicated to providing flexible housing solutions and support for older people.

To find out more about us and our developments, visit https://www.bield.co.uk/housing-and-other-services or follow on Facebook @bieldhousingandcare and Twitter @BieldScotland.