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Colleagues volunteer to support vulnerable residents

More than 20 of our colleagues at Raven, have volunteered to support over 900 of our most vulnerable residents, most at risk as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Ahead of the lockdown announcement, they volunteered to make daily calls alongside their other work, to check in with residents and provide additional support across its schemes, where possible.

The aim of the calls was to find out whether those considered vulnerable, have friends or family nearby who are able to support them with essential jobs such as food shopping and collecting medicine. However, some of the calls have resulted in us offering support to our residents in a number of other ways – mostly helping them to overcome feelings of loneliness.

This has included fulfilling one of our resident’s request to receive a daily newspaper and arranging for wardens to clear some people’s gardens, so they are able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air safely.

Kirsty Fowler, one of our apprentices, who has been making calls, said: “Every time I’ve come to put the phone down, I’ve been left with a lump in my throat. It’s been incredibly humbling to realise how many people don’t have anyone around to support them right now and how uplifting it can be for the person at the end of the line to receive a call just asking how they are.”

In addition to the initial call, we have been offering all our vulnerable residents a regular call-back, scheduled at a time that suits them just to have a catch up.

Laurence Nasskau, our tenancy services manager, said: “Right now, nearly every business and organisation is having to change how they deliver their daily services. Across the housing sector it’s no different, as providing homes goes far beyond the bricks and mortar, what really makes a home are the people inside it.

“At Raven, we have a responsibility to focus on the foundations first: the people who live in them and by calling all of our vulnerable residents, we are able to ensure we are supporting them in a way that best suits them under the current circumstances.”

We are also working closely with the local authorities across Surrey and Sussex to ensure anyone who does need further support is able to access it.

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