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.”
Build Back Better: The Novus Food Bank Appeal
At the end of 2020, 32% of Novus colleagues voted that Novus should support local food banks and subsequently we launched the Novus Food Bank Appeal in December as part of our wider Build Back Better Campaign.