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Barbara's big break for Community Wing


Almond's Community Engagement Officer Barbara Boertien got a big break in launching the newly-renovated Riverside Community Wing.

Barbara, who nominated the wing for a £20,000 refurbishment, was invited to take up a cue at the pool table – as a novel alternative to cutting the ribbon.

Contractor Novus selected the project as part of their Big 5 initiative – celebrating the company’s fifth birthday by investing £20,000 each into five community projects across the UK.

The wing, which is largely used by the West Lothian Youth Action Project, is a base for training workshops, summer activities and music projects. It’s also the location of the Riverside Community Fridge which collects and distributes surplus food in the area.

The refurbishment was completed in two weeks, with youngsters from the Youth Action Project gaining valuable work experience, working alongside Novus contractors. It included redecorating throughout the building, fitting a new kitchen, and overhauling the IT suite and foyer.

Barbara said: “The Riverside Community Wing has served Livingston for 50 years but needed a repair to help it continue to benefit the community in the future.

“We’re really pleased with the finished project and grateful to everyone at Novus for their hard work.”

Barbara attended the relaunch of the wing with Almond Housing Association’s Chief Executive George Webster and Capital Projects Surveyor Stewart Fisher.

Guests, which included Novus staff, members of the Youth Action Project and representatives of West Lothian Council, were entertained with music from some of the young people who attend the Community Wing, and enjoyed food produced by an executive chef in the newly-built kitchen.

Charlie Cooley, strategic operations manager at Novus in Scotland, said: “The West Lothian Youth Action Project is a fantastic initiative that helps young people realise their full potential. It’s been a pleasure to transform the building into a place that will be used by the community for years to come.”


Photographs courtesy of Page 7 Photography



Our Community Engagement Officer works in partnership with a range of groups and agencies to provide improved or additional services in areas where Almond tenants live.

To find out more about working with Almond to benefit the community, email Barbara at or call her on 01506 439 291