Working at Novus - Donna Mcmullon

  09 MAY, 2018      COMPANY UPDATES
Donna Mcmullon, Personal Assistant at Novus holding flowers with employee

Novus is a family business owned by the 4th generation of the Seddon family, although we are now a national contractor with over a £140 million turnover, the family values remain.

Here is our second colleague Donna Mcmullon, Personal Assistant to tell us why she loves working at Novus.
 
What is the greatest thing about working in Novus?

People, the internal culture makes the working environment a pleasure to be part of, there is a true sense of family values and coming to work is a pleasure.
 
What has been your greatest achievement?

There are a few, achieving my Business Degree many years ago when I first joined the company. Since then, it has been managing the Investors in Excellence certificate and more recently has been the development of my department and evolving with the company.
 
What has been your most challenging moment?

Presenting to the senior management team about 9 years ago! Although I have a good working relationship with the team, I found it a little daunting stood in front of a table of over 30 board members while delivering the IIE standard!  Humour often helps me get through!
 
What is your most memorable story?

A memorable story was when we ran a customer care campaign to take 3 families to Lapland one Christmas. Terrie Brett and I took these families from 3 different housing associations, having no children of my own back then, it was like taking Ebenezer Scrooge himself!!! While I took care of the practical matters, Terrie entertained the families (and the entire plane) with renditions of Christmas carols over the intercom system!

The joy on their faces was a beautiful moment and I remember them all so clearly. Who would have thought that a company in our industry could deliver such a nice gesture to 3 lucky families!! Priceless!
 
What are you looking forward to in the future?

More of the same quite frankly! Let’s build this empire together, but let’s be happy in doing so

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AS THE SCHOOLS CLOSE, OUR SUMMER REFURBISHMENTS BEGIN

Last week marked the end of a turbulent academic year severely disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak, but it’s business as usual for Novus as our school refurbishments commence. Instead of putting our feet up or heading to the beach (at a safe social distance of course), Novus will be beginning their annual schedule of refurbishment and renovation works, moving into schools, colleges, and universities up and down the country. Over the next 6 weeks, our teams will be refurbishing classrooms, repainting building exteriors, and replacing flooring (to name just a few services), ready to welcome students back in September. When do the schools close? There are small differences depending on the individual school and your location, but the summer break officially begins on 20th July or 22nd July. Our previous work with schools, colleges, and universities Novus have held a number of long-standing partnerships with academic institutions throughout the UK, for many years. Our work streams are varied and diverse, encompassing building refurbishment, property maintenance, construction, and painting & decorating services. 1. George Heriot’s School – Classroom Refurbishment Strong relationships and a positive local reputation with independent schools in the Edinburgh area led to Novus being called in to refurbish 2 classrooms at one of Scotland’s most successful and historic schools. Taking place over the course of the summer holidays, the refurbishments were extensive and involved the removal of fixtures, fittings, and flooring. Novus installed new storage units and created bespoke joinery to produce new shelving and hockey stick holders. The project was unique due to the careful logistical planning required owing to the classrooms being housed within a turret with a winding staircase. Read more about this project here. If your school classrooms are in need of refurbishment, contact us >> 2. Manchester Grammar School - Memorial Hall Redecoration To mark the 500th anniversary of the school, Novus were appointed to paint and decorate Manchester Grammar School’s Memorial Hall. Novus completed the intricate internal redecoration carefully, honouring a school tradition of leaving one decorative leaf on the 12-metre high ceiling unfinished, while painting the rest. The colour scheme selected for the Memorial Hall was supplied by Crown Paints and the Novus painters and decorators carried out the work with the utmost consideration and respect. The work was later recognised and commended by the Painting and Decorating Association, stating that: “The company should be proud of their workforce and the craftsmanship demonstrated.” Which of course, we are. Read more about this project via the Our Work page. Can we help with your painting and decorating this summer? >> 3. Ferncumbe Primary School - Construction of a new classroom Novus were selected to construct a 125m² single-storey extension at Ferncumbe Primary School in Hatton, Warwickshire, over a 17-week period. The new classroom was built with a traditional cut roof with exposed glulam beams, toilet facilities, and an additional group room. Our team had to also make alterations to existing mechanical and electrical services in order to accommodate the new build. Ferncumbe Primary school now benefits from an extra classroom and brand-new toilet facilities. Throughout the construction, the school pupils took an interest and the teachers were able to use it as a learning opportunity, with a focus week on buildings. Students participated in digging, learned how to use a spirit level and even how to lay bricks. We hope that some of the youngsters were inspired to take up a career in construction one day! Read more about this project here. Does your school need a new classroom or bathroom facilities? Contact us >> 4. Unite Student Residencies – almost 1000-bedroom refurbishments Over the course of a summer, Novus refurbished student accommodation on almost 1000 bedrooms across 3 cities, in extensive redecoration and flooring works. Alongside the bedrooms, shared and communal areas within Unite’s buildings across Portsmouth, Bournemouth, and Bristol. The refurbishments on the James Watson Halls in Portsmouth, Marketgate accommodation in Bristol, and Purbeck House in Bournemouth took place over the peak summer period to ensure students were not disrupted during exam season. With students due back to resume their studies between September and October, Novus faced extremely tight timescales to complete the project on time. The project was delivered on-time and in-full. Unite’s project manager said: “We hope to build on our relationship with Novus and look forward to working with the team in the future.” Read more about this project via the Our Work section of the Novus website. Are your student halls in need of refurbishments? Contact Novus today >> 5. Keele University Walter Moberly Building – Minor Demolition and Internal Building Refurbishments Working on the Walter Moberly building at Keele University in Staffordshire, Novus were asked remodel the existing structure and demolish part of the first floor. Our teams installed a new floor construction at a higher level, thereby increasing the floor-to-ceiling height on the ground floor. The team also provided full mechanical and electrical upgrades and a major refurbishment to the building, creating brand new teaching facilities. Additionally, new toilet facilities were installed. This was made possible by the modifications to the existing drainage system carried out by Novus. Whilst the works were carried out, the University and its academic buildings remained operational, with minimal disruption to the campus as a whole. Read more about this project >> We will be returning to Keele University this summer to undertake more refurbishment works, watch this space for updates. 6. Combined Refurbishments Working with IQ, last year Novus completed refurbished a total of 290 Ensuite Bedrooms, 186 Studios, 54 Shared Kitchens and all the associated communal areas across the five projects at educational institutions. All in a total period of 12 weeks, with each project averaging just 6 weeks. Add to these the refurbishments carried out for UPP and Lancaster University, the number of refurbishments become over 500 bedrooms and 100 shared kitchens. A busy summer ahead With the schools set to reopen on 1st September 2020, Novus have a busy summer ahead and several tight deadlines. But, we pride ourselves on getting the job done on-time and right first time. Further examples of our work in education can be found on the "Our Work" section of the Novus website. If you are interested in finding out more about how Novus can help your school, college, or university, please get in touch with us today >>

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