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Novus sets the winds of change in motion /

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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