Changing lives to build on past success

  31 AUGUST, 2017      CSR
Changing lives to build on past success

Following the news that we’re now committed to having a positive impact on 20,000 people through our Changing Lives campaign, our head of social value, Kevin Rhone, takes a look back on some of the initiative’s highlights so far. 

Busy Bees Educare nursery makeover

More than 200 children attend the Busy Bees Educare nursery in Cape Town, South Africa, where crime and gang activity make it difficult to run any business successfully.
 
In 2015, a team of five skilled tradespeople from Novus spent two weeks at the nursery, carrying out an extensive refurbishment that included repairs and painting to the building’s exterior and colourful new designs for the nursery’s classrooms and playground.
 
The team worked in punishingly hot conditions and completed the job to a superb standard. Novus also donated hundreds of football shirts to the nursery’s local community, following a drive for donations in the Stoke area.
 
Angela Adams, principal of Busy Bees Educare, said: “I want to thank everybody at Novus who has been involved in this fantastic project. We simply don’t have the money or manpower to be able to carry out the scale of work needed to bring the space up to standard. But the hard work and dedication of the Novus team means that the children can now learn in a colourful and stimulating environment.”

Pentre Gwyn Community Centre refurbishment

Over nine days, Novus brought together a team of volunteers, local businesses and local community figures to deliver a makeover and install a brand new kitchen at the Pentre Gwyn Community Centre, using materials donated by valued suppliers.

Staffordshire Business Class Cluster

Thistley Hough Academy was in special measures when it entered into a long-term partnership with Novus, with the aim of improving the school’s performance through business-focused initiatives. Thereafter, Novus staff made the short journey to the school to deliver needs-led activities, including mentoring, skills development, volunteering, and improvement of school facilities.
 
The success of this partnership led to the establishment of the Staffordshire Business Class Cluster in September 2013, bringing seven more businesses into the school to offer a broad range of support, and in 2014/15 the businesses in the cluster volunteered 1,718 hours, supporting 3,065 pupils by helping to improve skills and increase their employability.

Bristol Complex Needs makeover

More than 40 skilled tradespeople installed brand new kitchens for staff and residents, turned the common room into a café with a new floor, tables and chairs, and redecorated large areas of the Complex Needs facility in Stonebridge Park, Bristol.

Community Liaison Champion

The long-standing partnership between Novus and the Salvation Army Housing Association (saha) led to the creation of the role of Community Liaison Champion, which was advertised across the country. One of the saha residents, Leroy Simpson, had been seeking employment for over three years at that time and had been unsuccessful in over 100 interviews.

Now, Leroy plays a vital part in connecting Novus with the communities it serves, and he is thriving on the challenge that the job of Community Liaison Champion provides him with. Following his first day working for Novus, he said: “I applied to Novus as I was impressed with the business, being family owned and having a good reputation.”

SEARCH
RECENT POSTS
A day in the life of Michelle, our Helpdesk supervisor

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF MICHELLE, OUR HELPDESK SUPERVISOR

It’s a bright mid-May morning at Novus Scotland’s Bathgate office and Michelle has just come back on shift.   Michelle and her team of eight coordinate the responsive repairs of about 15,000 properties across Scotland, scheduling some fifty maintenance operatives to fix a whole range of resident-reported problems ranging from blocked toilets to broken garden fences. Michelle first checks the e-mail from the afterhours Helpdesk to see how her last job of the previous evening has progressed. Michelle is proud that Novus provide a 24-hour continuous service to help the residents with their most pressing maintenance issues, but sees that this plumbing job has not yet been fixed due to some sensitive safety considerations preventing Neil - the maintenance operative - from visiting the property alone.   After fully understating these concerns, Michelle contacted her Housing Association customer and arranged for Neil to be accompanied on his visit. Using the Impact Response workforce management system on-line job scheduling system, Michelle arranges for Neil to meet his Housing Association “chaperone” at 10:00am so the job could be completed. All the information he needs is automatically routed to Neil’s handheld Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) allowing him to see all necessary job details then record his arrival time at site, hours on task and capture the resident’s satisfaction with the finished job. Satisfied that the job had now been scheduled, Michelle returned to the other outstanding jobs across Scotland.  By querying the Impact Response system, she determined that twenty eight new jobs had been entered into the system - either by residents calling in, or directly by the Housing Association customers.  Michelle sorted these jobs by region and distributed them to her team for scheduling.   Michelle then got down to allocating the open jobs in her region to maintenance operatives.  She drew on her knowledge of the local area including traffic conditions during the day and of which types of repair an operative is qualified to handle.  This also involves optimising the route between jobs to ensure that each operative is busy but can make each appointment in the scheduled time window.  Michelle allocates operatives by postcode and has several printed maps of her coverage area to make this possible.   As Michelle grabs an early coffee she reflects on her morning so far.  She is delighted to have got the sensitive plumbing job underway and pleased that all the reactive repair works are being scheduled by her team.  Michelle knows how critical her team is to maintaining the resident’s quality of life, whilst ensuring that the Novus team are used to best effect to fulfil the contractual commitments.