Supporting the Poets Pantry Project

  26 March, 2021
Supporting the Poets Pantry Project

Working alongside Podsmead Big Local, Novus assisted in the refurbishment of and redecoration of a disused ground floor space at Halford house In Gloucester.

About Podsmead Big Local

Podsmead Big Local provides the opportunity for groups, societies and other organisations to apply for funding of projects and activities to directly benefit the local Podsmead Area.

The Poets Pantry

Why is the Pantry needed?

Initially, the Butterfly Food Distribution Network, which Podsmead Big Local had been operating in partnership with Fair Shares Southwest, identified that the Podsmead area was experiencing high levels of food poverty.

The research also suggested that the community also had little access to fresh fruit, vegetables, and a balanced diet. Therefore it was decided that opening the Poets Pantry would help to meet some of these raised and encourage healthy lifestyles.

poets pantry sign

The Plan

By working in partnership with other local groups and organisations, Poets Pantry would provide healthy and accessible food source, prevent waste, and encouraging a green approach to residents and food providers.

This would be a place that goes beyond just providing healthy food options however, the Pantry would also offer help and support for a number of other issues, including financial advice.

The Location of Poets Pantry

Poets Pantry takes its name from its location near “Poets Corner” in Podsmead, Gloucester and is situated on the ground floor of Halford House – a retirement home for the over-50s.

Halford House is owned and operated by Gloucester City Homes Housing Association and the ground floor space was given over to Podsmead Big Local in which to develop the Poets Pantry.

How did Novus get involved?

At the time, Novus were already working on a contract with Gloucester City Homes when the project was being negotiated. The ground floor space that would ultimately become the Poets Pantry was being occupied as a storage area for Novus.

Our contract with GCH involved carrying out fire remedial works to Gloucester City Homes properties around the local estate, however Halford house is not part of those plans.

However, Novus were pleased to offer their support to the Poets Pantry project by assisting in the refurbishment and redecoration of the space, in addition to donating a new worktop.

supporting poets pantry

The Outcome

The Poets Pantry was officially opened to the public on 22nd March 2021 where the Mayor of Gloucester, Kate Haigh was on-hand to cut the ribbon.

Afterwards, Les Jevins – Community Development & Engagement Lead at Podsmead Big Local, said:

“Novus have made a massive contribution to getting the Pantry ready and your staff team have been amazing, they have supported us throughout the process.

They have decorated, fixed and repaired parts of the building and shown plenty of good will. We are very grateful for what Daniel and his team have done.

poets pantry novus

We look forward to continuing this partnership as the services we offer from the pantry expands over the coming months.

We have worked well together particularly during the pandemic and the restrictions we have had to work within.”

A video of the ribbon cutting ceremony and more can be found via their Facebook page here.



We’re proud to have successfully delivered £6.5 million of maintenance for housing association Bromford during the 2023/24 financial year, in a partnership spanning more than a decade.


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