Living and working together cements happy relationship for Nottingham's construction couple

14 August 2017

belinda and stuart

Stuart Beesley and Belinda Speak are a happy and successful partnership - on and off the building site.

Not only do Stuart and Belinda share a home as an engaged couple, they work alongside one another as site manager and assistant site manager respectively at Bovis Homes' Edwalton Fields location on the outskirts of Nottingham.

While that kind of arrangement might not work for everyone, Stuart and Belinda are delighted to be spending time together at work, as well as at home in Lincoln, after love blossomed six years ago.

"People wouldn't know that we're a couple unless we told them, they'd just think we were normal colleagues at work," explained Belinda. "They're are often really shocked when they find out!

"Many people have told us, 'Oh my word, I could never work with my other half, it would be absolutely horrendous', but for us it works perfectly. We know what makes each other tick and we've got strengths in different areas. It's a real positive, definitely."

Stuart, who won a highly prestigious NHBC Pride In the Job award last year, said the secret of their success at work was that both were dedicated to doing a good job.

"If you're not passionate about this job, you won't succeed - it's as simple as that," he said. "The thing is, when we're on site, we don't think about ourselves as a couple working together, we just get on with our jobs."

Managing a building site successfully requires meticulous planning and sharp-eyed attention to detail, to ensure the project delivers high-quality homes for customers. But in stark contrast to the highly-organised nature of their day jobs, the way in which Stuart and Belinda found themselves working together at Edwalton Fields came about purely by coincidence.

"It's really strange because it's not something that we set out to do - it was just circumstance," said Belinda, who has worked for Bovis Homes for two and a half years.

"We had worked for the same construction company, though not necessarily together.
"After we left, we both ended up working for Bovis Homes through an agency as site managers, but again on different sites.

"Then we both got offered permanent positions by Bovis Homes and it just so happened that jobs came up at the same time for both of us on the same site. It's worked out great. I'm actually a site manager, not an assistant, but I took on this position as an assistant so I could be based here.

"I think the thing I enjoy most is pace of the job. I'm a person who quite likes to be busy and for there to be a bit of pressure and challenges.
"Plus, no two days are the same. Every day is completely different - that's what I really love about the job."

Stuart, who has worked for Bovis Homes for three years, won the Pride In the Job award after demonstrating excellent leadership, technical expertise and robust health and safety processes. He said establishing trust and credibility with homebuyers and the whole site team was a crucial part of the success of any site manager.

"Take pride in what you're doing, and if you treat your team with respect, you'll get respect back," said Stuart. "We've had customers buying us champagne because they've been so happy with their new home, which is lovely."