Coronavirus update - Friday 21 August

Latest Government advice

Since our last update two weeks ago, there have been some changes to Government guidance.

From 15 August, the following businesses could reopen and activities resume provided they follow the Covid-19 Secure guidelines:

  • casinos
  • skating rinks
  • bowling alleys
  • indoor play areas, including soft play areas
  • indoor performances
  • remaining close contact services, including any treatments on the face such as eyebrow threading or make-up application
  • wedding receptions and celebrations for up to 30 people, in the form of a sit-down meal

If you’re planning on going abroad, make sure you’re up to date with the latest quarantine advice.

Contents Insurance

We’d like to remind all residents of the importance of having contents insurance.

This comes after a single mum-of-four was left with nothing after her Stonehouse flat flooded and destroyed her furniture and children’s toys. You can read her story here.

She has urged other residents to buy insurance to protect their possessions, as we don’t insure our residents’ contents as part of tenancy agreements.

There is more information about affordable contents insurance here.

Shielding arrangements 

The Government’s shielding arrangements for the medically vulnerable ended on 1 August, which makes it even more important that we continue to look out for friends, family and neighbours to keep each other safe. 

We’re continuing to work with vulnerable residents to keep people safe and ensure they have emotional support, shopping, medicine, and money advice to ensure they are able to continue paying their rent.  

If you’re under 70 and previously advised us you are self-isolating or shielding, you should have received a letter letting you know we will be removing the isolation note from your account and resuming normal appointment booking.

You will be asked to contact us if there is a reason why the flag should not be removed.

The second wave of letters have been sent to residents over 70 who have similarly been in touch with us.

  • In future, if you contact us to tell us you are unwell, we will ask you to get tested to confirm if you have the virus before we add a note to your account.
  • Any future notes added to accounts will automatically be removed after 14 days in line with Government guidance.
  • Unless you contact us to tell us differently, we will assume normal visits and appointments can resume

We would like to reassure you that we are Covid secure in line with Government guidance and have carried out extensive risk assessments to cover all jobs that need a visit to tenants’ homes.

Return to school

Schools are due to reopen in September. With this in mind, you may be interested to visit the Uniform Store Plymouth for your children’s school uniform.

There’s a pop-up shop in New George Street, where you can request items, or you can fill out their online form on the above link.

The service, run by a collection of local churches, aims to help families who may be struggling to buy school uniforms. They also accept donations of used uniforms.

Outdoor safety

We’ve had some warm weather recently and that’s always a good excuse to get outdoors.

If you live in a block of flats, we understand it must be tempting to set up paddling pools and trampolines for your little ones or hot tubs in the communal outdoor spaces.

However, for the safety of all our residents, we ask that you don’t use them.

Parks and play parks run by us and Plymouth City Council are now open as are Tinside Lido, Plympton Swimming Pool and Mount Wise Pool (main pool only). Restrictions are in place so please check before you visit.

If you use parks and outdoor spaces, please keep a safe social distance and sanitise before and after using equipment.

Repairs

Our Repairs lines are open for routine repairs and the backlog of outstanding repairs are all booked in.

You can use the Report a Repair form on the MyPCH portal, talk to us on the web chat function on our website or fill out a contact form.

We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

Homes at the Heart 

We’re part of a national campaign calling for a once-in-a-generation investment in social housing. 

Homes have never been more important to us than they have been during the coronavirus crisis. For some people, home has been a sanctuary and everyone deserves a safe, secure and comfortable place to call home. Not just now, but always. Investing in social housing makes this possible, boosts the economy, creates jobs and improves people’s lives when our nation needs it the most. 

Follow our campaign on Facebook and Twitter

Housing Management

Our team are carrying out essential visits. We’ll be concentrating on new sign-ups and progressing mutual exchanges. By doing these types of visits first it will particularly benefit customers who have been waiting to move to new homes.

To bid on a home, go to Devon Home Choice.

Development and Sales

All our development sites are open although operating more slowly under the new procedures. We continue to market and sell our shared ownership homes. If you are interested in a shared ownership home, please visit www.so-living.co.uk

Our buildings

Our city centre shop, Plumer House and the Beacon remain closed until further notice.

Housing with Support and Sheltered Schemes

Our Housing with Support teams have carried out 4,500+ welfare checks on vulnerable residents so far.

The care alarm service is operating as normal – please ensure you wear your pendant at all times.

If you wear a pendant or have an alarm, please remember to test it regularly. We recommend you do it alternately – test your pendant one month and your alarm the following month.

Communal lounges and guest rooms remain closed and we strongly advise you not to gather in groups anywhere on schemes. Visitors should be attending for essential visits only.

Residents involved online

We will continue to provide our resident involvement and learning opportunities online until further notice.

Our Learn for Free courses and other clubs and events can be found on our website.

Laundries

Laundries are open. Please remember to stay at least two metres away from other people while using the facilities.

Rent and finances

We are committed to making sure that we can help you so it’s important to contact us as soon as possible if you have any money worries. We’d like to reassure our residents that we will not evict anyone due to a loss of income as a result of Coronavirus. Call us on 0808 230 6500. Our teams have made and received 10,000+ calls and sent 3,300+ texts to help residents.

Where to turn to for help

We’re working with police teams on reports of anti-social behaviour which you can report to us on 0808 230 6500 or 0800 028 7377 (out of hours). 

If things are getting too much, don’t suffer in silence. You can contact the National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 200 0247 or the Plymouth Domestic Abuse Service on 0800 458 2558. There’s also information here.

Test and trace

There’s information on this NHS service on the government’s website.

Thank you for your continued support and patience, and stay safe.