As we look toward a more hopeful time of recovery, I wanted to give a quick update on how we’re reacting to the current lockdown and remind you about some of our services.
As Covid-19 and lockdown measures continue to impact all our lives, January saw a return to a ‘lockdown’ model in terms of how we deliver our services. This means a reducing the number of contacts staff have with customers. The majority of staff are still working from home and where services cannot be delivered remotely, are concentrating on essential and high priority services only. Urgent repairs are being carried out, with routine repairs being stopped; in order to ensure our customers and staff are kept as safe as possible. When we do carry out a repair in your home we will always wear a face covering and will ask you a few Covid-related questions before entering.
The vaccine programme is now well underway and I am sure many of you have received yours, as have a number of our staff. Some staff who are still working in the community and delivering essential services are now taking part in a rapid testing service which means they are tested weekly for Covid and can isolate straight away if they have a positive test.
As we move through the stages of the Government’s roadmap we will re-introduce services in accordance with the timelines set. This will include working through the backlog of non-urgent repairs. We are now planning how we will do this and will update you via Southway Stories, our website and social media. If necessary, we will contact you directly to discuss your repair.
I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you about our Community Support Offer which was introduced to give some additional support to our tenants during these difficult times. If you need advice about food, fuel, employment support, getting online or benefits please contact us. If you’re feeling lonely or isolated and would like to receive regular calls from a member of our team we can set this up, and it’s available for any age group not just older people. Just let us know by calling 0161 448 4200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should have by now received the STAR questionnaire which asks for your feedback. We carry out the survey every couple of years and use the results to make improvements and shape our services. It also helps us to compare our performance with other similar housing associations. An independent organisation carries out the process for us and your answers are anonymous. The company carrying out the process for us this year is called ARP. I hope you will find the time to complete and return the questionnaire. It can also be done online. If you tick the box to say you would like to receive any information or get involved, we will be given your contact details by ARP but not your completed survey. Your answers are confidential.
Inspired by you
As we start to move out of the pandemic restrictions we will progress with our Inspired by our Communities consultation which I talked about in detail in my December blog. Given the last 12 months, priorities may have changed for some people and they may feel differently about what is important to them. Some may have set new goals and require some support, such as getting back into work or volunteering, and we may be able to help with that.
We want this consultation to go further than our traditional engagement by increasing the number of people we listen to and the range of views we hear. We want to understand how Covid might have changed what residents want and need from Southway and would like you to influence what changes we make to our services. An independent organisation called Viewpoint will be helping us with the consultation which is likely to start round about the end of April. Tenants will be contacted directly and asked to take part and we will update our website and social medium forums about how the project is going.
We would also like a group of tenants to be involved in this process with us throughout. If you are interested in playing a regular part in Inspired by Our Communities, please contact me.
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.