We know that this is an incredibly challenging time for all of you, and we wanted to ensure you know what we are doing behind the scenes to try and make life a little easier, and how we can help you access any support you need.
Our resident support team has been kept exceptionally busy as a mix of benefit issues, panic-buying, job insecurity and self-isolation created a perfect storm of crisis and hardship affecting our most vulnerable residents.
The first few days were spent responding to food emergencies, sending out supermarket vouchers to residents in immediate need, and making food bank referrals. For those self-isolating we worked with Our Little Markets to deliver fresh fruit and veg boxes. We even arranged a pizza delivery to a family in need.
The welfare benefits team have been working tirelessly to help residents receive the benefits and financial support they are entitled to from the government.
In the past week we have seen an increase in community support across London and beyond, but where people fall through the gaps we are still responding with vouchers and food bank referrals.
Our volunteering team are now focusing on residents who are self-isolating and may be lonely, worried or anxious. This includes putting together a telephone befriending service.
Housing officers are also getting in touch with older and vulnerable residents to help ensure they know they are there if needed, as every resident has their own named contact, as well as informing them of what additional support is available in the community.
Cameron Finnie, one of our housing officers, said: “I found that most residents were okay but there were some who did need support, so I plan to keep in touch with them to ensure they are getting the help they need. It was great to make contact with so many people and to give them a chance to discuss their concerns and fears. Many people are extremely worried and frightened by Covid-19 and how it affects their normal routines.
But it also made me see how resilient people are and how they pull together in what has to be the biggest threat to our communities for decades.
Our resident support team has also created a fact sheet covering each of our four regions, outlining what community support is available in each of the boroughs we serve. This will help our housing officers arrange the right support to meet the needs of our residents at this time.
We are also partnering with Good Gym to support those who are unable to get out of the house and pick up necessities. The new initiative enables volunteer runners to deliver food, essentials and even prescribed medicines for those who need it.
The priority is for older or vulnerable residents, who will have the goods delivered directly to their homes by volunteers trained in how to ensure they keep themselves and residents safe.
Our frontline staff are able to refer residents to this service, as long as they have the resident’s consent.
Please take a look at our coronavirus page and keep up to date with this website for the latest on our response to the crisis.