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Construction Firm Helps Build a Better Newport

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Willis Construction has not only contributed to the regeneration of Newport city centre by developing a block of flats with Derwen Cymru Ltd to house older people, but also made a donation to support some of the city’s most vulnerable people.

The Willis team and their partners met at the development site to hand over a cheque to Kevin Ward, Manager of Newport NOW BID, which is responsible for Street SupPORT, a homelessness fund for Newport.

Willis are a local company and pride themselves on their commitment to both environmental and social sustainability, employing local people and partnering with a local supply chain thereby retaining maximum investment within the communities where they operate.

They also work with their clients to review innovative ways in which their business can benefit the local economy and community.

Figures published by Welsh Government this summer, from their annual monitoring exercise, suggest that rough sleeping across Wales has gone up 30 per cent in the space of a year. In Newport, leading homelessness charity, The Wallich, reports a 25 per cent increase in the number of people sleeping rough in the city compared with the previous year.

Matthew Oliver, Quantity Surveyor at Willis, said,

“Willis Construction has become acutely aware that rough sleeping and homelessness is an issue within Newport City Centre and we felt compelled to do something to help. Our supply chain shared our concern and we collectively raised £3,050.00 to donate to Street SupPORT to hopefully make a small difference.”

Street SupPORT, the homelessness fund for Newport has simple contactless donation points in business’ windows across the city. The people of Newport are encouraged to tap their contactless card on the window to donate £3 to the fund. A text-donate code and JustGiving page are also available.

The Street SupPORT fund will be used to expand and sustain existing homelessness services in the city; extending opening times and increasing their capacity to help more people.

Kevin Ward, Manager of Newport NOW BID, said,

“Homelessness is not a problem unique to Newport and there are no easy solutions to what has become one of the major social issues of our time.

“The BID represents around 450 city centre businesses in Newport and we all have a part to play in helping to get people off the streets.”