For information on what you can and cannot do during the pandemic and how to keep yourself safe, please visit  https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Easy read information about COVID-19 

Paying your rent

We are sorry to hear that you have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and are here to offer support and advice.
Please contact us as soon as possible so we can assist you in considering what other financial support may be available to you.
We can also discuss a payment plan that is affordable and reasonable to maintain payments on your account through this period.

Yes, you should continue to pay your rent. We appreciate that this is a worrying time for many people with lots of uncertainty and external influences affecting people’s circumstances.
If you are struggling to pay your rent, please do contact us and we will provide support and advice based on your individual situation.

We will not evict anyone who is in arrears as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). Please contact us if you are struggling to pay your rent so that we can advise and support you based on your individual situation.

There are a number of alternative methods available, payments can be made 24 hours a day via the customer app, via our website or our automated payment line. Alternatively customers can call Progress Connect and set up a direct debit.

Repairs to your home

All repairs have recommenced and are subject to risk assessments to ensure that your safety is our first priority.  

We will continue to work in line with government guidance.

We are continuing to operate our emergency repairs service and will attend to any emergency repair within 24 hours.

Please note, emergency repairs are those repairs which if not completed, carry the risk of immediate injury to people or major damage to property. These include:

Gas leak

These should be reported immediately to the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999.

Heating

Total failure of heating system and no alternative source of heat or hot water (ie. no fire in the property or no electric shower).

Electricity

Total loss of electricity or a dangerous electrical fault with electric sockets or lights.

Live or bare wires or electricity in contact with water.

Breakdown of white goods within our independent\supported living schemes.

Heating

Total failure of heating system and no alternative source of heat or hot water (i.e. no fire in the property or no electric shower).

Major incident involving emergency services or safe systems

Structural damage caused by fire, flood or high winds.

Any repair that poses a risk to the customer, the public or to the structure and security of the building.

Plumbing

Total loss of water supply or a major leak.

If you only have one toilet and you cannot use it, and you have tried to unblock it.

Security

External (outside) doors and windows (ground floor) not secure.

Stairs

Damage to staircases or bannisters that post a risk to you or anyone in your home

As we are now delivering non-essential repairs again, we would ask that you only report emergency repairs if they are listed above.  Please do not ask us to attend within emergency timescales if your repair can wait.  Emergency repairs should not be reported out of hours, unless there is the danger of immediate injury to people or major damage to property.

All planned works have recommenced and are subject to risk assessments to ensure that your safety is our first priority.  

We will continue to work in line with government guidance.

Yes, we are following Public Health England guidance and are making sure all our operatives have all the necessary safety equipment they need.

Any staff who are affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and need to self-isolate will not visit your property. Additionally, we ask that you tell us if anyone in your household is self-isolating.

No, we have a legal obligation to carry out all compliance safety checks in your home. We class these checks as essential repairs, and we are asking that you allow us access to your home to complete these. 

All appointments are subject to risk assessments to ensure that your safety is our first priority.  

We will continue to work in line with government guidance.

Yes, please let us know if you are self-isolating. We may ask for more details from you, such as when you started self-isolating. This is to make sure we take additional precautions for the safety of all our colleagues and customers.

 

 

We are carrying out daily checks with all our repairs team, and any of our operatives who may have been in contact with someone with coronavirus (COVID-19) are being asked to self-isolate and not come to work. If anyone shows any symptoms (such as a cough or high temperature), they are being advised to stay at home and not come into work.

Yes – works are continuing in line with government guidelines, the grounds maintenance service provided in the majority of our operational areas for general needs and independent living properties has been limited but is now fully operational.  . This could be subject to change dependent on any further guidance received from the government.                       

If you have any concerns relating to grounds maintenance, please contact us on 03333 204555 by web chat on our website wwww.progressgroup.org.uk, or email enquiries@progressgroup.org.uk

 

Community safety

Please be aware that due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, other agencies may be operating a reduced service or may even close their service, which will limit our ability to engage with them to provide evidence or support.

Benefits and financial advice

You can visit www.gov.uk/browse/benefits to check what you are entitled to claim. However, our Financial Inclusion Team can support you through this worrying time. We can arrange a convenient time for a telephone appointment.

 

 

For people employed but cannot work due to having to stay home under the government social distancing and isolation rules, for example, who:

• are in the ‘at risk’ group and have been told to isolate for 12 weeks

• cannot work as they have children

• live with someone who is in the ‘at risk’ category

• have an employer whose operations have been severely affected, i.e., temporarily halted such as restaurants, entertainment, retail, etc.

These groups of people can ask to be furloughed through the Job Retention Scheme. They may be able to receive 80% of their earnings. They should be advised to contact their employer to request this. The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme for the employee as of 28 February 2020. It will be up to their employer to claim this.

The scheme was originally set up to cover March – May 2020, to pay 80% of their contracted wage

The scheme has now been extended further as follows:

 

Financial Inclusion have been active throughout, and managed appointments primarily by telephone, committing the same amount of time as with home visits.   

