This is a dedicated webpage for regular updates on the Coronavirus. Updates will be posted in date order.

 

Updated: 24 March 2020

Coronavirus - repairing and maintaining your property

The coronavirus outbreak continues to impact on us all, and we wanted to let you know what we're doing to support you, our customers.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be working hard to prioritise emergencies and health and safety repairs; that means putting the needs of our most vulnerable customers first.

Like all businesses, we are having to change the way we work in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues, which includes cancelling all non-essential repair appointments.

We are now asking that you do not call us unless your repair is an emergency. We need to focus on our most vulnerable customers and prioritise emergency and health and safety repairs, and we need your help and co-operation to achieve this.

Compliance (Health & Safety)

We will continue to carry out all compliance-related safety checks and remedial works including gas servicing and electrical testing in your home. This is to ensure your health and safety and to meet the requirements of our regulator, so please continue to allow us access to your homes.

We have put extra measures and safeguards to make sure you are protected, this includes Personal Protective Equipment for our operatives, which they may wear on their visit to your home.

To help you, we have compiled a list of emergency repairs below and we will be creating several 'DIY Repair' videos to help you carry out minor repairs in your own homes. These will be shared with you very shortly – watch this space.

Emergency repairs

Please ONLY contact us if your repair is listed below.

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.

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 pose a risk to you or anyone in your home.

Home Visits

We are following Government advice in relation to 'social distancing' and would ask that you advise us immediately if you are self isolating. If an operative visits your home to undertake emergency or compliance related work we ask that you please remain in another room and do not enter the work area while our operative is in your property. If you are concerned about any aspect of this, please contact us, and we can discuss individual measures we can put in place to reassure you.

External Works

During this period, you may continue to see our operatives working outside on external repairs.

Please be assured that they are following strict social distancing advice and we would ask that you do not approach them while they continue to work outside of homes.

If you are unsure if you have an emergency, please contact Progress Connect on 03333 204 555 or enquiries@progressgroup.org.uk.

Updated: 24 March 2020

Update following the government’s instruction to stay at home with exception of the delivery of essential services.

In line with government latest instruction to protect staff and customers, we are now restricting our repairs service to emergencies and to health and safety-related works, including all statutory compliance work.

We will provide a more detailed update shortly.

Below you can find links to information if you are concerned about paying your rent or other essential household bills, and links to organisations and charities that are providing support and guidance with practical help and mental and physical wellbeing. We will be adding to these over the coming days.

We are committed to supporting all tenants and staff throughout this difficult period, delivering services within the current guidelines and advice provided, and thank you for your cooperation.

Updated: 20 March 2020

As the impact of coronavirus is felt across the UK, you may have concerns about how it could affect the services that you receive from us.

Your peace of mind and well-being are our absolute top priority. So, we've put in place some additional plans and information to help.

  • We have now closed our reception facilities at all Progress Housing Group offices until further notice and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
  • Services continue to be delivered where possible, and we ask that you contact us via the methods detailed below.
  • Any community involvement activities previously arranged have been cancelled until further notice although we may still contact you digitally where possible to do so.

Where possible we will avoid face to face appointments; however, you can contact us in several ways including email, website, social media and webchat. You can also activate your online tenancy account at www.progressgroup.org.uk/activate or managing your rent and reporting repairs.

If you live in one of our independent living schemes, we will continue to make contact with you through intercom calls. If you have any concerns, please let us know, and we will offer assistance and advice.

Managing your finances

We appreciate that for many customers, the current situation will be causing concern and challenges in managing not only personal home and family circumstances but also financial worries. With school closures and daily updates from the government, we are in a constant period of uncertainty which we appreciate is difficult for many people.

If you have any concerns about paying your rent, please do get in touch with us so that we can support you and offer advice based on your circumstances. We will be flexible in considering payment options to ensure that your rent is paid and that this is affordable and reasonable in the circumstances. We have promised that no-one will be evicted because of the coronavirus.

Protecting your health while maintaining our services

At the time of writing, we are still providing a full repairs and maintenance service. We ask that you notify us when reporting a repair or before any pre-arranged appointment if anyone in your household is self-isolating. This is so that we can re-arrange or adapt the service according to your needs, protect our staff and prevent transmission of the virus.

