Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice for customers

Latest page update – 9am on 30 July 2020

Latest government guidance and what to do:

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Self-isolate if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

It’s really important that all our customers and colleagues keep safe and don’t pass coronavirus on, so please keep checking the government’s latest advice on what you can do to keep yourself and others safe. 

If you are self-isolating/shielding

If you are self-isolating or have been diagnosed with coronavirus, it’s really important that you let us know by completing our online form below.

Help us keep you safe

The safety and wellbeing of our customers and colleagues continues to be our number one priority during these difficult times.
In accordance with current government and Health and Safety Executive rules, along with emergency repairs, we must continue to carry out vital safety checks at your home when they become due.
It’s really important that you let us carry out these checks to help us keep you and your family safe. You can find out more in the Help us keep your safe leaflet below.
Please be assured that the health and wellbeing of our customers and operatives is of the utmost importance to us during this difficult time. All operatives are working in line with government guidance on how they should enter and work at a customer’s home – find out more in the Essential visits guidance leaflet below.
We have also set out clear guidance on what you should expect and what you need to do to keep safe when signing up for a new home, which can be found below.

Help us keep you safe leaflet 
Essential visits guidance leaflet 
Signing up for your new home guidance leaflet

You can also view the video below from our gas contractors Phoenix Gas, which shares safety guidance on visiting a customer’s home to carry out a heating repair or gas safety check.

Contacting our customer service centre

Due to the impact that coronavirus is having on the way we deliver services, we can only accept emergency calls at this time.  We are therefore asking customers to only call our customer service centre to:

  • Report an emergency repair – an emergency repair is a problem that represents an immediate risk to safety, security or health
  • Access income and money advice
  • Report high risk anti-social behaviour
  • End your tenancy
  • Speak to us about Safety First inspections - gas safety, electrical, fire doors, etc.
  • Report safeguarding concerns

Non-urgent, routine repairs can be reported online 24/7 at here. At present, we are unable to give specific timescales for routine repairs to be completed.

For all other enquiries please email housing@sarh.co.uk.

If you are calling for information on how to apply for a SARH property, please find further information here. If you have a query about the status of your application or of a nomination, please email housing@sarh.co.uk

You may also be able to find the answer to your query in the Online services and FAQ sections of this website.

Housing Plus Group Covid-19 Grant

In response to the impact of Covid-19, Housing Plus Group in association with Jewson have made funding available to community initiatives supporting people affected by the crisis in our communities in Staffordshire and Shropshire.  Eligible organisations may apply for grants of up to £2,000.
To find out more, and apply, please visit www.housingplusgroup.co.uk.

FAQs

Please visit our new frequently asked questions page for all the latest updates on our services during this time.  

Support for vulnerable customers

Customers who are extremely vulnerable to Coronavirus due to a clinical diagnosis, should have received a letter from the NHS about shielding from the virus. If you are extremely vulnerable and do not have a family member, friend or neighbour who can deliver food and medicine to you, the advice is to:

  • Call the national emergency helpline on 0800 028 8327
  • Or complete this online form

If you are staying at home due to Coronavirus symptoms, because you are over 70, have a pre-existing health condition or are pregnant and do not have friends, family or neighbours who can help you, your local council may be able to offer you support. You can find out more here or you can call the helpline on 0300 111 8050.

Wellbeing advice

Staying at home for a prolonged period can be really difficult and lonely, so it’s important to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if you need it.
Staying in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media can really help. Taking daily exercise, especially if you can get outside, can also give you a much-needed boost.  Please remember that if do venture away from your home you should follow the government guidelines.

Online support
There’s a whole range of great information online offering you top tips to help you keep your mind and body healthy. The NSPCC also offer advice on how to talk to a child, if they are worried about coronavirus – find out more here .
https://www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/
https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/
https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/looking-after-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak
https://www.samaritans.org/how-we-can-help/support-and-information/if-youre-having-difficult-time/if-youre-worried-about-your-mental-health-during-coronavirus-outbreak/
https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
https://www.ageuk.org.uk

Safeguarding
Are you worried about a child, friend, family member or neighbour?
If you have concerns about a child or adult, particularly with everything that is happening and the added difficulties we are all facing, please speak up. 
Whilst it can often be difficult to identify abuse or neglect, if you are in any doubt, please report it to our our customer service centre on 0800 111 4554.
You can also share your concerns with Stafford Borough Council’s safeguarding team.
Further advice is also available online:
https://www.womensaid.org.uk/
https://www.nspcc.org.uk/

Fire safety advice
With more people working and staying at home the Fire Service is asking everyone to #TakeExtraCare
To access top tips on how you can help to keep your family safe please visit Staffordshire Fire and Rescue’s website or follow them on their Facebook page to see regular updates.

If you contact us to request a visit

If you request a repair or other service requiring a visit from our staff, we will ask you some brief questions about your health.

  1. Do you or anyone in your household have a new and persistent cough or temperature?
  2. Have you had any contact with any person whom has been diagnosed with coronavirus, or showing symptoms in the last 14 days (Coughing, temperature, shortness of breath)?
  3. Have you or anyone in your household received any medical advice from the NHS, 111 or any other medical professional to self isolate due to coronavirus symptoms?
  4. Have you or anyone in your household been tested positive for Coronavirus in the last 14 days?
  5. Are you self isolating / shielding for any reason?
  6. Has anybody in your household returned from abroad in the last 14 days?

Please don’t be offended by these questions, which we will be asking ALL customers before we visit their home. We know that you will understand that we need to work together to reduce the spread of infection.

Visits to our offices

Due to the impact that coronavirus is having on the way we deliver our services, our reception service will be closed from Monday 23 March until further notice.

Keeping you informed

We are working to protect our customers and staff and to maintain essential services. 
We continue to monitor the daily updates on COVID-19 from the government and the NHS as well as the advice from Public Health England. 
We will continue to regularly update this page with any significant changes in services or policies, so please check back to keep up-to-date.

Useful links
Beware of scams

Sadly, fraudsters and thieves are using the coronavirus pandemic to find new ways to scam people.

Phishing emails and texts are being used to target people and the elderly have been conned out of their money by thieves offering to do their shopping, as they self-isolate.  Victims have also lost money purchasing face masks and similar items online that never arrive.

Please be on your guard for possible coronavirus scams and look out for vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours who may become a target for fraudsters.

If you are the victim of fraud you can report it online to Action Fraud or contact your local police on 101.

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Live Support

Have you tried our Frequently Asked Questions? See www.sarh.co.uk/faq