We have found that we have been able to support many customers as effectively this way. 

Going forward we will continue to carry out support and advice by telephone appointments, but will also consider home visits where we assess they are needed. 

If you are not in receipt of benefits, please visit www.gov.uk/browse/benefits, or telephone Universal Credit on 0800 328 5644.

Anyone already claiming Universal Credit who thinks they may have been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), should contact their work coach using their online journal, or calling the Universal Credit helpline on 0800 328 5644.

Financial Inclusion can complete a full benefits check based on your current or future circumstances. Everyone’s situation can be different but if your income, health or household situation has changed it is worth completing a benefit calculation, which can also identify entitlement to other sources of support e.g. Free School Meals, help with NHS prescriptions. Warm Home Discount etc.

Most Foodbanks have remained open throughout.  Current details of those known

  • Churches Together, St Marys Church, Broadfield Drive,  Leyland – remains open Monday – Friday 10 – 12.  Progress can provide referrals if needed
  • New Day Church, Lostock Hall has been operating throughout by referral and delivery.  Covers Lostock Hall, Penwortham, Bamber Bridge, Clayton Brook and Leyland
  • Wade Hall community, - covering the Leyland area the food bank is open Tuesday and Thursday from 1.30pm-6pm, Progress Housing or the customer can ring on 01772465006 
  • Fylde Foodbank – by referral from Progress or you can contact Fylde on 01253 658658
  • Chorley, Living Waters – open Tuesday and Fridays 10:00am – 2:00pm, by referral,

 

Link to other food banks and details https://citizensadvicelancashirewest.org.uk/index.php/food-banks/

Tell your supplier if you can’t get to a shop to top up because you are ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) or following guidance to self-isolate. You will find their contact details on their website or your bill.
They will try to help you find other ways to keep your energy supply connected. For example:
• let someone else top up for you
• add funds to your account
• send you a pre-loaded top-up card
You will need to pay back any credit your supplier gives you - ask them when and how you will need to do this.
If your meter is outside and it is safe for you to get to it, it is a good idea to leave it unlocked. This means someone else could top it up for you.

https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/ provides useful information for people who are financially affected by Coronavirus

Aids and adaptations - major adaptations

We are still accepting requests for major adaptations with a recommendation from an Occupational Therapist who you can contact on  0300 1236720 which covers the county of  Lancashire.

 

In normal circumstances this can take up to 12 months in South Ribble and 6-8 months in the Fylde.  However,  due to COVID 19 there is a backlog of work and  this will have a knock on effect to the wait period. 

An application will be sent to the Aids and Adaptions Officer and  the Council, the Council  will be in touch to do an assessment for a Disability Facility Grant DFG.   The Aids and Adaptation Officer will write to you to acknowledge  the recommendation from the OT,  and then your name will go on the waiting list.  Plans will be drawn up at a later date by the Council and an asbestos survey ordered where necessary, the surveyor and contractor will inform you when work is imminent and visit you to arrange a date and survey.

 

Aids and adaptations - minor adaptations

You can ring/email or write to Progress Housing and they will put you through to the Aids and Adaptation officer or ask the Aids and Adaptation Officer to get in touch with you.
In the case of grab rails /half step the Officer will need to measure where they are to go and then organise the work men to fit them, all the others works can be arranged over the phone.

Usually this process takes up to 28 days, however these works have been suspended from March to June 2020   We are pleased that these works have now recommenced, and thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work through the backlog.   If you have any questions you speak to Diana Lord, Assessment Officer direct on 01772 450600.

We  have recommenced all minor adaptation works .  
Major Adaptations works will recommence in South Ribble from 13 July 2020, and we are currently awaiting a date for Fylde to start works shortly.


We will continue to follow government guidelines and will be maintaining social distancing (2 meters) at all times.


We will  be wearing PPE when required.


You will be contacted as soon as possible to discuss your situation and whether or not you are happy not for us to visit your home.
 

Supported living

Yes, however, please make sure you follow government guidelines to wash your hands regularly and do not touch your face.

No, you do not have to stay in your bedroom to eat, but please make sure you wash your hands before and after eating.

For the latest information on what you can and can't do, please visit the Government's website.

 

For the latest information on what you can and can't do, please visit the Government's website.

Your support staff will make arrangements with you about how they will support you. They may visit you, or they may contact you by telephone or video call.

The new guidance means that home visits by contractors should only be for ‘essential services’. We will continue to undertake any emergency health and safety repairs. However, we will be unable to carry out non-urgent repairs and services in this period. Non-urgent services include gardening and any planned maintenance. Any non-essential repairs will be scheduled once the restrictions are eased.

We understand the importance of having a working cooker and washing machine. We have been able to maintain this service during the lock down. Please continue to report any repairs required to your white goods in the normal way.

Report a repair. 

Independent Living

With the recent government announcement about plans to lift many legal restrictions and start returning to ‘normal’ after 19 July, I am sure that this leaves many residents wondering what this actually means in reality.

