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And another interview! Let's Find Out About Stacey!

Updated: Dec 15, 2021

Tell us a little about yourself Stacey

I live in Saintfield. I’ve lived there all my life and I have a little boy who is two years old and there is another little baby coming in February. I have a lovely dog called Molly who loves to test my patience. She is Lab/collie cross. She’s a wee rescue dog. She can be more of a handful than the baby! I also have a brother and a fabulous mum and dad and very good friends.

Have you ever had a desire to live anywhere else?

No. Everything I need is in Saintfield and everyone is so friendly and it’s nice and quiet. I live in a small housing estate about a mile outside Saintfield and we have such great neighbours, who are always there for each other. Neighbours that you could go to get help with your homework. Such lovely neighbours, so I never wanted to move too far. I wanted to bring my boy up in the same place, and the schools are very good too. I went to Saintfield Academy and his daddy went there, and my mum works there, so I’m hoping he will go there too.

And so, after school, what did you do?

I went to Downpatrick College. I studied Health and Social Care and then I returned to study Child Care. I then worked for around 14 years in a private day nursery. Then I returned to studies for 3 years and did a degree in Leadership and Management in Children’s Care, Learning and Development.

I thought I might like to become a social worker, but then thought at the time, that wasn’t for me, so I continued in the private day care nursery.

So, how did you end up working at the Link?

I saw an advert on the CommunityNI page for the position of Young Parent Support Worker with responsibilities towards Youth. When I first started, there was 3 of us working in the Youth work, but unfortunately there is just me at the moment. The boys that come to LYFE are just brilliant, and I also do 3 days a week on the Young Parents Support.

Do you enjoy your job?

I love my job, and not many people can say that. The job has become harder obviously with just one member of staff. I want to make sure that everybody is being supported. A lot of the young parents don’t have other members of their family to support them, so they don’t have the support that they really need, so a lot of them really do need us to support them through these difficult times. But when you see these young mums coping and their children developing well and the mums getting a job, and their confidence being built up it makes the job so worthwhile. When you see them budgeting properly, buying stuff to make a proper healthy dinner with. That is so rewarding!

A lot of these girls have no family to support them. We are hoping to work with Include Youth in teaching Positive Parenting and Life Skills and boosting your self-confidence.

One of the lovely things about working here in the Link is that when you do your job, somebody says “Thank you!” to you. It might sound so small but knowing that you are appreciated for the work you have done is so uplifting.

Can I just say that the Young Parents Programme accepts anybody, as long as they are under the age of twenty five.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the girls and their children happy. Seeing their family happy, and not scared or worried or isolated. Seeing that they are not suffering from domestic violence anymore, seeing them smile. It confirms that what we are doing is working. The care plans are working. It’s lovely when you see smiles on the faces of the mums and their children.

Getting away from work, what makes you tick, apart from of course the two loves of your life, Mark and Matty?

I have mum friends. We go to Funky Monkeys, we go to Global Play, Let’s Go Hydro. We’re going to Fodder, beside Downpatrick. But outside of work, my time is all for my child, Matty. I like to watch the soaps now and again. I have a quick catch-up when he is sleeping, fast-forwarding. I take mum out Sunday shopping and Saturday shopping. What I used to do was drive away to Dundrum Bay with Molly, the dog, and walk right through from Murlough to Newcastle and back. Although I would never do the Mourne Mountains. I tried it one day and Mark and I fell out over it. That was our first row. If I have free time, Molly and I would go for a walk. As long as it is a circle walk and not having to walk out and all the way back on the same route.

Tell us something unusual about yourself that people generally wouldn’t know.

I have had a best friend from primary school, Nicola. There aren’t many people can say that nowadays. But what I was going to say was that I am double jointed in my fingers. My fingers have always clicked, and they bend right back.

You never know what you are going to hear with that question!! Thanks Stacey for that.


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