Builders’ merchant Norman Piette's first ‘big build’ community project is now in full swing, with an estimated four months work left for them to totally renovate the Chest and Heart centre.
The NP Task Force, led by Executive Manager Steve Powell, consists of more than 20 staff who are giving up their free time to work on the six-month project, which is already well underway. All totally voluntary, and funded by the company, the PEH's Chest and Heart Centre is getting a total overhaul.
It is something that the company has wanted to do for a long time and has been inspired by the popular BBC TV programme DIY SOS: The Big Build.
Lindsey Hart, Norman Piette Executive Manager, said: "virtually all the internal walls have been removed and new walls are starting to be installed. This will allow for the additional treatment rooms to be worked on.
"We think it’ll take approximately four more months to complete. We have had 27 staff sign up to help from various backgrounds, some qualified tradesmen all the way through to those with no experience whatsoever but just keen to help and be involved.
"It has had to fit around work schedules and subcontractors but we probably do one or two days in the week and then every other weekend up there."
The main room of the centre.
Chest and Heart LBG, which is a charity that provides a free health screening service to islanders, celebrates its 45th anniversary this year but the Oberlands premises were no longer fit for purpose.
It was Norman Piette’s Chief Executive Officer Paul Rogers own experience of the service that prompted him to offer the company’s assistance for free. "When I came for my own screening some time ago I couldn’t believe what a positive experience it was. We have a robust health and wellbeing policy at Norman Piette that is making a real difference to our employees and we really wanted to encourage them to make use of this free service," he said.
"One of our employees had a bit of a red flag when he came for a screening and has changed his lifestyle as a result. When Steve heard about Chest and Heart’s renovation plans it seemed a natural fit for us as we were looking for a community project that we could actively support - we are absolutely delighted that we can play a significant part in helping improve this vital service for the island. It will enable them to offer more health screenings and that can only be a positive thing for islanders."
The centre is on the site of the PEH, but is a charity.
Centre Manager Carolyn Oxburgh is thrilled with the progress that has been made since the NP Task Force started.
"We have one goal and that is to help save more people’s lives in Guernsey by extending our screening service," she said.
"But the only way we could do that was to increase the number of rooms we have at the centre and introduce new technology to modernise and improve our health offering. The new premises will enable us to be more client-focused, with a much more comfortable and efficient environment,’ she says. ‘What the NP team have done - being enabled to work here during business hours and giving up their own free time, is remarkably community-spirited. They are all so hard-working and completely committed. It’s absolutely brilliant."
While renovations are taking place the Chest and Heart screening service has temporarily relocated to office space at Stan Brouard in Landes du Marche. Appointments can be made by telephoning 01481 258876.
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