20/03/2020

Covid-19 ARK Response - Message to ARK Customers

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You will be aware of recent UK and Scottish Government announcements with regards to how we all should be responding to the threat of Covid-19 and in particular the steps we should take to follow the policy of social distancing to minimise contact with other people.  This is very clear sensible advice and one we would ask you all to follow where possible. 

It presents significant challenges to our community based housing and care services. We have identified a number of business critical activities to ensure we deliver key services over the coming weeks so that the organisation continues to operate as effectively as possible.  We understand that our efforts should be focused on ensuring that our customers continue to receive the services they require and our employees are enabled to achieve this and we have developed detailed plans to ensure this continues to operate effectively. However, for those of you who receive a support service from ARK, local teams might have to make difficult decisions in the coming weeks and there may be some disruption to the support you’re getting. Your local manager will be in touch with you to discuss this, if it affects you.

As part of our response to the social distancing guidance, we have decided to close the Priory Office in Edinburgh and the Forres Office for a minimum of two weeks and all those based there will work from home.  This will severely limit the ability of staff to undertake routine visits to our tenants. If you have any concerns relating to your tenancy/property please contact your Housing Services Officer or Maintenance Officer by telephone or e-mail and they will respond to you as soon as they can.

You may be having difficulties with your job or benefits as a result of coronavirus. Please contact your Housing Officer as soon as possible to make them aware of any financial difficulties that might impact on your ability to pay your rent. You can also get some advice from the following government websites.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses

https://www.mygov.scot/discretionary-housing-payment/

https://www.mygov.scot/scottish-welfare-fund/crisis-grants/

 

If you are reporting a repair, we will be asking additional questions to ensure we safeguard you and our staff prior to arranging a home visit.

Please note we are prioritising attending to emergency repairs. An emergency repair is any problem that could be a security risk or cause harm to you, another person or to your property, and includes:                          

  • Mandatory / Statutory Maintenance checks and services
  • Gas leaks
  • Uncontainable water leaks
  • Complete loss of heating and hot water
  • Electrical or fire risk
  • Property security 

 

Given the situation, we’ve also taken the decision to suspend all our local and organisational group meetings which supported people usually attend, until further notice. These are:

  • HUB Group
  • Voices Group
  • ARK Working Group
  • Speak Out Groups

Our Participation Officer will be in touch with group members to look at alternative ways to continue our engagement and participation function. If you have any questions related to this you can contact Gloria on 07912 054 607.

 

The Government information around coronavirus changes frequently. We advise you to keep a close eye on the NHS website www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus, Public Health Scotland www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/ and Government website www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ updates for information and guidance on the action you need to take to safeguard yourself and others.

 

We appreciate your patience, understanding and cooperation at this critical time. Finally, I hope all of the information we have provided you with, enables you to keep yourself and your family safe.  These are unprecedented times and please be assured that minimising disruption to our services as much as possible, will be our key focus over the coming weeks.

 

Category: News About ARK

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