As we have over 10,000 customers the moment lockdown was announced we knew that a number of our residents would find themselves in a situation not of their own making and which would require more support than ever before!
With nearly 1000 of our residents being in the vulnerable category we automatically set about calling each of them, and continue to call them weekly, to ensure they are okay, have everything they need and don’t feel isolated. Whilst our financial inclusion team, coordinators and customer experience team have been working with those residents that have been furloughed or made redundant to help them with Universal Credit applications, setting up affordable rent payment plans, fuel vouchers and / or signposting to relevant agencies that can help with things such as mental health and ongoing food support. We also introduced a fund to help our affected residents should they encounter issues such as the breakdown of a kitchen appliance or emergency travel expenses.
Having secured £15k from our connection with the Big Lottery we have been providing weekly food parcels to approximately 50 of our vulnerable residents, with spare parcels going to East Worthing Food Bank and Adur and Worthing Council to assist them in supplying food to people in need in the wider community.
When a plea from the A&E staff at Worthing Hospital, whose staff room TV had given up, came up on Facebook we decided to purchasing a new TV for them and put £600 into the Supporting Frontline Staff fund to help purchase other items to show our gratitude and thanks for all of the work they are doing during this crisis.
A few of our colleagues are also assisting the council with their work to ensure those in need in the community get the help they need, in order to assist we have some who have taken roles as neighbourhood leads and others that have volunteered to assist the end user.
As the weeks go on, and uncertainty over the end of lockdown remains, we will continue to support all of our residents with any help that they need. We’re working through to be there for you!