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One year on from the start of the pandemic

It has now been more than a year since we first went into lockdown in March 2020. Throughout the pandemic our staff have worked hard to make sure that everyone we work with has felt safe and supported.

Keeping residents and staff safe

The people we work with are particularly vulnerable, with many facing challenges such as poor health, mental health issues or limited support networks.

When the first lockdown was announced, we contacted every resident to check about any health conditions, symptoms or worries they had, and gave advice based on the government guidance. The ongoing support is a crucial part of the service we provide, and so we quickly took steps to make sure we could continue to provide this support either over the phone or with socially distanced house visits.

To help tackle the loneliness and boredom from being asked to stay at home, we created a distraction pack with activities and ideas for things to do which we shared with everyone using our services as well as external partners and agencies.

Throughout the pandemic, staff have continued to give support, reassurance and guidance to help residents feel safe and that they are not dealing with this situation alone. They have also provided the usual support with everything from benefits to finding employment. We welcomed 494 new people into our accommodation over the year.

During the winter months we worked with our partners in Derby to provide dedicated accommodation to prevent people from rough sleeping. The project, called The Bridge, was part of the city’s Severe Weather Emergency Protocol (SWEP) provision.

Community support

We’ve had some amazing support from the community over the last twelve months, including donations to our Covid-19 Appeal and 12 Days of Christmas Appeal – as well as several grants and corporate donations which meant we could buy essential items such as phones, laptops, food parcels and activity packs. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported us in this way.

Looking to the future

The coronavirus pandemic is likely to have significant consequences in terms of unemployment, poverty and access to housing, potentially leading to increased levels of homelessness in the coming months and years. Evictions from private rented tenancies have been put on hold, but when released, there are likely to be more people needing our help.

Looking ahead, we are committed to doing all we can to continue to provide housing and support, working closely with our community partners to make sure that everyone has a safe and secure homes and the tools to build a better future.