I would definitely recommend Nexus to any prospective clients out there. What you get is a friendly, professional organisation who are willing to work for and understand the needs of the client.
Changing Lives are a national charity based in the North East which have been helping vulnerable people since 1970. They specialise in four areas, housing and homeless, drugs and alcohol, women services and unemployment. ‘This year alone we will change over 21,000 people’s lives’ – Stephen Bell OBE, Changing Lives CEO.
Due to an increase in demand for their services, Changing Lives had outgrown their head office in Gateshead and had to identify a new building nearby. ‘Over the last five to ten years we’ve seen a huge rise in the need for our services’ said Changing Lives CEO Stephen Bell.
‘We’ve expanded greatly over the last few years and because of that growth we need a large central office to deal with the increase in services and staffing numbers. We now employ over 500 individuals and the previous office we had was too small and wasn’t big enough to cope with the central services we offer’.
Changing Lives needed a new premises that could house their head office employees and offer training services to new and current employees. They discovered an unoccupied premises very close to their existing head office and set about acquiring it.
Check out our video case study for the office fit out project at Changing Lives, which features the thoughts of their CEO Stephen Bell.
The search for a solution
The building they found was previously owned by Global Media and housed the radio stations for Heart, Capital and Classic FM. So as you can imagine, it required a lot of reconfiguration to make it suitable for Changing Lives requirements.
The ground floor was taken up by numerous soundproofed rooms for the various radio studios and these all needed to come out, along with the majority of everything else, stripping the facility back to the walls.
Therefore Changing Lives needed to find a commercial interior fit out contractor that could not only strip all this back and implement the new facilities, but also design an office layout that worked for Changing Lives requirements.
Nexus were actually recommended to Changing Lives through the charity DISC (Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities) who we have worked with previously on numerous occasions. We had also carried out some fit out work for Changing Lives in Doncaster prior to commencing this project, which further enhanced their view of the quality of our work.
As with many businesses, Changing Lives needed to gather three quotes from different fit out contractors to present to the board. They then had to decide which contractor provided the best value for money and also instilled the confidence in them that they would implement the project to a quality standard.
Once Changing Lives had talked to DISC in regards to the work we had carried out for them and the standard of that work, they contacted us to quote for the work. This is where we arranged a meeting to come in and discover how they work and to discuss their requirements.
‘Working with Nexus, it was very much a partnership development. It wasn’t like this is how you will do it and this is your final product. We worked with Michael, Adam and David who were really terrific. We’d suggest a spec but they’d have other suggestions that made you think is this not better, is this not how we’d actually like to do it’.
Changing Lives were impressed that Nexus could offer them the full solution from start to finish and Stephen Bell OBE had this to say about the build itself.
‘What we got throughout the build, was a partnership approach to developing a building which needed an awful lot of love and care and upgrading from where it was in it’s previous state. I can’t speak highly enough of the work that they did and the professional nature in which they approached some very difficult situations along the way’.
Changing Lives needed a head office facility creating that inspired their employees and showcased their brand and the good work that they do in the community.
An important part of the brief, was the creation of a training room, giving them the facilities to train new and current employees. This new area is spacious enough to fit in a large amount of people at once, ideal when training up a whole team of new frontline staff.
We created two large open plan office spaces on the ground and first floor to accommodate the head office employees. We created two individual offices and two meeting rooms on the ground floor through the reconfiguration of existing glass partitioning in the building.
We painted the partitioning in the Changing Lives purple, which adds a nice bit of colour to the surroundings along with the columns throughout the building that we also painted purple.
On the first floor we have created three more individual offices for Changing Lives CEO and Directors, once again with the reconfigured glass partitioning.
‘The brief that we gave was to have a light airy space, which would inspire people when they work within here. Also the training facilities within here are very important, particularly for the frontline staff. The end product has delighted us’.
We’ve also created a boardroom on the ground floor along with a reception area and waiting area for Changing Lives visitors. The building required new kitchen areas to be installed for their employees. The build also included the creation of one large kitchen area with a seating area on the ground floor, with one smaller kitchen in the training room and another upstairs in the open plan office.
‘When you go around this building, you are immediately struck by the light, by the space that we’ve got and the professional standards of the decor and everything involved within the building. I would definitely recommend Nexus to any prospective clients out there. What you get is a friendly, professional organisation who are willing to work for and understand the needs of the client’.
Changing Lives now have a head office that is large enough to accommodate their employee numbers. We have delivered the brief supplied to us by Changing Lives and they are more than happy with the final product. We wish them all the best for the future and we hope they continue their great work and keep on changing lives for many more years to come.
If your business is in a similar situation to Changing Lives and need to move to accommodate business growth, we can help. Get in touch today and we’ll create the ideal workspace for your business.
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