News from Bolton at Home
Here you'll find our most recent news articles, from important tenant updates and new housing developments, to new community initiatives and activities.
Service update: what you can expect from us after 19 July
The latest stage in England’s lockdown easing is due to go ahead from 19 July, so we want to update you on how we’ll deliver services after this date and what you can expect from us.
Most of our services have remained available. This will continue and now we’ll open-up some services further, just in a measured way. Please bear with us we make these changes gradually.
We have a responsibility to keep each other safe, particularly as some of us have health conditions that make us vulnerable. So, with COVID-19 infection rates still high, we’ll keep most of our current safety measures as they are for the time being. These include the continued use of face masks and social distancing.
Appointments at our UCAN centres and Valley House office
Our UCAN centres and public reception at Valley House WON’T be open for walk-in help and information just yet. Please DON’T attend our UCAN centres or Valley House without an appointment.
Our Contact Centre phoneline remains your main point of contact for all types of enquiries from 19 July. If you need us, please phone us on 01204 328000 and we’ll help you with your enquiry.
If you’d prefer to speak with one of our UCAN centre teams for employment or wellbeing support, you can find more information and contact details here: www.boltonathome.org.uk/ucan.
We’ll continue with some pre-arranged, in-person appointments for those in urgent need of specific services. You’ll be advised where this applies in your enquiries with us and the COVID-19 safety measures we require you to follow.
We’ll also carry out visits for welfare reasons, safely, where other means of communication aren’t appropriate.
We’re sorry if ever you can’t get through to our main phone line quickly. We deal with hundreds of enquiries each day, so please bear with us and call us back a bit later if it can wait. Our line is open 8am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday, then switches to an emergency only service.
During our office hours- you can also use our Web Chat facility or direct message us on Facebook, and we’ll do our best to help these ways.
While we’re still prioritising emergency repairs, we’ve started working on our backlog of non-urgent repairs that were previously booked in.
Even after lockdown restrictions are fully eased, it’ll take time to work through the backlog of jobs that we’ve had to postpone and to appoint new repairs that you’ve been patient with. Thank you again for your understanding.
If you previously had an appointment that was cancelled during lockdown, our team will be in touch as soon as possible.
We’ll visit homes for things like gas safety checks, repairs, welfare reasons, and to support our Careline community alarm customers.
To keep everyone safe, we’ll
- ask you to confirm that you or family members aren’t experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms before we enter your home;
- wear a face mask and other personal protective equipment when entering your home;
- stay socially distanced from you.
What we ask of you and members of your household
1. Wear face masks for the duration of our visit. We appreciate this might not be possible for Careline customers who need the urgent help of our Careline Response Team in an emergency.
2. Ventilate the room where our staff will be, by opening windows, unless this negatively affects a health condition of anyone remaining in the room.
3. Stay in a different part of your home, away from the room we’ll work in, where this is possible and when we don’t require a conversation with you.
If we need a conversation with you, which isn’t confidential but can’t be carried out by phone, we’ll speak with you by socially distancing at your doorstep and without entering your home.
For most home visits, we’ll only come after we’ve already made an appointment with you and so you know to expect us. There can be some urgent and specific situations when we need to visit tenants unexpectedly, but in all cases we encourage you to ask to see ID. Please don’t worry, our staff won’t be offended. We want you to be confident we are who we say we are and understand the reason for our visit.
If you don’t want us to come into your home because of health vulnerabilities, such as a health condition that previously required you to shield, please contact us. If the repair isn’t an emergency and can genuinely wait, then we may be able to postpone your appointment. Any work that’s classed an emergency will still need to be carried out.
We follow these safety measures to protect each other. A gentle reminder that we’re not here to tolerate abuse or antisocial behaviour directed towards us, or where someone with COVID-19 symptoms hasn’t told us before we visit.
Thanks in advance for respecting these measures as not engaging with these precautions could increase the potential risk of transmission and give us cause to withdraw our services.
Help with urgent food needs
Bolton’s Humanitarian Response Team, which includes us, continues to provide urgent food support.
Please call the COVID-19 helpline for Bolton on 01204 337221. Or get in touch with our Community Investment Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support for money worries
We remain committed to the National Housing Federation’s three pledges to support you if you experience financial difficulties caused by the pandemic.
If you engage with the support we offer to help you tackle rent arrears- we’ve pledged to keep you secure at home, help you get the support you need, and to act quickly and compassionately if you’re struggling.
We’re currently supporting lots of households who are struggling financially because of the pandemic and will continue to do so.
If you’ve got money worries or debt issues, please phone us on 01204 328000 and ask for our Money Advice Team.
We give confidential, independent advice on a full range of money matters all year-round.
Community centres and outdoor events
We plan to run a series of community events outdoors this summer and start opening-up community centres again in stages.
We’ll provide further updates on these.
All of us here thank you for helping us during this pandemic, with your patience and understanding. We’re working as hard as we can to look after your needs and do things as safely as possible.
Rest assured that we’ll continue to follow advice from public health experts as we provide services over the coming weeks and months.
For now, you can expect us to work as we’ve been doing until all adults in the country over the age of 18 have had the opportunity to have been offered first and second dose vaccinations against COVID-19 and opening services further is safe for you and our staff.
We’ll review the situation in September, when we hope to open-up services further.
Ever since the pandemic struck and the government ordered its first lockdown in March 2020, we’ve rethought how we do things and found ways to keep essential services running safely. We’ve learned a lot from the last 17 months and embraced new ways of working that’ll make us more resilient to future conditions.
Here for you
Please contact us if you’re feeling worried, lonely or unsure about how we’re working and how we can help you.
• phone us on 01204 328000;
• contact your Sustaining Tenancy Advisor if you have one;
• use our website and webchat;
• stay up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter.
Take care and best wishes.
TAP4 Issue 7 - released 25 June 2021
TAP4’s ready to read right away, meaning there’s no need to subscribe to a mailing list or share your email address. Released on 25 June 2021, the latest issue’s bursting with updates, news, and opportunities for you and those you’re close to. Grab a brew and see what's new.