Novus sets the winds of change in motion

  16 FEBRUARY, 2018
Novus sets the winds of change in motion

Novus Property Solutions, ENGIE, and Places for People have joined forces to complete a major refurbishment project for a scheme that provides temporary accommodation for homeless young families in Sheffield, as part of its commitment to delivering social value.  
 
The Windmill Project is a housing development specifically for young families that have been made homeless. The quiet cul-de-sac in Sheffield has a few houses solely for these vulnerable families plus a small community centre. The project, which is designed to create a safe environment to help these families rebuild their lives, is managed by property management, development, regeneration and leisure company, Places for People.  
 
For the past three years, Novus has worked with ENGIE to assist Places for People with an annual charitable regeneration project, with both providing labour and materials free of charge. The two contractors provide a planned and reactive property maintenance service to the homes Places for People manages across the country.
 
A team of 30 volunteers from both contractors gave up their time to work on the project, over a 4-week period.
 
The community centre at the heart of the Windmill Project is currently housed in a temporary Portakabin building and was in need of revitalising. Thanks to Novus and  ENGIE it has now been completely stripped back and refurbished to create a warm and welcoming space for the vulnerable women and their families to meet.
 
The project involved a complete refurbishment of the Community Centre and landscaping of the garden area. Externally this involved installing new windows and doors, external wall insulation and a new roofline. Internally this involved remodeling the layout of the internal areas including the installation of a new communal kitchen along with new toilets, suspended ceiling, lighting, heating system, flooring and a full redecoration including murals.
 
The land to the side of the existing Portakabin community centre has also been transformed into an attractive patio area and garden for the women and their families to enjoy as part of the project.
 
The new centre was officially opened just before Christmas with a fun event where service users and their families were invited to a kid’s party event that involved a magician, fun activities, food and drink and presents handed out to every kid in attendance. This provided the perfect backdrop for the service users to experience the new improved facilities.  
 
Neil Hand, Novus’ CEO, said: “Social Value is something which we take very seriously at Novus – it’s very much at the very heart of our business and the way we operate. I had no hesitation in getting involved with this fantastic project for Places for People. It just shows what we can achieve for the local community by working together.”
 
Novus has long been committed to Social Value and its Changing Lives programme, which was shortlisted in the National Business Awards earlier this year, was launched two years ago and has positively impacted more than 30,000 people in that time.

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£20,000 community centre refurbishment completed in Livingston

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A newly-refurbished community hub in Livingston has reopened following the end of a £20,000 charity competition held by contractor Novus.   Refurbishment and Redecoration Works Works at the Riverside Community Wing, which is predominantly used by the West Lothian Youth Action Project, include replacing the kitchen, refurbishing its foyer and IT suite and a complete redecoration. It will offer training workshops, summer activities and music projects in the building, as well as mentoring to vulnerable youngsters and distributing surplus food to people in the community. The project has been completed in just two weeks by Novus’ workforce in Scotland in partnership with its suppliers, which include Howdens, Travis Perkins, Dulux and West Cross Carpets.   Novus Big Five Initiative The West Lothian Youth Action Project provides support and advice to young people aged between 10 and 21. It was chosen as part of Novus’ ‘Big Five’ initiative to mark its fifth birthday, where the firm has spent £20,000 each on individual projects across the UK.   Client Feedback Barbara Boertien, Community Engagement Officer at Almond Housing Assocation, who nominated the wing for the refurbishment, said: “The Riverside Community Wing has served Livingston for 50 years but needed a repair to help it continue to benefit the community in the future. “We’re really pleased with the finished project and grateful to everyone at Novus for their hard work.”   Charlie Cooley, strategic operations manager at Novus in Scotland, said: “The West Lothian Youth Action Project is a fantastic initiative that helps young people realise their full potential. It’s been a pleasure to transform the building into a place that will be used by the community for years to come.” Novus worked alongside its suppliers McMaster’s Electrical, West Cross Carpets, GPE Environmental, Dulux, Howdens, Travis Perkins, Howard Jessop Blinds, Aramark Defence Services and Parker Signs to deliver the project.