UPDATE 15 JUNE 2021
Covid19 update from the Executive team
Following the Prime Ministers announcement that the final step of the roadmap due to have taken place on 21 June has been delayed for four weeks, I wanted to confirm that the following services will be unaffected by this announcement:
- The full repairs service is back up and running
- All appointments for health and safety checks for customers will continue to take place, having checked that no-one in the household has any coronavirus symptoms
- You will have started to see more colleagues from Worthing Homes out and about in your neighbourhood and face to face meetings can take place in your home as long as masks are worn
- Please note that for the foreseeable future and until restrictions are relaxed the communal lounges in our sheltered schemes will remain closed.
We plan to undertake more research into our customer services with you over the coming months to ascertain when, how and what services you want to access and value and how much you would like to do yourself through our on-line/App offering.
In the meantime:
- Davison House is still our head office but following the last year where services have been delivered by colleagues in a more flexible way and many from home or remote locations, this is set to continue and so very few colleagues will attend Davison House on a daily basis, services will come to you as has always been our intention.
- If you wish to see a specific officer, an appointment can be made for them to visit you or for an appointment at Davison House, there will not be any provision for people to just pop in
I am sure that many of us have been disappointed by this announcement but please be assured that we will continue to deliver services to you in as safe a way as possible and following the government guidelines as we have for the last 15 months.
Update 17 May 2021
Following the latest easing of government restrictions taking place on 17 May, Worthing Homes is looking to return some of its services to ‘normal.’
Therefore, we may ask to visit you in your home. Please note that whoever visits you will have a face mask, PPE and apply appropriate social distancing measures, however if you are uncomfortable about this, please let the person planning to visit you know and we will carry out the appointment over the phone or virtually. Please note, appointments like gas safety checks that can only be done by a contractor visiting your home, will need to take place.
Our Resource Centre will reopen with a maximum of 6 at any one time including the lecturer, there will be space between classes to enable them to clean and ensure that there are no crossovers of students.
Our Community House will have no more than 5 people (in the whole house) at a time – with one bookable space for residents to use the computer room upstairs.
The communal lounges in our sheltered schemes will remain closed as will our office for customers until further notice. We will provide further information about how we will continue to adapt our services, including what changes will be made if the next easing of lockdown takes place on 21 June.
Throughout the pandemic, our priority has always been to maintain the health and safety of you our customers and our employees, while continuing to give a good level of service. We are providing a full repairs service, so if you have a repair in your property, do not hesitate to report it to us. The majority of our employees are working from home in line with the current government guidance. We can be contacted on 01903 703100.
Update 1 Feb 2021
Following the announcement last night from the Prime Minister that the country was in another national lockdown and with the strong message that we are all to stay at home in order to stop the spread of the new strain of the virus, we are making the following changes:
Please only call us to report an emergency or urgent repair in your home. By this we mean an uncontainable leak, toilet repairs, electrical repairs that require a fast response. We will still be attending to repairs to communal areas as this will not involve contractors coming into your home. Our contractors will honour appointments that have already been made and will make contact with you prior to calling in order to check that you do not have any symptoms or are self-isolating.
Apologies for any inconvenience this causes, however the welfare of you, our employees and contractors is our main priority and we are looking to minimise social contact wherever possible.
If you are due to have a repair carried out but no longer wish it to take place, please let us know as soon as possible.
Preventing blocked toilets
Please be extra careful with what you are flushing down your loo. It is essential that items such as kitchen roll, baby wipes and face wipes are NOT flushed down the toilet. They will cause blockages. In the current circumstances and due to the nature of the job, unblocking toilets is a high risk activity for our operatives. Please help to keep them safe and out of your home by preventing unnecessary blockages.
Gas safety and electrical safety checks
The government advise that it is still essential for us to carry out our landlord gas safety and electrical checks. The risk of an accident due to a faulty gas appliance or wiring outweighs the risk of us entering your property, unless you have coronavirus symptoms and are self-isolating. We will take all appropriate precautions, with our operatives washing their hands before entering, keeping their distance and wearing PPE. They will contact you prior to arrival in order to check that you do not have symptoms. If you have an appointment, please tell us if you are self-isolating, so that we can re-schedule the check for after the isolation period.
We are stopping all planned works inside your homes such as installation of new bathrooms, kitchens, new windows, etc.
Will be open 9.30am to 11.30am Tuesday to Friday to provide food and other support from the driveway. This will be on a first come first served basis. Please remember if collecting food to bring your own bags / boxes and ensure you are wearing a mask.
Generally we will not be undertaking home visits, except for our sheltered schemes and where there may be issues where we need to gain access for health and safety compliance checks or severe anti-social behaviour reports.
We’re still here
Our customer experience team are still working to answer your enquiries, but we are operating a reduced service and will stop taking calls at 4pm each day to ensure we can promptly deal with online queries we receive. Please bear in mind that all Worthing Homes employees are once again working from their own homes.
The best way to get in touch is by message through our portal, website www.worthing-homes.org.uk, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can still call us on 01903 703 100 but please only do this to report an emergency/urgent repair as per the above.
Over the last few months we have had a number of enquiries from customers who are worried about paying their rent due to a loss of income. We are of course understanding of the situation and want to reassure you.
If your income has been reduced, you may be eligible for support through universal credit. Please see our website for useful links or try https://www.understandinguniversalcredit.gov.uk/coronavirus/. Many employers are also implementing the government’s job retention scheme which has been extended to April 2021 and should mean you are paid 80% of your wages while you are unable to work. Speak to your employer to see if this is the case. You may still be able to claim benefits for the reduction in income depending on your earnings. Once your payments are in place, your rent should be paid as usual. In the meantime, we urge you to pay what you can, as if you do fall behind it can be really difficult to catch up.
If your situation is complex or you are worried and would like further advice, please contact your income recovery officer, you can find their contact details at https://www.worthing-homes.org.uk/your-home-and-you/neighbourhood-team-lookup-tool/
We are know that this further lockdown is not what anyone had hoped for but together we can fight the spread of the virus. Please remember to wash hands, wear your mask and keep your distance.
Thank you for your patience and support.
West Sussex Covid 19 vaccination information
Information about the vaccination programme is available on the Sussex NHS website, including details of the services available in each area, latest data, stakeholder briefings, answers to frequently asked questions and links to all the national leaflets and materials.