Novus' efficiency benefits sheltered housing scheme

  26 MAY, 2016
Novus' efficiency benefits sheltered housing scheme

We’ve signed off our first year of a seven-year contract with Gosport Borough Council by delivering an eye-catching refurbishment to a sheltered housing scheme in the town.

We were contracted by Gosport Borough Council to undertake all external decorations for its properties, and completed our first year’s work three months within deadline.

This led to the council commissioning us to carry out a comprehensive, 12-week refurbishment of Alec Rose House, a sheltered scheme for residents over the age of 60. The scheme itself comprises of 17 self-contained flats supported by communal facilities such as laundry, lounge, garden and enclosed corridors linking all parts of the scheme for security and safety.

Residents were involved in every stage of the refurbishment, particularly at the outset where they were given the deciding vote on what theme the refreshed home would have after being presented with a number of options by our designers – they opted for a woodland theme to help create a warm, friendly atmosphere.

The project involved a number of noteworthy adaptations, including a striking transformation of the outside area. Previously, the area had been on split levels, making it difficult for people in wheelchairs to access it, but we resurfaced the entire area as a single level, allowing all residents to enjoy the space.

Working in a live environment often poses problems, but we have been complimented for our communication with residents, ensuring everyone knew what was happening through regular coffee mornings, as well as the constant presence of a site manager, who was on hand to answer any queries residents might have.

The refreshed scheme was officially opened by the former Mayor of Gosport in May, with our work proving so impressive that Gosport Borough Council are looking to commission similar works at another sheltered housing scheme later this year.

Andrew Woodcock from Gosport Borough Council said: “It has been a pleasure to work with the team at Novus to deliver the refurbishment at Alec Rose. Novus was very driven in providing us with a top quality service and its attention to detail has been outstanding. The residents were extremely pleased with the newly refurbished communal areas. The icing on the cake was meeting Novus the Bear at the open event!”

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The winner of our second Big 5 project in the South East was the Bereavement Suite at Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton. Previously mothers and fathers of still-born babies or babies who die shortly after birth had been sharing the same area. The new suite gives parents who lose a child during pregnancy or delivery the space, time and facilities they need during the grieving process. Maternity Ward Refurbishment The team transformed a separate area of the maternity ward into a delivery area and bereavement suite over a 10-day period. This new facility contains a studio flat alongside the delivery room with a cold cot, which will mean the family will get more time with their babies to create memories and a private place for them to grieve. The project started on the 11th June in a restricted environment on the 13th floor of the live ward. It consisted of stripping out three existing rooms including electrics, plumbing and flooring, reconfiguring them along, building new walls, installing a kitchenette and preparation room, a full redecoration and new flooring, and installing the furniture donated by Oscar’s Wish. Abigail’s Footsteps The work was carried out as part of our Big Five campaign to support worthwhile projects in communities up and down the country to celebrate our fifth birthday, where we are offering the opportunity to win £20,000 refurbishments. Abigail’s Footsteps won the South East competition. Without the support of our supply chain and the enthusiasm of our own workforce the project could never have been completed within the time scales. Ray Fielder, operations manager at Novus, said: “We received a lot of worthy nominations as part of the judging process, but Abigail’s Footsteps’ project to deliver the bereavement suite at the Royal Sussex County Hospital stood out from the beginning. “Everyone involved in the selection was moved by the cause and the work the charity does. We’re really proud to see the final result and that our work will leave a lasting legacy in the community.” Hayley Stevenson, Labour Ward and Pregnancy Loss Lead, said: “For recently bereaved parents, the labour ward can be a very hard place to stay, surrounded as they are by the activities and sounds of deliveries and newborn babies. “It is difficult to fully express what a difference this bereavement suite will make to them. “It will give bereaved parents time away from the main ward to form bonds with the child they have lost and create memories of them, memories that are so important in the grieving process. “There is no timescale for the parents who need this suite.” Abigail’s Footsteps was founded in 2010 to improve bereavement training for healthcare professionals, provide vital amenities and to allow parents to grieve in their own space away from maternity wards. The Oscar’s Wish Foundation was founded in 2015 to provide support for parents, families and siblings who experience the loss of their baby. It is raising funds to furnish the suite and is advising on how the facility is set up.