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Sanctuary Supported Living – Coronavirus Update

18 March 2021

NHS and Government Covid-19 safety information encouraging the public to wash hands, cover face and make space

The health and safety of our customers, their families and our staff is our number one priority.

We are continually monitoring how we provide services to our customers during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, including ensuring repairs are completed. We continue to follow all Government guidance and will ensure we keep our customers and their families updated with the current measures in place across our services.

Customers  and their friends/family should continue to follow the latest Government and Public Health England guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19). Official Government guidance for landlords and tenants can be found in the Ministry of Housing, communities and Local Government document.

Customers should continue to follow the latest Government and Public Health England guidance on Covid-19.  We will follow all Government and Public Health England guidance on visitors to ensure the safety of our customers and their visitors.  We will ensure that all customers and their visitors are updated as visitors procedures change.

If you are concerned about any symptoms you may be experiencing, you should visit the NHS 111 website for advice.

If you live in a Sanctuary Supported Living service and have been advised to self-isolate, please let a member of staff know. If you have been advised to self-isolate and you have an appointment booked with our repairs team, please speak to a member of staff to rearrange the appointment. If a member of staff is not immediately available, call our Customer Service team: 0330 123 3247.

We understand that moving home at this time may bring a number of anxieties and concerns, so this information explains the measures that we have put in place to ensure the safety of all parties during the pandemic.

The government has made it clear that you can move home if you wish to do so. More information can be found on the Government’s website, by searching ‘moving home’.

What you can do to stay safe

  • Wash your hands frequently whilst moving home and take care to stay at least two metres apart from people who are not members of your household.
  • Do not view a property or move home if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or if you have been advised to isolate.
  • If you are within the ‘extremely vulnerable’ group, you may wish to seek medical advice before moving home.
  • When physically viewing properties, where possible, you should avoid touching surfaces, wash your hands regularly, and bring your own hand sanitiser.
  • When moving between properties, you and those in your household should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. Where this is not possible, you should speak to removal firms in advance.
  • Where possible, clean your belongings with standard domestic cleaning products before they are handled by others, including removal firms.
  • Whilst the removers are in your home, you should ensure any internal doors are open and seek to minimise your contact with the crew, maintaining a distance of at least two metres where possible. You should not provide refreshments, but you should make sure they have access to hand washing facilities.
  • Speak to the manager of the service if you believe you are at a higher risk and need additional safety measures put into place to allow you to move.

What we will do to keep people safe

  • We will monitor social distancing within the service and make that this is observed wherever possible by all staff, customers and visitors.
  • We will ensure that staff have access to the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) at all times.
  • We will ensure that the property is cleaned prior to any viewings or persons moving into the property.
  • We will ensure that, wherever possible, all works are carried out prior to you moving in and that all surfaces are cleaned once works have been carried out.
  • We will carry out a specific Covid-19 risk assessment for your referral to the service, to identify any risk to you or others before you move in.
  • We will help you to plan your move, including choosing the safest route for you to use to bring your belongings to the property and the best time and day for this to happen, to ensure social distancing can be observed.
  • We will advise you of the safety measures in place for the service relating to the management of coronavirus. This may mean that certain areas of the building may not currently be open or may have limited accessibility.
  • You may be asked to wear a face covering in communal areas of your home in certain types of accommodation.  The manager will let you know whether you need to.

If you have any questions about moving into your new home, please do not hesitate to contact the scheme manager, who will be happy to talk through any questions you may have.

If you would like a printable copy of this information, see our Guide to moving home safely (PDF 105KB) leaflet.

From Monday 29 March we plan to resume routine repairs inside homes as well as non-essential inspections and surveys.

This change is in line with the UK Government roadmap on easing lockdown restrictions, with the 29 March being the point at which the Government’s ‘stay at home’ guidance changes to ‘stay local’. Our resumption of routine repairs inside the home is dependent on the Government’s conditions being met by this date.

