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Update from Chief Executive, Andy Wallhead

Published 25 March 2020

Wednesday 25 March 2020

I’m sure you will agree, the pace at which the coronavirus pandemic situation has taken hold has been phenomenal.

The recent advice from the Prime Minister to ‘stay at home and only leave to exercise once a day, to travel to and from work where “absolutely necessary”, to shop for essential items and to fulfil any medical or care needs’ has presented us all with difficulties but I must urge you, first and foremost, to stay safe, take care of yourself and of those around you.

I must reiterate your safety is paramount and we will never leave you in an unsafe home, however in light of the recent Government instruction, we must prioritise the work we are able to do with a reduced workforce Therefore, from today we will only be completing emergency and essential works.

Like most organisations at the moment, we do not have our full workforce available and we are prepared for this to reduce further as we reach the peak of the pandemic so please do bear with us.

Our OneCALL contact centre employees are still available to answer your calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week, however please do be aware that these are difficult times and we will be experiencing an exceptional number of calls so please consider if your call is an emergency or can wait to a quieter time.

Our Care Link Teams are still working to take care of our vulnerable customers and respond to alarm calls, in an effort to reduce the pressure on the ambulance service and NHS at this busy time and tenants living in our independent living schemes are still being cared for, with the necessary precautions in place. 

Unfortunately, owing to the nature of the work required to prepare a home for rent, we need to suspend our Homesearch service temporarily. The current cycle will close tomorrow morning (Wednesday 25 March 2020) and will reopen when we are advised it’s safe to undertake this kind of work. Anyone who is homeless or worried about becoming homeless should contact Wakefield Council’s Housing Needs Service on 01924 304362 or 01924 304360 or by email housingneedsservice@wakefield.gov.uk 

Despite our reduced workforce, we are making every effort to support the local authority and other agencies across the district where it is safe and we have the resources to do so.   

We are still able to offer financial support to anyone who has had their income impacted by the coronavirus through our Cash Wise service and our Community Employment Advisors are still working to provide support to find work by phone and email. 

Our priorities, as always, are to keep you safe in your home and to keep our employees safe and well. We hope to resume all of our services as soon as possible and will let you know when we do. 

In the meantime I know many of you will be anxious and worried in the current climate but please take care of yourselves, take care of each other and stay safe.

 

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