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Coronavirus: information for customers

You will have seen and heard government advice on coronavirus

Not to confuse the messages, we have used information direct from the official government website (www.gov.uk) and NHS (www.nhs.uk), to provide you with the basics of what you need to know.

We are continuously planning, preparing and delivering safe working methods to reduce any risk of exposure to Covid-19 for the people in our housing and supported living. 

Our priority remains to keep our customers and colleagues safe and supporting them in any way we can. 

To ensure your safety and better communicate with you, we ask all our customers to update their contact details. 

This means we can update you on any changes to our services as a result of coronavirus. If you have an email address or mobile phone number, we would be grateful if you could share this information with us. You can do this by:  

 

How to arrange to have the vaccine

Online 

The easiest way to arrange a vaccination is through the national booking service, which you can access at www.nhs.uk/covid-vaccination. 

The system allows patients to choose a time slot and location that suits them. 

By phone 

Anyone unable to book online can call 119 free of charge, anytime between 7am and 11pm seven days a week. 

Your own GP 

If a suitable and convenient slot is not available, people can also call their own GP practice. 

You need to be registered with a GP surgery in England. You can register with a GP if you do not have one. 

 

What is Covid-19 and what to do if I think I have it? 

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is a new illness that causes the following symptoms: 

  • New, continuous cough – you start repeatedly coughing for more than an hour or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • High temperature – you feel hot to touch on your check or back
  • A change of sense of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath  

Please do not leave home if you or someone you live with is displaying any of these symptoms. You must use the 111 online coronavirus service. This service will give you all the advice you need to do.  

For advice on how to stop coronavirus spreading check out the latest guidance on the gov.uk website.  

 

What should I do if I think I have the virus?

Use the 111 online coronavirus service, an online portal that will give you all the advice on what you need to do.

If you have to stay at home because of coronavirus it's important to take care of your mind as well as your body.

The Government has released some advice about how to manage if you're staying at home.

This applies if you are:

  • self-isolating
  • working from home

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • get the facts - get information from reputable sources
  • keep in touch with friends and family remotely by phone, Skype or social media
  • involve children and family and help others understand the facts
  • avoid continual media updates as exposure to repeated information can be stressful
  • try not to dwell, we know it's hard
  • get indoor active and keep busy with things you enjoy doing, like watching films, baking, light exercise in your home or garden

 

 

What THT services are affected 

Home moves 

Due to Covid-19 our Home Moves Team have been working in a different way. We are letting homes following government guidelines which our team will talk through with you if you are moving home.

We will meet you at the home you have been offered and you will be able to have a look around, following covid secure guidelines, and ask us any questions about your potential new home. Before we meet you, we will contact you so that you are aware of any covid secure restrictions we may need to put in place to keep you and our team members safe.

Once your new home is ready to move in to, we can email your tenancy agreement or we can meet you again in person to finalise things. The good news is that this new way of working shouldn’t extend the time you have to wait to move into your new home.

In the meantime, if you have a query about the Home Moves Service, please find out more information here.

 

Sale Point (Head Office)

In response to government advice, the majority of our colleagues at Sale Point continue to work from home. We have recently launched an “agile working” approach which means that most colleagues who were working from Sale Point before the pandemic will be working part of the week from home and part of the week from Sale Point.

This will be a phased approach and to start with, most colleagues will continue to work from home. Please be assured that we have developed different ways to work over the last 18 months and improved our technology, so this will not affect our standards of service.

The reception area at Sale Point has been closed since March 2020.

During that time, we have developed different ways to offer the services that we provided from reception, so we do not plan to reopen. However, we will work with customers and colleagues to look at the reception space and how we develop it going forward over the coming months.

We can still be contacted by phone on 0300 777 7777 or you can email us.

Our phone lines become busy at times, so our wait times may be a little longer at peak times, particularly early mornings but we will get to all calls.

For information, we have a facility on the phone lines that encourage customers to keep their place in the queue, without physically having to hold on to the call – our system automatically dials you back when it’s your turn, so please do select this option wherever possible.

 

Safety works  

We'll continue to carry out essential safety works; things like gas servicing, gas safety checks and electrical testing. These checks ensure that you and your household are safe 

We'll also continue to make regular inspections of your building to check fire safety preventative measures, such as fire alarms, are compliant. We're in regular communication with Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and will continue to act on their advice and recommendations regarding fire safety at your building. 

 

Rent Payments

We understand that coronavirus will impact many households and this will be a really difficult and worrying time for some. We will of course continue to support customers to improve and manage their financial position and will work with customers to set up affordable payment plans, claim benefits, access much needed welfare benefits, debt and other support.

We are proud of the work we do to support customers and will continue to do this through these challenging times – please do get in touch if you think we can help.

We have received some queries about how to pay so here is some information on the different ways that you can pay:

  • Direct Debit – call the Customer Hub to arrange
  • Standing Order – arranged between the customer and their bank
  • Over the phone via the Customer Hub on 0300 777 7777 (8:00am – 6:00pm Mon – Fri)
  • Via Allpay’s automated phone line on 0330 041 6497 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)
  • Customers can use THT’s MyAccount (www.mytht.co.uk – tenants must register for an account before they can use this)
  • Please do not send cheques into the office

  

Limelight Old Trafford

Limelight is our community health and well-being hub in Old Trafford. All on-site services that can operate within the government roadmap are open. For example, essential health services (Pharmacy and GP and appointments available at the opticians) are open, the library is currently open for limited numbers and we will resume our full activity timetable from 19 July 2021.

 

Play areas 

All play areas in the community have now been assessed and are open. Please adhere to the latest government guidelines when using our play areas.  

 

What is THT doing? 

We have set up a Response Group that meets regularly to coordinate and update our operational plans. We'll try to keep you as informed as possible throughout this time and would encourage you to provide us with an up-to-date email address. This is a fast-moving situation and posting updates on our website, social media and sending emails is the quickest way to get information to you. 

In terms of our colleagues, we're encouraging as many as possible to work from home according to government advice. 

 

What help is available to me? 

Trafford Community Response 

We have worked collaboratively with our partners across the borough to help establish six community response hubs. These hubs are resourced with expertise and volunteers to help with food shopping, getting fuel cards topped up, dog walking and offering a befriending service for people who are lonely. 

If you live alone, are struggling to make ends meet, are self-isolating, or generally need advice or support, please contact 0300 330 9073 (8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday). 

The advice line is for Stockport, Oldham, Rochdale and Trafford. Please select option 4 for Trafford, then ignore the options for 'goods and services' or 'pensions' - just hold the line, and we will signpost you to one of the Trafford Community Response Hubs to access the support you need. 

Trafford Crisis Fund 

A new fundraising campaign has been launched to help the most vulnerable and isolated Trafford residents, as the coronavirus pandemic's effects continue to be felt throughout the borough. 

Trafford Crisis Fund aims to raise £250,000 to help people access basic provisions such as food and medication and make sure that those who are lonely and at risk have someone to talk to. Donations can be made via a JustGiving page. 

Welfare and debt advice 

We know a lot of our customers are struggling to pay bills, afford the weekly shop and are experiencing other financial difficulties. Our Customer Support team is on hand with expert welfare and debt advice to help with all sorts of things to save and manage your money. Our team can: 

  • Check you are receiving all the money you're entitled to
  • Reduce your household bills and apply for grants for things like household appliances or to clear utility debt 
  • Help you to manage debts and set up ongoing payments for your bills 

If companies, such as debt collection companies and bailiffsare chasing you for money, we will contact them and make arrangements on your behalf or find other solutions to your debt problems. 

Contact the Customer Hub on 0300 777 7777 and ask for a customer support team member to call you. 

Support and resources for our BAME communities 

Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation (GMCVO) has produced a web page which includes information, sources of support and resources (including links to translated guidance) for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Visit their support and resources for BAME communities webpage.  

Emotional wellbeing 

If you're struggling with your emotional wellbeing and would like to talk to someone, blueSCI Support, a Trafford based service, are offering wellbeing support over the phone that is accessible via the following number 0161 912 2177. Alternatively, you can contact them by email on enquiries@bluesci.org.uk 

If you need urgent support, you can attend your local A&E, get advice from your GP or call the Samaritans on 116 123. 

Domestic abuse support 

The battle to beat coronavirus has drastically altered people's day to day lives. For most of us, this comes with its own set of challenges as we adjust to an unfamiliar way of living and working, and for some, increasing loneliness and increased anxiety. For others, social distancing and staying home can be potentially dangerous for adults and children, putting them at risk from domestic abuse. Find out about the support available.  

Be aware of Coronavirus scams 

Unfortunately, some criminals are looking for opportunities to scam people as a result of coronavirus. Try to be extra alert and contact the Police on 101 if you have any serious concerns. 

Colleagues from THT, including our contractors, will always have an ID and will be able to set out the reason for being at your property. If you're ever in doubt of someone's identity take a few moments to call the Customer Hub on 0300 777 7777. Our team are here to help.  

Fire safety at home 

THT and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) urges everyone to make sure they are keeping themselves and their families safe at home following the outbreak of COVID-19. 

With many people now working from home and schools closed to most children, it is even more important than ever that households are taking the right steps to ensure they are safe from fire. 

Everyone can do their part by taking small, simple steps such as ensuring your smoke alarm is working and never leaving cooking unattended. More information on keeping your home safe for fire  

 

How can I help in my community? 

If you're able to volunteer in your community or a local business who can support anything from supplies to logistics, please visit the Thrive Trafford website. 

If you're part of a community group who are already offering support to your community – we could help with supplies, training, environmental health and safeguarding support.