We look forward to a return to a more normal way of working if all goes as planned, however it will take time for us to work through the thousands of routine repairs delayed by the pandemic. We will, of course, provide you with the earliest possible appointment although it is likely that you will experience a longer wait than normal.

We’d like to thank you for your patience and understanding during lockdown, particularly those customers whose planned appointment has been rescheduled more than once.

Please note: if you’ve already reported a repair, there is no need to contact us again. If we haven’t already done so, we’ll be in touch soon to confirm a date for the job, when both staff and materials are available.

Please report emergency repairs in the usual way by reporting this to your local on-site team, please see the information provided on our Report a repair page.

By law, we must carry out an annual service and safety check of all Sanctuary gas appliances in your home, this includes boilers, cookers and fires. Gas safety checks are continuing as normal.

Our registered Gas Safe engineers may need access into your home for these checks, which take no longer than an hour. You do not need to have direct contact with anyone visiting your property to complete these checks.

Please follow sensible precautions to keep yourself safe when our staff are visiting your property, as outlined in public health guidance found on the Government website.

If you are due your annual gas safety check and are self-isolating please let us know so we can understand how best to protect you and your family by emailing contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you are experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms or are worried about how the virus might affect you, please contact our Customer Services Centre by calling 0800 917 0092 (0300 123 3599 from a mobile).

We are continuing to collect rent and service charges as we normally do, but it is vitally important that you let us know as soon as possible if you are having difficulty paying or are worried about meeting future payments. We want to work with you, so please email CIT.Income@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

Wherever possible we want to avoid court action and evictions during this difficult time and we are committed to working with our customers to establish an affordable repayment plan, taking into account their individual circumstances.

If you are unable to attend your benefit appointments, please let the Department for Work and Pensions know as soon as possible by reporting it on your online Universal Credit account.

As we are spending more time together in our homes, you may be more aware of noise levels from your neighbours, such as general household noise.

Please try to be tolerant of the noise levels you might experience and consider the impact your household noise levels and behaviour may have on your neighbours.

If you are experiencing repeated issues of antisocial behaviour you can report it to us by emailing contactus@sanctuary-housing.co.uk.

If you are threatened with violence or are concerned for the safety of yourself or others, please call the police immediately on 999.

We will continue to manage existing antisocial behaviour cases, through your preferred method of communication, providing regular updates, signposting you to helpful support networks and discussing further action where appropriate.

During the pandemic you may still be spending a lot of time at home and this could mean a pressured situation could get worse.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.

If you are not in immediate danger but would like to talk to someone about something you or someone you know is experiencing, please contact one of these organisations.

If you live in Torbay or Plymouth, Plymouth Domestic Abuse Services (PDAS) has a 24 hour phone line and can be contacted on 0800 458 2558 and Torbay Domestic Abuse Service (TDAS) can be contacted on 0800 916 1474.

It’s understandable that not only our customers, but communities everywhere continue to be worried about how their lives will be affected by Covid-19. If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can speak to a member of staff.

We should all follow Government guidance and work together to protect older people and vulnerable adults. This includes steps you can take to stay connected with family and friends during this time:

  • Try to stay in touch with friends and loved ones over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is an important part of looking after your mental wellbeing.
  • Remember it is okay to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too.

The Mental Health Foundation has useful information on how to look after your mental health and it can be found on their dedicated website page.

If you are worried that you may need more help, the following support is available:

Free 24-hour listening support

Samaritans is available to listen at any time of the day or night. You can talk to them about anything that's troubling you, no matter how difficult.

Call free on 116 123 or visit the Samaritans website.

Shout offers confidential 24/7 crisis text support for times when you need immediate assistance.

Text "SHOUT" to 85258 or visit Shout Crisis Text Line

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Sanctuary Supported Living is a trading name used within Sanctuary Group. © 2021 Sanctuary Group. All Rights Reserved. Images used on our website and literature may be representative and are for illustration purposes only.
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