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a message from our chief executive, bill fullen

6 January 2021 - Latest news, Coronavirus

Tougher times are ahead again, but we’ve lost none of our commitment to helping customers.

With new coronavirus restrictions in place again, I want to start by saying thank you. I know that 2020 was not easy for most of our customers.

But you’ve worked with us to get through it. Yes, there have been times when we haven’t been able to do as much as normal, in person at least. But, you’ve been understanding and we’ve all worked hard to keep everyone safe, whether that’s with extra PPE or ensuring that essential gas servicing checks could still be carried out.

As we enter another period of the most significant restrictions, it’s going to get tougher once more. It’s not the new year any of us might want, but we’re here again with support for our customers. And just like before, your safety, both physically and mentally, is our top priority.

We have had to respond to the latest government restrictions by changing how we provide some services to customers. The changes are all designed to ensure we’re doing all we can to keep our customers, and our staff, safe during the latest phase of the pandemic as transmission of the virus increases again.

We’re going back to focusing on essential repairs and doing all we can to minimise the need to come into your home. Work on internal upgrades to homes will also be paused. We’ll be redoubling our efforts to use video calling and other technology to avoid the need for a physical visit to your home.

We must carry on with the safety critical work though, like gas and electrical safety checks. So please, if we do ask to come into your home for one of these safety critical reasons, work with us to keep everyone safe. We have procedures in place to minimise risk and they’ll be followed rigorously.

While we might not be able to visit in person as much as normal, most of our services will be working in different ways to help you. So, if you find yourself worried about work, money or anything to do with keeping a roof over your head … please talk to us first. Asking your landlord for help might not seem like the obvious thing to do, but as responsible housing association there’s lots of support we can provide. Even in the darkest of times, we’ve got people on hand who can provide expert support.

And we’ll be continuing to support communities too. Our funding programme has been reshaped over the last nine months or so, to prioritise projects that help neighbourhoods through the coronavirus pandemic. We’re still accepting applications, so whether your project is designed to provide food to struggling families, or ensure community facilities and groups are still there to help, we want to hear from you.

Yes, these are going to be a difficult few weeks for all of us. But please, please, don’t think you’re alone.

Finally, if you’re not sure exactly what these latest restrictions mean for you, or your family, I’d urge you to check the official guidance.


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