COVID-19

Please note that we are experiencing high demand so might not respond as quickly as you're used to. We are currently responding to all repairs but are prioritising emergency repairs.

Thanks for your patience. Please bear with us.

Find out more here

Coronavirus - Torus services and Keeping you safe

Coronavirus - Torus services and Keeping you safe


Updated: 8 January 2020

National Lockdown – January 2021

As you’re probably aware, the UK has entered another lockdown and the message from Government is to stay safe and stay at home.

The good news is that many of our services are considered critical by Government so will continue to operate. This means we’ll still be completing all gas servicing, responding to repairs, letting homes and building new homes.

Another lockdown presents huge challenges for you and your families and, as we have tried to do this year, we will do our best to adapt the way we do things to keep providing services. No matter what, you will be able to rely on Torus to support you however we can.

We are experiencing an increased demand for the most critical services, made worse by higher than normal levels of sickness.

We will do our best to respond to all repairs and deliver a great customer service, but the circumstances we're operating in are far from normal. Certain materials are in short supply, demand for repairs is high, we have reduced numbers because of sickness and we're striving to keep people safe.

For these reasons, we're keen to prioritise the most urgent repairs. This includes emergency repairs, repairs for older and vulnerable people and the important and legal checks, such as gas servicing and electrical checks, which keep you, your home and your family safe.

Throughout the pandemic our tenants have been so patient, we thank you for that, and ask that you bear with us now as we try to manage the services.

For the past 10 months, we have made your health and safety our number one priority and that won’t stop.

 

Stay at Home – Keeping Safe

As we’re all spending more time at home, Gas, Electrical and other safety checks have never been more important. Put simply they protect you, your loved ones and the home you live in.

We know that when winter hits and temperatures drop, calls about boiler and heating problems start to rise. If you’re due a gas service we’ll check your boiler’s working perfectly when we call, so please let us in.

It is important that you allow access for your annual gas safety check, as continue refusal is a breach of your tenancy and could result in legal procedures, fine or even the loss of your home.  The Government has made it very clear that this has not changed due to Covid, even if you were shielding or on the vulnerable list – so please let us in!

To put your mind at rest, if you or anyone in your home is self-isolating, we won’t complete any safety checks until the isolation period is over. If you or anyone you live with is shielding, we still need access for safety checks but, to reassure you, these will be done as quickly as possible and will follow all Government guidance for safe and secure works.

Remember, carbon monoxide kills. If you can let us in, please do. However, if you have any concerns, wish to change your gas appointment or have any questions please call 0800 678 1894 or email info@torus.co.uk.

 

Keeping you safe – working in your home

When you do have an urgent repair or a safety check which needs to be completed, we can assure you that our teams all follow safe systems of work. These are designed to keep you and them safe.  If we are visiting you home, we will take the following robust steps to keep you safe.

You do not need to be in the room while they complete the inspection or repair, so apart from allowing access, you will not need to come in contact with the operative.

Our staff will also be wearing face coverings to keep you safe. Please keep our staff safe and wear one too.

So please, continue to let us in to do essential checks and maintenance works. Because as more people remain at home, it’s never been more important that those homes are safe and secure.

 

Our Services

We are trying to continue to deliver as many services as we can for customers in the safest way possible both for colleagues and customers.  In line with government guidance, most of our colleagues are working remotely at home. However, they are still fully contactable by phone and email.

Our public receptions and offices will remain closed to the public until further notice.  Please use the website, phone or email if you need to contact us.

 

Repairs Service

Our repairs and maintenance services continue to run as normal in a COVID-secure way, including emergency and routine repairs.

We will do our best to respond to all repairs and deliver a great customer service, but the circumstances we're operating in are far from normal. Certain materials are in short supply, demand for repairs is high, we have reduced numbers because of sickness and we're striving to keep people safe.

For these reasons, we're keen to prioritise the most urgent repairs. This includes emergency repairs, repairs for older and vulnerable people and the important and legal checks, such as gas servicing and electrical checks, which keep you, your home and your family safe.

As a result, it may take us a little longer to complete routine repair requests than you're used to so please be patient with us.

Please report your repairs by contacting the Torus Customer Hub, Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm on 0800 678 1894 to book a repair.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: We continue to operate safely; our established Safe Systems of Work allow us to continue to provide you with a safe repair service.

 

Please note that revised arrangements remain in place for the following services:

  • Rent payments – face to face rent payments have stopped, but all other methods to pay your rent remain unaffected.  Find out more about how you can pay your rent here.
  • Applying for a Home, Allocations, Viewings & Sign-ups - Under One Roof is still available to people to register at www.u-1-r.co.uk, with extensive safety practices in place for viewings and sign-ups.  We will only carry out face-to-face appointments where a virtual appointment is not an option and appointments will be kept to a minimum.  Offices have been re-designed to be COVID-safe, find out more about what to expect if you visit our office here.