 As the situation develops, we may need to review our approach to repairs. For example, if government advice changes or if the number of tenants self-isolating increases substantially, we may need to postpone some planned works and move to emergency and health and safety-related repairs and inspections only. If this happens, we will post up to date information on our website straight away.

We especially ask that you continue to work with us in allowing access to complete essential work to your property relating to health and safety. This includes your annual gas safety checks and periodic electrical checks, amongst others, again notifying us if anyone in the household is self-isolating in advance.

Further support

We are committed to supporting all tenants and staff throughout this period, delivering services within the current guidelines and advice provided, and thank you for your cooperation.

Our team is looking at ways to help to keep you feeling part of your community and connected with family and friends. We are working with community partners to look at alternative ways of connecting people and offering additional support. Please be assured that you are not alone and we will support you as much as we can.

Provided below are some links to information and advice that you may find helpful at this time. We will also keep you updated on any changes to service delivery on our dedicated coronavirus webpage, our social media, and by email if we have your email address.

Yours sincerely

Jacqui De Rose

Chief Executive

Useful contacts

  • Please contact Progress Connect on 03333 204 555, visit www.progressgroup.org.uk to talk to us on webchat or private message us on social media.
  • Documents in support of your housing application can also be emailed to enquiries@progressgroup.org.uk
  • Log on to your customer account through the customer web app on our website at www.progressgroup.org.uk
  • If you are returning keys, please either post them to us at Sumner House, 21 King Street, Leyland PR25 2LW or through the letterbox at either of our offices.

 Useful links

· Our dedicated web page: /coronavirus

· General health advice for individuals available from the NHS website.

· Information on claiming benefits, available from the Universal Credit website

Additional help and advice (please check with stores before travelling):

 

  • Shop local: This is the perfect time to support local businesses by ordering supplies online and over the phone. Local shops are more likely to stock the items you need than supermarket chains. Some local farm shops are offering free delivery!
  • Booths: 9.30-11:00 opening times for only the vulnerable and elderly. 
  • Sainsburys Local: first-hour trading currently in place for the vulnerable and elderly this will be reviewed on an ongoing basis, check the website for more detail 
  • Iceland: 08:00-10:00 (2 hours) opening times for only the vulnerable and elderly. 
  • TescoAll stores to open 06:00-22:00 Monday-Saturday & 10:00-16:00 to enable staff to replenish shelves (some in-store pharmacies may stay open later).
  • Asda: All stores to open 07:00-23:00 Monday-Saturday & 10:00-16:00 Sunday to enable staff to replenish shelves.
  • Morrisons
  • Food Banks for Leyland, Chorley and Penwortham: Food banks are only open for those who have a referral from either a doctor, social worker, crisis management worker, etc. Hot food and drink services are not available. Food parcels can be collected by knocking on the door during opening hours. A member of staff will bring the food parcel out to you. It is advised that only one family member collects.

To find your local GP, visit: https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-gp

 

  • AGE UK Telephone Befriending Service: – ‘Call in Time’ is a free telephone friendship service for people 60 and over. They'll match you up with a likeminded person who's keen to make a new friend, and every week they'll give you a call.
  • The Silver Line Befriending Service: is the only free, confidential helpline providing information, friendship and advice to older people (over 55s) which is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. For full details, call 0800 4 70 80 90
  • Facebook: The Coronavirus North West Support Group (Covid-19 2020) was set up on Facebook on Sunday (05 March 2020) and has attracted thousands of members. The group, which gets more than 130 posts a day, was set up by people from Preston to share news, advice and updates regarding the virus. Posts include information on food banks, shop supplies, advice on symptoms, school closures, and business information, and how to make self-isolation a little bit easier.
  • North West Group
  • Lytham Group
  • Alzheimer’s AssociationIf you’re caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s or dementia, you may be more worried about coronavirus. There are some things you can do to help prevent the person from catching any viruses.
  • Samaritans: If you need to talk to someone, it is free to call the Samaritans from both landlines and mobiles, including pay-as-you-go mobiles. You do not need to have any credit or call allowance on your plan to call 116 123.
  • As individuals: If you are fit and free of symptoms, you could help neighbours by posting notes and offering to do their shopping or collecting much-needed prescriptions etc.
  • Money Advice Service

 

If you would like to share other organisations that may help the vulnerable and the elderly during the pandemic, please email us with the details. Thank you and please take care of yourself and each other.

