Vikki Cooper: coming full circle

  01 MAY, 2018      COMPANY UPDATES
Vikki Cooper: coming full circle

Vikki joined Novus in 2005 as an apprentice painter and decorator. Since completing her three-year apprenticeship and taking on the role full-time, she has steadily progressed to the position of site supervisor, now working out of our Birmingham office. In this blog, she explains why she decided to join our national network of Skills Champions as part of our new Skills 4 Life initiative. 
 
My first day as an apprentice was almost 12 years ago but I can still remember how I felt at the very beginning of my career with Novus.
 
So it was like coming full circle being asked to help during this year’s apprentice day. Watching the new intake of 26 fresh-faced apprentices get stuck into the challenge and work together brought memories flooding back for me. Find out more about this year’s challenge at the Macari Centre in Stoke-on-Trent here.
 
I thoroughly enjoyed mentoring the apprentices on the day, helping them with practical skills and answering their questions. I’m proud to be part of a company that actively supports and nurtures its staff throughout their careers. I’ve benefitted from Novus’ continual investment in my own training and career development over the last 12 years, and to be honest, this was one of the reasons why I put myself forward to be a Skills Champion - so that I can give something back and hopefully inspire others.
 
The Skills 4 Life initiative is all about passing on practical skills and giving people the confidence to try something new. Through the initiative we’re working closely with some of our social housing clients to equip residents with new skills and improve their job prospects at the same time. I’m the Skills Champion for the Bristol area which means that I’ll be on hand to help mentor small groups during any regional events in the future.
 
One of the first Skills 4 Life events I’ve been involved with was at the Macari Centre homeless shelter. We worked with a small group of residents to help them repaint one of the centre’s communal areas using their new-found skills. Seeing their reaction once the room had been transformed was really rewarding and I can’t wait to get involved in more events to come.
 
The Skills 4 Life initiative embodies Novus’ values. Working in the ‘Novus Way’, that is, by working together as a team, always looking to the future and nurturing relationships with colleagues and clients, is every bit as important as getting the job done right.
 
I love my job. Every day is different and I really enjoy getting out and meeting new people and seeing a job well done. I can honestly say I’ve given it my all and with Novus’ support I’ve come so far and I’ve got my sights set on further progression in the future.
 
To find out more about working with Novus take a look at our dedicated recruitment site

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Novus partners with Tpas and Home Group to tackle social housing stigma

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We’ve recently teamed up with Tpas and Home Group to support their Life Swap sessions in Leeds, as part of our ongoing commitment to equality and diversity. The workshops are designed to break down the barriers some people experience when living in social housing, by allowing them to share their stories and experiences with individuals from different backgrounds. You can find out more about the social housing services we offer, including planned maintenance here. Many social landlords are focused on tackling stigma following the release of the Government’s social housing green paper (A New Deal for Social Housing) which highlighted the issue. The green paper is available on the Government website here. As part of the sessions, which we sponsored and took part in, housing associations will learn to better understand the different needs of individuals within their communities, develop a cohesive approach to helping vulnerable residents and tackle the stigma attached to certain groups as a result. We’ve long been committed to the principle of giving back to our communities, whether through holding resident workshops, helping vulnerable tenants out in their day-to-day lives or through our recent Novus Big Five initiative, which saw us give five worthy causes a £20,000 refurbishment project. You can check out one of our recent refurbishment projects here. Kevin Rhone, head of social value and customer services at Novus, said: “When the opportunity came along to sponsor the Life Swap initiative, we couldn’t wait to get started.