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#1 Big 5 - Leeds Action to Create Homes

#1 BIG 5 - LEEDS ACTION TO CREATE HOMES

  05 JUNE, 2018
For our first Big 5 project, we brought a derelict house back into use for a vulnerable person. We asked people to nominate a community building in desperate need of repair for a £20,000 building refurbishment which we would deliver in our 5th year of trading as Novus. Latch Charity Selection We selected Leeds as our first location and Leeds Action to Create Homes (LATCH) was the winner of our competition. Latch provides supported housing for homeless and vulnerable people. Building Refurbishment Work The house needed a serious amount of work as it was in a poor state. The kitchen, bathroom and heating system were replaced as everything was broken. We fitted various new joinery items and floor covering before redecorating the property throughout. The building refurbishment would have taken Latch a few months, but we were able to transform the property in two weeks for the tenant to start a fresh. The external of the property was painted, and our team and LATCH Volunteers carried out a joint project in the landscaping works for the new tenants to be able to enjoy the garden of their new home. We completed the building refurbishment of the two-bedroom house with new furniture. Tenant’s Feedback The tenant of the property said “It’s lovely, very warm. It’s a really nice house. It’s the best one bed house I’ve ever seen. It feels like there’s something off my shoulders, I don’t have to worry anymore.” Operations Manager’s Feedback Mark Rapley, Operations Manager for Novus who managed the project said ‘it’s amazing to see the impact Novus have had on someone’s life. It was a challenge to turn the major building refurbishment of the property around in 2 weeks, however it was truly worth the end result of being about to house vulnerable person and her son’.  Customer’s Feedback “Since moving into their lovely new home, the residents have been enjoying a much better quality of life.” Manjeet Gahir, Property Services Manager, LATCH Find Out More Find out more about our Big 5 campaign, or view more about the other projects here.
Going Electric

GOING ELECTRIC

  20 FEBRUARY, 2018
The British Government has announced that from 2040 it will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. Last year we completed a trial of four different electric vehicles as part of our contract with Manchester University, which has charging points on site. We found that some of the vehicles weren’t suitable for us because of the limits on the mileage per charge. We intend to move forward and lease one vehicle on a two-year basis following the trial and are reviewing opportunities to do the same on other sites over the coming years. Steven Lucas, our transport manager believes electric vehicles are currently only feasible for servicing single sites with assess to a recharging infrastructure. Having a van making multiple trips across different locations is just not practical as many can only travel around 40 miles per charge under real conditions in winter months. And while the government is set to increase the number of charging points as part of its wider infrastructure investment, it is likely to be a slow burn. However there is a strong case for using EVs for certain projects, especially as going electric can strengthen your brand among your clients and their customers, and also there are the reduced fuel and tax costs to factor in.
Working with the BITC to bridge the skills gap

WORKING WITH THE BITC TO BRIDGE THE SKILLS GAP

  12 DECEMBER, 2017
A seven-strong team from Novus recently volunteered to help at a career-focused event for young people in Stoke-on-Trent.   The special event was organised by Business in the Community (BITC) together with Humanutopia, a social enterprise which specialises in working with young people. Its aim was to appeal to young people who may have become disenchanted with the school to open their eyes to the world of work and the opportunities available to them. More than 100 students, all in Year 10 at four BITC partner schools in the city, were welcomed to take part in the day-long event, held at Stoke City’s bet365 stadium. The students were joined by a team of 17 volunteers from a number of different businesses in the local area including seven from Novus. The business volunteers were on hand throughout the day to share their experiences and offer advice to inspire and motivate the students as well as encouraging them to overcome any barriers to work they may face. As well as small informal group discussions with the business volunteers, students also participated in three sessions all designed to address any potential issues which students may encounter as they leave school to begin their working lives. The first highlighted the possible barriers to students’ future success, including their own attitude and behaviours and the impact this can have on others. Next, an interactive session run by Humanutopia addressed the key qualities and life skills needed to succeed in their future careers while the day concluded with a chance for the students to promote themselves to prospective employers with a pitch-style presentation. Our chairman, Stuart Seddon said: “I always enjoy the chance to take part in events like this and it was a real pleasure to be involved.  As a business, we’ve always put a great deal of emphasis on supporting young people and nurturing the next generation and it’s something I’m personally very passionate about. “The widening skills gap is particularly concerning for the construction industry at the moment. Working closely with local schools and the BITC, as we have done for a number of years, should help to close the gap to ensure the industry and our young people alike face a brighter future.” The partner schools and businesses involved in the event were all members of BITC’s Stoke Business Class Cluster. The group work together all year round to ensure that young people attending local schools gain the workplace skills they need to build successful working lives. 
Novus apprentices make homeless shelter feel like home

NOVUS APPRENTICES MAKE HOMELESS SHELTER FEEL LIKE HOME

  16 AUGUST, 2017
A group of enthusiastic new apprentices have helped us revitalise a homeless shelter in Stoke-on-Trent as part of our annual Apprentice Week. The Macari Centre, which is just five minutes away from our head office, was founded by football legend Lou Macari last year as a place of safety for those forced to sleep on the streets. As well as food and a bed for the night, the centre’s dedicated team works closely with local agencies to provide support and help the centre users to change their lives for the better. The Macari Centre provided the perfect place to host this year’s Apprentice Challenge, which forms a key part of our annual apprenticeship recruitment process. During the day-long challenge, a team of 26 apprentice hopefuls were joined by Novus volunteers to refresh the centre’s tired interior. The apprentices repainted two of the centre’s dorm rooms, a corridor and communal room as well as tidying up the exterior including the walkway which leads up to the centre. They also carried out minor repairs and constructed a new purpose-built smoking shelter.   The 26 young apprentices were selected out of more than 1,500 applicants from our successful UK-wide recruitment campaign earlier this year. With 53 applications for every single position available, competition for a place was fierce. The best candidates were invited to our head office to take part in the Apprentice Week of training and special activities which culminated with the Apprentice Challenge at the Macari Centre. Our senior management team and directors kept a close eye on the latest cohort of apprentices throughout the day and the successful candidates will begin working with us at locations across the country as early as September. Neil Washington, director from Novus Property Solutions commented: “The Apprentice Challenge is an invaluable part of our apprentice recruitment process. It not only gives the apprentices a taste for our day-to-day work and a chance to learn some vital practical skills, we can also see how well they work together as a team and how they embrace our values. “By getting involved in a project which is designed to help give something back to the local community, we hope our apprentices will be able to appreciate how important work like this is to us. “As a company, we are committed to nurturing talent and providing staff with opportunities to grow and develop in order to reach their full potential. This has been an exceptional year for applications and I wish all our new apprentices every success for their future careers with Novus.” For more information about building your career with Novus please visit our recruitment site.
PRESS OFFICE
Sophie Seddon-Hall
Telephone: 07973 345873
Email: sophie.seddon@novussolutions.co.uk
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