Digging in for Future Builders

By OVO Foundation Thursday 30 March 2017

Future Builders is an OVO Foundation scheme that helps get young homeless people into apprenticeships, after learning new skills and renovating houses they’ll actually get to live in.

While our apprentices tackled the bricks and mortar, our OVO team decided to take on the garden during 4 days of volunteering. We wanted to make sure these young people have some lovely outside space, as well as a safe, secure home to live in. So under the green fingered expertise of our amazing lead volunteer, Charlie Drew, we set to work…

Here’s a diary of all that we did:

Day one: a lot of destruction

Before we got our hands muddy, Charlie – an OVO Customer Care Expert and avid gardener – pulled together a creative vision and action plan detailing exactly what needed to be done. There was no room for leaning on spades whistling, or gossiping – we had weeds to kill. Once Charlie had set the direction, everyone set to work clearing the gardens, chucking all the broken items out, removing a TON of garden waste and waging war on weeds. Phewf.

A bonfire dispatched of the wooden waste, while we pulled up flagstones and removed (what felt like) a forest’s worth of creeping plants and their extensive root system.

Day two: making things pretty

Once all the nasties had been cleared away, we started with the cosmetic stuff. We replaced the concrete fence posts with wooden ones, made sure the boundary was straight and secure; and used bamboo screens to create a nicer, more natural boundary at the back of the garden.

Day three: here come the flowers

This was the day we literally dug in, fluffing up the bulk of the soil, removing the final few weeds that were still clinging on, and laying the flagstones back down with concrete. We also made two beautiful flowerbeds full of flowers, creepers and climbers.

Day four: high fives all round

On our final day, things really came together. We re-fluffed the earth so the turf would ‘take’, turfed up the final two thirds of the garden, and cleaned up the gravel by sprucing it up with some shiny new pebbles. The overall result is something we hope our Future Builders apprentices will feel proud of. It was only a few days’ work for us, but ultimately this wider project is helping young people in our community create a brighter, more independent future for themselves. It’s totally worth a few blisters!

Thanks to the following awesome OVO Volunteers who swapped their keyboards for spades: Ruth Liverman, Alex Herring, Charlotte Drew, Eileen Butters, Ellen Chaloner, James Dongworth, Jess North, Joshua Penrose, Kate Clarke,
Leo Zarkow, Lucy Greer, Roseanne Roberts, Kat Gulyas, Jenny Coffey, Toby Swaffield, Elf McNeil, Saskia Rance, Peter Richardson, Jamie Taylor, Sophie Cumming.

We couldn't have done this without you...

Photo credits: Joshua Penrose and Kat Gulyas.


O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3-5% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.


1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 2/3/2018, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of OVO Two year fixed tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 2/3/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

OVO Interest Rewards: Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you’re in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply:

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year 2017: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

* EV - Everywhere, full terms and conditions:

* OVO SolarStore (Beta), full terms and conditions:

Pay Monthly unit rates

PAYG unit rates

Read more Read less

Like most websites OVO Energy uses cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on this site. Accept and Close