novas bella house
novas bella house charity with salvia sofanovas bella house charity with tahiti sofa
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Creating spaces to relax for vulnerable women at NOVAS Bella House

As part of our commitment to support local communities, at DFS we are always looking for ways we can make a difference for those in need across Ireland. So when we spotted an opportunity to help deliver a stunning makeover for NOVAS Bella House, one of the country’s few dedicated homeless centres for women - we jumped at the chance! Teaming up with Jackie Carton of Carton Interiors, Dulux, and Customwalls Ireland, we set about transforming two communal spaces for residents to relax, socialise and most importantly - create a welcoming home.

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About NOVAS Bella House

Bella House is an emergency homeless accommodation for vulnerable women, run by NOVAS and based in Drumcondra. A special place providing support to vulnerable women, including offering accommodation 365 days a year in a warm, supportive, homely environment, Bella House also offers a range of rehabilitation and stabilisation interventions, designed to help people out of homelessness. Recent figures from the Department of Housing revealed the highest ever number of homeless people in the state, with a third of them women.

novas bella house charity project
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Working together with Jackie Carton of Carton Interiors, we were able to completely makeover two key spaces at Bella house, which will make a difference to the vulnerable women there year-round. A room that was previously used as a storage area was transformed into a beautiful, multi-purpose communal sitting room - the ideal space for residents to relax, socialise, enjoy entertainment and take part in counselling sessions.

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Additionally, the outdoor yard was transformed too, with the help of local garden designer Mary Cronin - from a drab, unwelcoming space into a vibrant, comfortable and beautiful outdoor paradise for residents and volunteers to enjoy. Both spaces were designed in partnership with the residents, ensuring that the spaces provided what they needed to feel at home.

Speaking at the launch of the two new spaces, Una Burns, Head of Policy and Communications at NOVAS Bella House, said, “We work with women whose lives are often chaotic, through family circumstances, addiction or other trauma. They often arrive here, sometimes late at night, many of them having had really tough experiences. We help them with a variety of different interventions, empowering them with the tools to help them find a way out of poverty and homelessness, and get their lives back on track.

Bella House was designed to be short-term accommodation; however many of the women spend a long time here, as there is literally nowhere for them to go. This makeover will really help provide our residents with a sense of home – there has been such excitement and energy here since the project started. The women really feel valued as they have been able to participate in deciding the final look for where they live.

NOVAS relies on the generosity of the public for projects like this, and is so appreciative of the support that DFS, Carton Interiors and the other suppliers have given us, to make this a beautiful space and a real home for our women.”

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Both gorgeous spaces are now open at NOVAS Bella house, and provide much-needed communal spaces for the residents to enjoy.

Gerard McCrory, Regional Manager at DFS said, “DFS is honoured to have supported this makeover at the amazing Bella House. DFS has happily supplied sofas to thousands of homes throughout Ireland. We truly understand the benefits and importance of a comfortable home, and so sponsoring this project and giving back to the local community in this way has been a real privilege. Anyone who walks through the door of Bella House can see immediately what a special place it is. We were delighted to provide one of our outdoor sofas, as well as an indoor sofa, to complete two much needed areas that can now be used by the residents as places to relax, catch up, and feel at home. Thanks to the amazing team at Bella House who do such important work; Carton Interiors; and all the other suppliers including Dulux Paint and Customwalls Ireland (for supplying the Londonart wallpaper) with this makeover.”

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Novas Bella House the garden result
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Jackie Carton, of Carton Interiors and President of the Interiors Association, said, “Both as a designer and a mum, I am so conscious of the importance of home and having a comfortable place to stay. We all want to support these women, as homelessness is something that is unfortunately so prevalent in Ireland. In working with DFS to transform this space, I wanted to give the women living here a place to relax and recharge when they live here during this difficult time in their lives.

And of course, the huge bonus now is there is a lovely outdoor space, and we have been able to create a multipurpose sitting room, from a room previously used for storage, and it can now be used for relaxation, entertainment and counselling. Huge thanks to the many hands that made this a reality, including local garden designer Mary Cronin for the stunning planting in the garden.”

Find out more about NOVAS

NOVAS is a voluntary organisation and Approved Housing Body working with families and single adults who are disadvantaged and socially excluded; primarily those who are homeless or at risk of being homeless. Providing a range of services and accommodation for marginalised households throughout Ireland, they offer bespoke, client-centred services, based on empirical evidence of more than 20 years experience of working with people who are homeless in Ireland. They believe everyone is entitled to a home, and recognise the complex issues that cause homelessness and endeavour to offer holistic, long-term solutions.

Bella House is NOVAS second dedicated female short term accommodation site in Dublin, opened in December 2018, and provides 24/7 support and services to 21 women who are homeless. Bella House offers a range of rehabilitation and stabilisation interventions designed to engage to create sustainable pathways out of homelessness. The service operates a harm reduction policy - it does not put barriers in place for entry, and accepts clients as they are.

Find out more about NOVAS at https://www.NOVAS.ie/

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Made possible by generous donations from: