Aster reaches out to vulnerable customers

Local housing association, Aster Group has made over 9,800  calls and counting to its customers to offer support and help during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Aster employees have phoned over 3,000 customers living in its Independent Living Schemes and will be making contact with a further 3,452 vulnerable customers over the next few weeks. Customers are then referred onto Aster’s supportive services or to agencies working for the government offering support with food or medical supplies if needed.

Sarah Durrans, regional director at Aster, said: “Our teams have been working so hard to make sure our customers don’t feel alone during this challenging time and to make sure they have everything they need.

“As a local housing association, we want all our customers to know that we are here for them if they need us. Sometimes one phone call can make all the difference to someones day. ”

For  older or more vulnerable customers who would like more regular contact, the Group’s Aster Foundation befriending programme, Aster Connect is matching employee volunteers to customers for a weekly call. With many having no family or friends to support them, these calls are often the only contact many will have, and it’s hoped that the calls go some way to help alleviate the isolation they may be experiencing at this time. The programme has over 50 employees volunteering their time to chat and check on their new friends. 

Cam Kinsella, Aster Foundation director said: “Our colleagues care about our customers and they have been finding creative ways to stay in contact and help them over recent weeks. For many of our customers who live alone it not only shows that we care, but it’s the opportunity for them to speak to someone and socialise.

“One lady recently celebrated her 96th birthday and was delighted to be getting a call from her befriender.  My hope is to create lasting relationships which last longer than the current challenges.”

The Group also offers a range of digital, employment and financial advice and support to it’s customers.

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