 

Updated: 19 March 2020

Rent payments 

We appreciate that for many customers, the current situation will be causing concern and challenges in managing not only personal home and family circumstances but also financial worries. With school closures and daily changes in government advice on operational working arrangements, we are in a constant period of uncertainty which we appreciate is difficult for many people.

 As a housing association, the rental income we receive is vital to providing essential services such as repairs, maintenance and support services. As such, we are not in a position to offer rent-free periods at this time. We will work with the government and our partner agencies as and when any further guidance is provided. We are committed to support tenants who are struggling or worried about paying their rent and will not evict anyone due to the impact of coronavirus. We will work with you to consider what alternative support may be available dependent on your circumstances and be flexible in considering payment options to ensure that your rent is paid and that this is affordable and reasonable in the circumstances.

 If you are currently not in receipt of any benefits, then you can call the UC helpline on 08003 285644 or go to GOV UK or can contact Citizens Advice Help to Claim UC service on 0800 1448 444.

DWP coronavirus guidance can also be found at their website.

If you have any concerns about paying your rent, please do get in touch with us so that we can support you and offer advice.

Updated: 19 March 2020

Closure of reception facilities

As the current situation with Covid-19 continues to develop, we are adhering to Public Health England guidance and the protocols advised by local and international authorities. The wellbeing of our customers and our staff is our absolute priority, and you can be assured that your health and safety has our complete attention. 

With this in mind, we will be closing our reception facilities at all Progress Housing Group offices until further notice.

Services continue to be delivered and we ask that you advise customers to contact us via alternative methods.

Updated: 17 March 2020

Steps we are taking

As the current situation with Covid-19 continues to develop, we are adhering to Public Health England guidance and the protocols advised by local and international authorities. 

The wellbeing of our customers and our staff is our absolute priority, and you can be assured that your health and safety has our complete attention. 

We are following developments daily with intense scrutiny and providing updates as necessary.

Below is some more information about what we are doing as an organisation to minimise the disruption in our services to you, as well as the measures you can take in order to help stop the spread of the virus.

Steps we are taking

  • We are continuing to carry out repairs and undertake essential home visits. All of our employees are fully aware of the current requirements and are undertaking additional health and safety procedures to ensure that hygiene standards are maintained. It is important that you continue to allow us access to undertake any property compliance checks i.e. your annual gas safety checks, electrical works etc. to ensure that we keep you and your family safe in your homes.

  • Where possible we will avoid face to face appointments, however 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.

  • We are strictly following the Public Health England guidance on self-isolation if a member of staff has potentially been exposed to the virus or is feeling unwell.

  • A large proportion of our teams are now working remotely to help minimise the transmission of infection and any impact on our service delivery due to staff absence.

  • We have postponed all tenant and customers involvement meetings, events, training and conferences until further notice. 

  • We will not be closing reception at Sumner House at this stage, but we would encourage you to contact us by email, web chat, social media or telephone rather than visit our offices. Our Jubilee House office is temporarily closed to external visitors. 

  • In our communal schemes for our independent living and supported housing tenants, Public Health England and NHS advice is on display in communal areas; we have also updated our cleaning activity in our communal areas. Local arrangements to manage the situation are being put in place.

How you can help us

  • 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.

  • Letting us know as soon as possible if your family are isolating or have a high risk family member and have an appointment booked for a repair or safety check.
  • If you feel unwell, please refer to the NHS 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.

Feeling unwell or asked to self-isolate? 

Please don’t visit us if you are unwell. Please call and re-arrange any appointments that you may have.

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. 

When arranging appointments at your home such as repairs, inspections, ASB investigations etc., we may ask you if you are self-isolating. This is to protect our employees and ensure we can maintain services.

Any information that you share will be kept confidential.

Further support

If you have any queries or concerns about your health, we would urge you to follow the advice from Public Health England or the NHS.

Please do get in touch with us if you want further advice on any other issues that may potentially arise from the situation by web chat or email enquiries@progressgroup.org.uk

We appreciate that this is a challenging and uncertain time for everyone and we are doing our utmost to keep you updated and provide reassurance in a very fast-changing environment. We also understand that in the circumstances this may require a change in the way we deliver our services and appreciate your support and cooperation.

