COVID-19 (2021)

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Coronavirus - Torus services and Keeping you safe

Coronavirus - Torus services and Keeping you safe


Updated:  20 July 2021

Lifting of restrictions

On Monday 19 July, the final stage of Coronavirus ‘unlocking’ will take place, seeing most restrictions lifted across the UK.

As always, our primary concern is the health and welfare of our customers, staff and communities so we will continue to implement our robust health and safety measures to keep everyone safe during this time and continue to work in a manner that has proven successful in keeping customers and colleagues safe.

So, despite the changes, we will not be rushing back to how it was before COVID.

This is to help ease any nervousness customers and staff may have after living with restrictions since March 2020. Also, we are aware that COVID-19 is still prevalent in our communities, and we want to proactively contribute to reducing transmission rates.

Even with restrictions lifting, we continue to experience an increased demand for our services and are doing our best to respond to all repairs and deliver a great customer service.

Throughout the past 16-months our tenants have been so patient and we thank you for that.

In line with the government roadmap, early this year, we re-opened the FireFit Hub in Toxteth, the bistros and salons in our extra care schemes, communal rooms in supported living schemes and resumed court attendance, arrears visits and estate inspections.

From 19 July, we will now:

  • Increase the number of face-to-face property viewings.
  • Resume Neighbourhood/Housing Officer home visits.
  • Resume all tenant meetings, including consultations without restrictions.
  • Resume Tenant Inspections, testing and site visits without restrictions.


The safety of our residents, staff and the wider community will always remain our priority, Torus reserves the right to amend any of the plans if it is deemed unsafe or Government guidelines change.

The health and safety of our customers and staff remain our priority, and so, for now, our receptions remain closed. We will be consulting with tenants and residents over the next month on options to the best way to open safely.  Please continue to use the website, phone or email if you need to contact us. Please continue to use the website, phone or email if you need to contact us.

We are also slowly looking to return staff to our offices, but for the time being most of our colleagues are still working remotely at home. However, they are still fully contactable by phone and email.

Torus Services

As many of our main services were considered critical by Government, we were able to continue to operate.  Throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to continue to deliver services to our customers.  We carried on completing all gas servicing, responding to repairs, letting homes and building new homes, whilst balancing keeping you and our staff safe.

Keeping you safe - working in your home

If we are working in your home, carrying out a repair or safety check, the teams will continue to follow Safe Systems of Work, which are designed to keep you and staff safe.  

Our repairs contractor, HMS will continue to follow all Safe Systems of Work and best practice guidance in your home, such as maintaining social distancing, where possible, and good levels of hand hygiene.

When working in your home, we will make every effort to socially distance, asking where possible for customers to stay 2m away from the member of staff, ideally in another room where possible.  Our operatives will wear a face covering if they are interacting with customers within 2m inside the home.

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.

Similarly, if you have a visit from a Housing Officer etc, they will continue to socially distance and will wear a face covering if they are in your home at your request.

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.

 

Keeping Safe - important safety checks

Gas, Electrical and other safety checks are very important. Put simply they protect you, your loved ones and the home you live in.

The legal requirement to allow access for your annual gas safety check did not change throughout the pandemic and 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.  

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. To reassure you, these will be done as quickly as possible and the contractor, HMS will continue to follow all Safe Systems of Work and best practice guidance in customers' homes, such as maintaining social distancing, where possible, and good levels of hand hygiene. 

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.  

Repairs Service

Our repairs and maintenance services, run by HMS, will continue to run as normal in a COVID-secure way.

We are doing our best to respond to all repairs and deliver a great customer service, but the circumstances we're operating in are still far from normal. The impact of both the pandemic and Brexit has affected the availability of materials and we are experiencing longer wait times when ordering previously readily available materials and components.

HMS are working hard to overcome these challenges, but it may still take us a little longer to complete routine repair requests than you're used to so please continue to be patient with us.

You can report your repairs by contacting the Torus Customer Hub, Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm on 0800 678 1894, using your online account 24/7 or by emailing info@torus.co.uk.

IMPORTANT TO NOTE: Even with restrictions lifted, we will 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 remain 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 - Property Pool Plus is still available to people to register at  www.propertypoolplus.org.uk and safety practices will remain in place for viewings and sign-ups. 

We will continue to 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 June 2020, in line with Government guidelines and with safety measure in place we resumed the following services:

  • Communal area cleaning
  • External maintenance & improvement works
  • Works on empty (void) properties

These services will continue with the contractor, HMS continuing to follow all Safe Systems of Work and best practice guidance in customers' homes, such as maintaining social distancing, where possible, and good levels of hand hygiene. 

 

Rent and money worries: help and support

We know that this is still 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, email income.services@torus.co.uk or call our Torus Customer Hub on 0800 678 1894 and ask to speak to our Rents Team.

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

If you need help with making a benefits application contact Torus Foundation on 0300 123 5809 or email info@torusfoundation.org.uk.

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

 

Torus Foundation & Tenant Voice

Torus Foundation

Torus Foundation have continued 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.

The pandemic and lockdowns did not put a stop to their support, the team at Torus Foundation are on hand to help you manage your money, make a benefits claim, build your digital skills, improve your health & wellbeing,  help you find work, get you intro training & improve your skills, help improve your mental health and much more!

As restrictions have been easing, the team have been increasing activities in a COVID-safe way, find out what the Torus Foundation can do for you, call 0300 123 5809, email info@torusfoundation.org.uk or visit torusfoundation.org.uk.

You can follow Torus Foundation on Twitter @TorusFoundation.

Tenant Voice

Customers are still at the heart of our services; throughout the pandemic 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.  

Now that restrictions have lifted, the team are looking to resume face-to-face meetings and Tenant inspections.

You can find out more about getting involved here.

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.

You can also follow Tenant Voice on Twitter @Tenant_Voice.

 

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.

 

Keeping updated and in touch

Remember to let us know if you change your email address or mobile number so that if we need to keep you informed about our services or in an emergency, we can do.

We won’t contact you unnecessarily and we comply with all data protection legislation so will not be sharing your email.

To update your details, please email your updated contact details, along with your full address, to info@torus.co.uk

Keep checking here and social on a regular basis, please keep checking for updates.  You can also keep up to date with news from Torus via our Twitter account @WeAreTorus or on the Facebook page.

 

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