As things start to open up in the community, we are continuing to review our services and safety measures to find where it’s possible to increase the service we are offering our customers while still balancing and retaining our ongoing focus on the safety of customers and staff.
For the last few months we have had to close our offices to the public to keep both you and our team safe. As we have implemented a number of safety measures in our offices we will now look to gradually open up on an appointment basis for customers to visit the team. If you need an appointment please contact the staff member you need to speak to and they will arrange to meet you. Appointments will start from Monday 3rd August.
In-home or scheme visits, appointments and surgeries
Some of our more vulnerable customers and those living on our independent living schemes can now take advantage of our COVID19 compliant face-to-face visits on request.
This will be on a case by case basis and we may ask certain things of you to maintain safety, we may for example meet outside or focus on the 2m social distance measures. We will review each visit and if helpful we may also come with the correct PPE. Staff will be able to explain the safety measures in place as and when these visits take place so if you have any concerns please ask - they will be happy to talk you through things.
Additionally, from 3rd August we will be operating a “surgery” type appointment at selected schemes. Your local Support Officer will have more details on the specific arrangements for your scheme.
Communal lounges and indoor areas
We recognise the value that our customers place on being able to come together in communal lounges and are constantly reviewing safety measures to see when we may be able to open. We are also talking to our customer involvement groups about how we do this. At this stage we do not feel that we can open these facilities safely but will continue to develop and challenge our thinking as new government guidelines and advice are developed.
Thanks for your understanding as we look to manage the coronavirus risk together.
Keeping our distance
Although the social distancing guidance has been updated by the Government, we are asking all staff and customers to adhere to the 2m social distancing to help us reduce the risk. We will also continue to always use the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when visiting. We will only reduce this to 1m+ in the most essential circumstances and where necessary will be putting protective measures in place.
If you have an operative working on a repair or service in your home, we will ask that you remain in another room while the work is carried out for your safety. This has been working well in recent weeks which customers and staff alike have valued - thank you.
How can I contact you?
Our teams are available to help you from 8.30am until 5pm Monday to Friday as normal. Outside of these hours our Out of Hours emergency service continues to operate fully and is available to customers by calling 0800 917 0619.
If your query is not an emergency, we would ask customers, where possible, to please email us to help keep our phone lines open and available for those customers with emergencies. For anything else please email at any time or call to speak to a colleague from our customer care team during office hours. The best way to email a specific team is as follows:
General enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rent and payment enquiries: email@example.com
Support and Independent Living enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also message via social media on the links below or via our contact form if you do not have access to email:
Staying safe at home
We are asking all our customers to be extra vigilant during this time as we know so many people are staying in and spending more time than may be normal in their home. Keep your household safe by taking more care with things around the home. Ensure you test your smoke alarm weekly - remember “Test it Tuesday!”, don't have bonfires in your gardens to reduce the risk of a fire, and always remember to keep noise to acceptable levels to help keep our communities as pleasant places for everyone to live in.
Health advice – www.nhs.uk/coronavirus
UK Government advice and updates – www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Local community groups - www.northdevon.gov.uk/coronavirus/communities-and-voluntary-sector-support
Read a letter from the Government to all social housing residents here