 

The following services resumed in 2020 in line with Government guidelines and will continue, with new safety measure in place:

 

Communal Area Cleaning

As it is important to make sure our shared spaces are clean and safe, our Caretaking staff will be continuing to make regular visits to clean communal areas of residential blocks, including carrying out vital fire safety checks.

 

External maintenance & improvement works

Torus working with contract partners, HMS will continue to carry out essential property maintenance and improvements to the exterior of some of our homes to ensure that we are able to provide great homes.

The latest Government advice makes clear that contractors should continue to undertake vital construction and maintenance services, with emphasis on compliance safety and preventative maintenance works.  These works are all external and include; guttering, external pointing, fencing, landscaping and guttering and do not require our teams to access inside the property, but they will need access to the outside of homes.

We will contact our customers prior to any work with details of the site manager who can be contacted with any concerns, along with advice to on how to prepare for the work; cleaning the area of patio furniture/plants etc. and keeping pets indoors.

 

Works on empty (void) properties

Torus working with contract partners, HMS will continue to carry out vital works on our empty properties (voids) to ensure that vacant homes are made available to families in need.

We will contact the neighbouring properties where works are being completed, providing details of the site manager who can be contacted with any concerns.

  • Our customers remain our top priority and we are always committed to ensuring safety and we will, so please be assured, they will work quickly as possible, following strict health and safety guidelines, carrying out the works in line with ‘Safe Systems of Work’, wearing the required PPE in line with the Government’s Health & Safety Executive.
  • The Caretakers and operatives will adhere to social distancing, if you do see a member of staff, please remember to keep your distance.

 

Rent and Money worries: Help and Support

We know that this is a difficult time for many people and we want you to know that we are here to help.

If you're having difficulty keeping up with your weekly rent payments, have had a change in circumstances or are dealing with personal issues that might affect your ability to pay, please contact us straight away, so we can do our best to help.

We’re here to help – find out more about rents and what support is available here.

You can also keep updated on how Covid has impacted Universal Credit and benefits here.

 

Customer activities & Tenant Voice

Torus Foundation face-to-face events with customers are cancelled until further notice, however, they are continuing to offer vital support. To older and vulnerable people. To people in hardship. To those who are seeking work and to those who feel isolated – you can find out more on the Torus Foundation website.

Customers are still at the heart of our services; our Tenant Voice Team have been expanding options around digital engagement and to ensure customers are still able to have a voice throughout the lockdown. If you would like to get involved digitally, then why not join the other customers joining Torus Talk, a Facebook group just for Torus tenants and leaseholders: www.facebook.com/groups/TorusTalk

If you are not on Facebook or would like to find out more, contact our friendly Tenant Voice team at tenantvoice@torus.co.uk.

 

Help & support

If you are still experiencing difficulties, then please let us know so we can see what we can do to help. Call the Torus Customer Hub on 0800 678 1894.

 

Domestic abuse support

If you are in an abusive relationship or suspect someone you know is a victim of domestic abuse, please do not suffer in silence – reach out for support

 

Communities

Communities have really come together to look after each other in response to the Coronavirus situation, click here for information on where you can go to get help with support, food and other local services.

 

Safeguarding adults

During the COVID-19 crisis, it is particularly important to safeguard adults with care and support needs. They may be more vulnerable to abuse and neglect as others may seek to exploit disadvantages due to age, disability, mental or physical impairment or illness.

‘Safeguarding is Everyone’s Business – as Usual’ but particularly at this is time when we must all be extra vigilant and try to pick up any early signs that something isn’t right. For further information and contacts please visit the Warrington Safeguarding Adults Board webpage.

For further information and contacts please visit the Merseyside Safeguarding Adults Board website here.

 

Safe at Home – Advice & Support from Merseyside Police

Merseyside Police have produced information to keep you and your family safe during the pandemic.  The leaflet covers; crime, domestic abuse, support services, online safety, avoiding fraudsters & scams and reporting a crime & contacting the police. The leaflet can be downloaded here. Find out more here.

Please show kindness to your neighbours and try and help each other out during these challenging times.

 

Keeping updated and in touch

As we have seen this year, as the virus develops, guidance and restrictions change quickly. We want to keep you as up-to-date as possible with any variations affecting the services we provide.

You can also keep up to date with news from Torus via our Twitter account @WeAreTorus or on the Facebook page.

Keep checking here and on our social media regularly for updates. 

Rest assured, any decisions we make as we resume our services will still put your health, safety and wellbeing first.


Posted in News on Mar 17, 2020