Yours sincerely

Jacqui De-Rose

Group Chief Executive

Useful links

 

Updated: 13 March 2020

As the current situation with Covid-19 develops, our commitment is to adhere to Public Health England guidance and the protocols advised by local and international authorities. 

The well-being of our customers and our staff is our absolute priority, and you can be assured that health and safety has our complete attention. 

We will be following developments daily with intense scrutiny and providing updates as necessary.

Below is some more information about what we are doing as an organisation, as well as the measures you can take in order to help stop the spread of the virus.

Steps that we are taking:

  • All of our employees are fully aware of the current requirements. They are undertaking additional health and safety procedures to ensure that the highest possible hygiene standards are maintained, throughout every aspect of our service including visiting, and working in, your home.

  • We are the following the Public Health England guidance in managing any member of staff returning from the affected areas abroad - or those who have family members or friends recently returned from these regions.

  • Visitors to our offices are being encouraged to use the hand-washing facilities provided; Public Health England and NHS information is on display.

  • In our communal schemes for our Independent Living and Supported Housing tenants, Public Health England and NHS advice is on display in communal areas.

  • If you would prefer to avoid face to face appointments with our team, 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.

  • 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.


What you can do to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus

Information for the public on the outbreak of Coronavirus, including the current situation in the UK, is being updated daily by the lead agencies.

The NHS website has more information about how Coronavirus is spread and answers common questions about the virus.

Key advice includes:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • Avoid unnecessary close contact such as shaking hands

Feeling unwell or asked to self-isolate? 

Please don’t visit us if you are unwell. Please call and re-arrange any appointments you may have.

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. 

When arranging appointments at your home such as repairs, inspections, ASB investigations etc., we may ask you about your health and your recent travel. This is to protect our employees and ensure we can maintain services.

Any information you share will be kept confidential.

Impact on service delivery

We are currently delivering all services as usual. We will provide updates if this changes.

Further support

If you have any queries or concerns about your health, we would urge you to follow the advice from Public Health England or the NHS. Please do get in touch with us if you want further advice on any other issues that may potentially arise from the situation by webchat or email enquiries@progressgroup.org.uk

Useful links

Coronavirus - repairing and maintaining your property

 

The coronavirus outbreak continues to impact on us all, and we wanted to let you know what we're doing to support you, our customers.

Over the next few weeks, we'll be working hard to prioritise emergencies and health and safety repairs; that means putting the needs of our most vulnerable customers first.

Like all businesses, we are having to change the way we work in order to protect the health and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues, which includes cancelling all non-essential repair appointments.

We have also put together some additional information about coronavirus. Please visit our website for more information about how you can help us to help you /news-events/news/news-2020/coronavirus-information-for-customers/

We are now asking that you do not call us unless your repair is an emergency. We need to focus on our most vulnerable customers and prioritise emergency and health and safety repairs, and we need your help and co-operation to achieve this.

Compliance (Health & Safety)

We will continue to carry out all compliance-related safety checks and remedial works to include gas servicing and electrical testing in your home. This is to ensure your health and safety and to meet the requirements of our regulator, so please continue to allow us access to your homes.

We have put extra measures and safeguards to make sure you are protected, this includes Personal Protective Equipment for our operatives, which they may wear on their visit to your home.

To help you, we have compiled a list of emergency repairs below and are will be creating several 'DIY Repair' videos to help you carry out minor repairs in your own homes. These will be shared with you very shortly – watch this space.

 

Emergency Repairs

 

Please ONLY contact if your repair is listed below.

 

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.

Home Visits

We are following Government advice in relation to 'social distancing' and would ask that if an operative visits your home to undertake emergency or compliance work that you to remain in another room with the door closed and not enter the work area while our operative is in your property. If you are concerned about any aspect of this, please contact us, and we can discuss individual measures we can put in place to reassure you.

 

External Works

During this period, you may continue to see Progress Housing operatives working outside on external repairs.

Please be assured that they are following strict social distancing advice and we would ask that you do not approach them while they continue to work outside of homes.

 

If you are unsure if you have an emergency, please contact our Customer Services Team on 03333 204 555 or enquiries@progressgroup.org.uk.