12 December, 2022      Company UpdatesCore ValuesCSR

Last week, we were honoured to attend Business in the Community’s (BITC) Responsible Business Live event to celebrate its 40th anniversary. His Majesty The King joined members of the BITC to commemorate the amazing work they’ve been doing to make a positive difference across the country.

What is The Business in the Community?

Business in the Community (BITC) was formed in 1982 and is the largest and longest established membership organisation dedicated to responsible business. Today, the organisation works and campaigns with more than 600 businesses, alongside other stakeholders, with the aim of making society fairer and greener. HM The King was the royal founding patron of BITC during his time as Prince of Wales. Novus has been a proud member supporting the BITC movement for 12 years.

BITC Responsible Business Event

To celebrate 40 years since the BITC was established, a Responsible Business Live event was held to enable its members to come together and honour how businesses have made a positive impact on our communities, and discuss what can be done to overcome new challenges. The event concentrated on three main topics including:

  1. Seeing is Believing Programme – Helping left-behind communities
  2. Race at Work Charter – Improving the quality of opportunity in the workplace
  3. National Business Response Network (NBRN) – Responding to the Cost-of-Living crisis

The event was joined by HM The King who has been instrumental in driving the responsible business agenda ever since BITC was founded. He praised members on their continued hard work in making positive impacts in their communities.

HM The King also took the time to meet the organisation’s founders, members, and beneficiaries and recognised the impact of BITC’s Race at Work initiative which we signed up to earlier this year. This shows our commitment to being an inclusive employer and allows us to gain further knowledge on how we can support our employees in feeling they belong, are valued, have a voice and can be their authentic selves at work.

The Seeing is Believing Programme was also a main topic, highlighting ways businesses can help those communities in need. The programme was born from a simple but powerful belief that the best way to close the gap between the boardroom and the community is to take business leaders out to the communities themselves. That’s why over the years The Seeing is Believing Programme has brought 25,000 business leaders to different locations where they witnessed first-hand the challenges faced by people living in left-behind communities.

As part of their anniversary year, BITC took 60 business leaders into communities with the greatest need, including Bradford, Coventry, Norwich and Rochdale, helping them understand the issues impacting these communities and learn more about the front-line organisations helping people -from foodbanks to youth hubs.

Supporting the programme, we previously hosted a ‘Seeing is Believing’ visit in Stoke-on-Trent, led by our shareholder and 4th generation of the Seddon family, Stuart Seddon. Business leaders from across the city joined the event which focused on developing pro bono business support for third sector organisations. Stuart then reported back to the former Prince of Wales (now King Charles III) on the impact.


We also play our part in supporting the National Business Response Network (NBRN) through our Build Back Better initiative focusing on reducing poverty and helping those most vulnerable, especially through the current cost-of-living crisis.

Our Non-Executive Director Sophie Seddon Hall attended the event and commented:

“It was a truly remarkable event, not only being in the presence of HM King Charles, but to also hear about the incredible work other businesses do across Great Britain.  It has also reminded me of the fantastic work our people do in our communities and sparked some ideas as to what more we can do next year.”

In 2020 Sophie was appointed a board trustee at the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) which sees her play a part in future-proofing the sector and making it more inclusive. She has been using her experience, both within the industry and after more than 10 years at Novus, to help shape and inform future training schemes.

Our Head of Social Value and Client/Customer Care, Kevin Rhone, who also attended the event joined the Business in the Community’s (BITC) West Midlands Regional Leadership Board in January this year, helping to influence local debates, shape the agenda for action, and work with other leaders to identify how businesses can help innovate and create more sustainable livelihoods and prosperous communities.

Kevin has been recognised for his efforts in helping local communities by winning the BITC Game Changer Award for his lead within the responsible business movement. The award was presented by former the Prince of Wales, now HM The King.

Reflecting on Housing 2024

Reflecting on Housing 2024

We’re delighted to have had a successful presence at Housing 2024, a key event in our annual calendar. The three-day event sees stakeholders from across the housing sector come together at Manchester Central to discuss and collaborate to identify solutions.


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