Coronavirus update

The health and wellbeing of our customers is our top priority. To help keep you informed, please visit our dedicated coronavirus webpage.

How we're helping our customers

Wellbeing calls

We’ve been working hard over the last few weeks of self-isolation to let our customers know that we’re been here to help - tweeting, posting, instagramming, emailing, writing and just simply picking up the phone and calling.

We’ve been calling our older customers to see how they’re managing at home checking to ensure that they are not experiencing any issues with their general wellbeing, access to food or shopping as well as finance and rent payments.

Get in touch – we’re here to help

Letting you know that we are here to help has been communicated in many ways since the start of the coronavirus outbreak, but sometimes you just can’t beat a good old-fashioned telephone call! If any customers do find themselves in any difficulty due to the current situation, please do get in touch and find out how we can help.

We’re always working hard to find ways to support our customers and through our Better Days programme we’re continuing to support the needs of many of our customers helping with financial worries and their general wellbeing.

Our Tenancy Support team has been glued to their phones having called over 10,000 of our customers! They’ve been helped by colleagues from many other Orbit teams.

Polly’s story

There have been many heart-warming stories. Here’s just one from Polly, an Orbit Technical Officer:

Polly usually spends her days working for our Home Improvement Agency in Suffolk as a Technical Officer and is often busy dealing with occupational therapists’ recommendations and working out which is the best adaptation for customer’s homes.  But, when the coronavirus outbreak started, her job was put on hold because of social distancing. So, when she was offered the opportunity to make welfare calls instead, she jumped at the chance.

“I had some really good training before I started and looking after our customers is something I always really enjoy, so I couldn’t wait to get started,” Polly explained.

“The main thing I needed to know was where to refer the customer for additional help. As you can imagine, a lot of those that needed help, needed assistance with their food shopping. Some hadn’t been able to get out for over a week or more and were running desperately low on supplies. With others I was able to refer them to the local authority for ongoing welfare checks and I also used the services on our Better Days website linking with Age UK and other agencies.”

Polly said she was delighted with the response from the calls she made, and she quickly realised how invaluable this support was to so many of you. While some of you were doing fine and had family and friends helping out, others were not quite as well supported. So, to hear a friendly voice and to be in a position to immediately access the required support was a real lifeline. Some of you, we know, had not had anybody else check in to see if you were ok and that’s why it was so important for us to call you. Accessing a befriending service or getting a Foodbank delivery has meant the world to you and we know that because you have told us. And it is that kind of feedback which has made Polly’s job so much easier.

“One gentleman had not been in touch with anyone other than his son and he told me how nice it was to talk to someone. He hadn’t been out on his mobility scooter and was feeling very lonely. Another lady told me how much she appreciated the call and that it was lovely to know that we cared enough to call and check on her.

“I love talking to people and helping where I can, and I was so pleased to get involved. To know that a call I made has meant that someone has received a food delivery when they had nothing left in cupboards or it has stopped them feeling lonely at time when we are in lockdown has meant so much,” added Polly.

Here To Help  you calls

“We’ve been calling our elderly customers, some who are living on their own - to lend an ear and see how they’re coping during the last few weeks of ‘self-isolation’ because of the UK COVID-19 Lockdown.

Those customers who’ve had a call from our Tenancy Support team have been happy to hear from us and it’s good that many are managing, with a little support from those close to them.

Some of our customers haven’t managed as well and we’ve been able to offer the support that they’ve needed.

We’re happy to help in any way we can. Please feel free to call 0800 678 1221 if you need further support or know a neighbour that does.”

Paul Richards, Group Customer Services Director