Undoubtedly there will be feelings of mixed emotions of joy in being able to see loved ones, being able to socialise more freely, anxiety mixing with people again and fear of the unknown and ‘what ifs’.  All of this is completely understandable in the circumstances.
Your scheme’s will return to their normal ways of working, pre the pandemic. 
Everybody will approach this differently, and we understand that you will need to take this your own pace and we respect this

 

Yes you can – however they may ask you to wear a face mask.  Like everyone our colleagues are moving forward with caution.  

You can contact us in a number of ways including email, website, social media and web chat.

You can also activate your online tenancy account for managing your rent and reporting repairs.

Your scheme coordinator will have provided you with a contact mobile number that can be used during working hours for non-emergency matters during the hours of 8.30am to 4.30pm.

If you have an emergency please pull your chord for immediate assistance.

If you have returned from any of the affected areas abroad - or you have family members or friends recently returned from these regions – you should follow the advice of Public Health England on self-isolation.

If you feel unwell, please refer to the NHS website for guidance and the recommended periods of self-isolation for individuals and households.

If you are worried about managing your income or paying your rent due to the situation, please contact us for guidance.

Information on claiming benefits is available on the Universal Credit website.

Your Coordinator will be resuming all normal duties and meetings, however as we are easing back into these way of working, they may want you to social distance from them and/or wear a face mask.   Like everyone, we are trying to be respectful of everyone’s nervousness of the easing but we hope you respect everyone’s caution. 

Yes from the 19 July, all restrictions are lifted.  

 

It will be down to personal choice if you feel you would like to use the facilities.  We will continue with the sanitising stations, and recommend that people still hand wash regularly.  It will be your choice if you wish to use a face mask.

Yes. You are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

Without symptoms

For residents with no symptoms of the COVID 19 the Independent Living Coordinator or a Progress Lifeline responder will attend the property, open the door and shout to ask if you are ok. If reply that you are ok then they will inform the control centre of this.

If you reply to say that you are on the floor or need medical assistance then they will contact ask you to confirm if you have symptoms before entering, contact 999 and be guided by the emergency services as to the necessary action that they need to take.

With symptoms

For residents with symptoms we will contact 999 and ask for the ambulance or police to respond.

Progress Involvement

Involvement activities have continued throughout the pandemic, as we have been able to use digital technology to continue to meet with tenants and customers.  As restrictions lift we will continue to use digital technology whenever we can and plan to develop ways of combining this with face to face sessions.  If you would like to be involved or find out more, please contact the Progress Involvement Team on 03333 204555 or community@progressgroup.org.uk.

 

There are a number of ways to apply to the Community Investment Fund for funds to help community groups to develop or grow local projects.  This includes our new Community Support Grant, which is a quick and easy way for groups to apply for up to £500.  Further information can be found on this page of our website [include link to the community investment fund page]

Progress Futures

We are now meeting customers face to face at the booth in Sumner House Reception. These meetings are by appointment only. Please contact Progress Futures to make an appointment. 

Being in employment has many benefits not least of all financial. Organisations still need people to keep operating. Many organisations have created new posts. 

We cannot give specific benefit advice. Please contact your local Job Centre and one of their team will be able to assist with advice specific to your situation.

This is an online facility Learning Curve are using currently. Enrolments can be done by smart phone

Learning Curve are currently only delivering courses online. Enrolments can be done by smart phone. 

General questions

We continue to provide all leasehold services however, where possible we will replace face to face meetings with telephone/video conferencing.  There are a range of means by which you can contact us as outlined here https://contactus.progressgroup.org.uk/contact-us/

In line with government guidelines we have now commenced grounds maintenance and communal cleaning where it is safe to do so.

Yes and No – In general the bulky items service is now up and running and the ordering of collections can be made through our Progress Connect Team, however we are currently unable to collect environmental items such at TV’s, Fridges, Computers.   In the meantime the local tips have re-opened and you can find more information through the council website. 

The Neighbourhood Caretakers are currently adhering to social distancing rules and are working on our estates to carry out inspections, make improvements and ensuring customer safety through compliance checks such as fire alarm testing.    

Our Progress Connect Team can provide advice using our main number 03333 204 555 or via webchat on our website.  If they are unable to assist then they will arrange for someone in our Neighbourhoods Team to contact you to discuss the matter further. 

Where we can answer your questions over the phone or by letter we will aim to do this in the first instance.  However, we are now able to complete home visits / door step visits for occasions when this is not possible. This is in line with government guidance and we will risk assess each visit. 

 

Notice of suspension of planned works in Supported Living and Independent Living properties from 1 February


With effect from 1 February 2021, for the wellbeing of our tenants, we have taken the decision to pause all planned works to our Supported Living and Independent Living properties.

We will only be working on planned programmes within our General Needs homes (with agreement from tenants).

This decision has been made to protect our most vulnerable customers as operatives are in their home for longer periods (fitting kitchens, bathrooms etc). We will be making contact with any tenants who may be impacted by this decision.

Please note, all other services (responsive repairs and all compliance-related gas and electrical safety checks) will continue across all our homes.