Coronavirus advice: updated 29 March 2021

Coronavirus advice: updated 29 March 2021
17th March 2020 James Calnan

Please see below information about Eastlight’s services during the coronavirus pandemic for former Greenfields residents. If you have further questions, view our contact methods here: www.greenfieldsch.org.uk/contact

Q: How do I help prevent coronavirus from spreading?

A: Please follow NHS and Public Health England advice, which is here: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

Q: What services are Eastlight operating?

Repairs and maintenance

From 8 March, 2021, we are running a full repairs service after pausing some services during the third lockdown.

Safety – that of you and our staff – remains our priority and we will take a phased approach to restarting work in customers’ homes. We will continue to monitor the number of coronavirus cases in our communities to ensure it continues to be safe to carry out your services.

Understandably, our teams and contractors have a backlog of work to get through and will be working hard to ensure all repairs and improvements take place as soon as possible.

  • If you have previously booked a repair with us, we will get in touch to offer you an appointment. There is no need to contact us.
  • If you require a new routine repair, please contact us! For the time being, instead of offering you an appointment, we will take your details and contact you when we have a slot available.
  • If you believe you require an emergency repair, please call us and we will visit you as soon as possible.

If you require an urgent or emergency repair, our staff and contractors will:

  • Not visit you if they are showing any coronavirus symptoms – continuous cough, high temperature and loss of taste or smell
  • Call you before visiting your home to check everything is ok and help you prepare for our arrival
  • Wear surgical facemasks if their work requires them to enter your home, or if they are working outside but cannot socially distance
  • Regularly wash their hands and maintain good hand hygiene
  • Not visit homes where a resident has coronavirus symptoms unless that home requires a critical emergency repair. In that case, they will wear full personal protective equipment (PPE).

Our staff and contractors will ask you to:

  • Wear a face-covering during their visit
  • Follow social distancing protocols, such as socially distancing for three metres. Where possible, and for everyone’s safety, they will ask you to stay in another room while they work
  • If you refuse to follow these safety procedures, then they will leave your home without completing the repair.

Home improvements

We are beginning to offer a full home improvements service from 8 March, 2021.

Safety checks

We are carrying out safety checks, such as annual gas safety checks and electrical inspections, because they are so important. They are legal requirements and, more importantly, they help keep you safe at home.

Our teams and contractors have the personal protective equipment and guidance they need to keep everyone safe. If you are due a visit, then we will contact you to arrange it. Please accept the appointment date you are offered or contact us to rearrange or ask any questions you may have.

Customer Service

Our Customer Service Advisors are working from 8.30am to 5pm on weekdays to take your phone calls, emails and social media messages, and our Out of Hours service is available for emergencies outside those times.

When calling us, you may hear some lifestyle noises in the background, and you may have to wait a little longer due to technical issues as a result of all our advisors working from home. Please bear with us and do get in touch if you feel we may be able to help in any way.

Our website has a wealth of information that may provide you with the answers you need. You can also use My Greenfields to check and pay rent and update your personal details. Please visit https://my.greenfieldsch.org.uk

Rent support

The Government has advised that you should continue to pay rent to the best of your ability.

However, if you face difficulties, then please get in touch as we can offer a range of support. Our Income Teams are available to assist you.

We have no intention of beginning eviction proceedings against you if you are having difficulty paying your rent as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

We are also unable to process new Direct Debit mandates. Please get in touch if this affects you and we will discuss an alternative. Please do not worry if your payment is late as a result – we are here to help.

Finally, the lockdown has delayed how quickly we can process cheques. If you can use a different payment method, please contact us to arrange it.

Lettings & Mutual Exchanges

Our lettings service is operational, with homes advertised on www.gatewaytohomechoice.org.uk as usual. We are also processing Mutual Exchange applications. Please observe social distancing when showing other residents around your home. You can express an interest in renting a garage by visiting www.greenfieldsch.org.uk/garage-tenancies and filling in the short form.

We will let homes safely by offering virtual viewings instead of viewings in person, carrying out tenancy sign-ups over the phone and by using key safes to hand over keys.

Support

Our support service is here for you. Whether its accessing services that help you to remain safe and independent in your home, applying for universal credit or overcoming any other support needs as a result of the pandemic, please get in touch.

We are regularly contacting residents in Housing for Older People Schemes and vulnerable residents in other homes to offer support and guidance, and this will continue. We are advising them to have only essential visits from families/friends. Visits from carers and other home based support services continue.

Neighbourhoods

Our Neighbourhoods teams continue to respond to queries and offer services, but will visit your home only in exceptional circumstances.

Anti-Social Behaviour: We recognise there has been an increase in general household noise at the moment. However, if there are repeated issues and you are unable to resolve the situation with your neighbour, then please get in touch

Domestic abuse: If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic abuse, then isolation rules do not apply. Police response and support services remain available. Visit gov.uk/domestic-abuse or call 999 if you are in immediate danger. You can also contact us for advice and support.

Communal areas

Communal areas in our schemes are closed, as households are not allowed to socialise indoors during the lockdown.

Q: Is Eastlight House (previously Greenfields House) open?

A: To help further prevent the spread of Coronavirus, Eastlight House is closed to visitors.

Q: What should I do if I have to self-isolate and I’m due to see someone from Eastlight?

A: Please contact us and let us know – we all have a role to play to prevent the Coronavirus from spreading.

Q: I, or someone I know, must self-isolate and needs support. What should I do?

A: If you are or know an Eastlight resident who is vulnerable or isolated, and does not have adequate support such as family, friends or carers to help them get essential items, please get in touch. We may be able to help.

There is a Facebook group led by volunteers, backed by Essex County Council and the NHS called “Essex Coronavirus Action”. Visit www.facebook.com/essexcoronavirusaction for more information.

Further support is out there, and we can point you in the right direction. Please get in touch.