Unpaid carers play a crucial role in supporting our communities

There are more than 6.5 million carers in the UK looking after family members or loved ones, doing an invaluable job in our communities.

We know many of our customers care for family members or close friends day in and day out, often without the chance to take a break themselves. We wholeheartedly recognise the incredible sacrifice they’ve made from their own lives to provide this care, but these past 18 months would have been even tougher as the pandemic made it difficult to access support services.

Recognising this as a potential issue at the start of the pandemic, we arranged for our Independent Living teams to reach out to our most vulnerable customers through welfare calls, including those who are carers. We also provided practical help like getting food and medicine delivered to their home, and we were also just simply a friendly voice at the end of the phone when they may have been feeling isolated.

Sometimes one phone call can make all the difference to someone’s day, as we found out when one customer told us they had no way of getting to a vaccination clinic to have their COVID-19 inoculation. Our Independent Living Officer arranged for our customer to be driven to and from their appointment safely, so this could be completed.

As a local housing association, we want all our customers to know that we are here for them if they need us. By January 2021 we’d made over 12,000 welfare calls to over 3,000 vulnerable customers.

We’ve also been reflecting on the work of our care partners who provide a vital service to customers with vulnerabilities in our Extra Care and Independent Living schemes. These partnerships allow us to provide a reliable home for our customers, enabling them to live independently for longer.

To all the carers out there – thank you for all that you do. We’re here to listen and work with you to try and make things better.

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