We appreciate what an uncertain and worrying time this is for our customers across the country. We are continually monitoring Government advice and as a result have introduced a number of changes to our services. This is to ensure we minimise risks to the health and safety of our customers and staff whilst also trying to continue to deliver our services to you.
All key information on how our services are operating is available in the Q&A below.
Information for customers
Q – I am ill / self-isolating. What should I do?
A – If you have contracted Coronavirus or are self-isolating, please let us know when we speak to you. To protect our staff and other customers, unless it is an emergency, we will not visit you in your home during a period of self-isolation. In an emergency, we’ll ask for your co-operation in taking sensible precautions.
Please follow the latest government advice if you or a member of your household displays any potential symptoms of Coronavirus.
Q – I am over 70 / have a pre-existing health condition. How does this affect me?
A – If you are 70 or over or with an existing health condition, the Government is recommending avoiding unnecessary social interaction for the time being. Our staff will be contacting you to identify what help you may have available and how we might be able to help you.
Q – What precautions will your staff and contractors take if they have to visit my house to carry out emergency or essential work?
A – If a member of our team or one of our contractors does need to visit your property to carry out essential or emergency works, they will adhere to the following measures:
- The team will sanitise their hands before entering and after leaving each property
- On entering a property, staff/contractors will ask customers to move to a different area of the property while they are working
- Our staff / contractors are always required to stay at least 2 metres away from the customer and will avoid contact with surfaces and items that they do not need to come into contact with
- If working externally, our staff / contractors will ask customers to avoid coming within 2 metres of them.
Q – How can I be sure that a member of staff or a contractor is not infected with Coronavirus if they visit my home?
A – We are ensuring that our staff and contractors have all of the latest information and guidance. Our employees and our contractors are following this guidance in the same way that everyone has been asked to and will take action to protect you as customers and themselves.
Q – I have reduced income as a result of the pandemic (e.g. if you are not being paid) and I may struggle to pay rent. What should I do?
A – We’re here to help. Please get in touch as soon as you can and before things get on top of you.
Q – How will it affect the customer telephone number and will I still be able to contact Riverside 24 hours a day, 7 days a week?
A – We anticipate a high volume of calls during this period and that, coupled with potential sickness amongst staff, may lead to longer than usual waiting times. So, please be patient and we will do our best to assist as soon as possible. You could help us manage this by finding the information you need on our contact us page or by signing up to My Riverside.
Q – Are there any effects on repairs?
A – Until further notice, we will only carry out emergency repairs and essential safety inspections. We’ll contact all customers with existing appointments for non-emergency repairs and book them back in as soon as the service can safely resume. This is in response to government advice, to protect you and our team members. The services we are continuing to prioritise are essential for keeping you and your household safe, so it’s important you give us access. We will work with you to take all possible precautions to protect you, your household and our colleagues. We’re also postponing planned works like new kitchen and bathroom installations, roof, window and heating system replacements until further notice.
Q – Are there any effects on aids and adaptations?
A – We have cancelled any on-going work on adaptations, and any work that is yet to start on site has been postponed until further notice. We’ll still carry out urgent adaptations that support discharge from hospital, wherever we can, and we’ll continue to log any referrals we receive during this time, and we’ll contact you directly to advise of next steps.
Q – Are there any effects on housing services?
Where home visits are already scheduled or expected, for example a new tenancy visit or if you are experiencing ASB or other neighbourhood problems or if you’re scheduled to move, we may deliver services in a different way in order to minimise risk. If it is not an emergency, we may contact you to arrange phone calls rather than meet face-to-face. If you have not done so already, please sign-up to My Riverside to check rent balances and report non-urgent issues.
Q – I’m a member of Riverside Customer Voice and iCommunity. Are they affected?
A – All Riverside Customer Voice and Riverside Customer Voice Executive (RCVE) activities including the RCVE Launch event on 25 March have been postponed and will be rearranged for a later date. The RCVE will continue to meet online via video conference and their meeting highlights will be updated on the website. You can continue to make your voice heard on Riverside services via by joining our digital Voice iCommunity. Please visit www.riverside.org.uk/voiceicommunity to join the conversation. You can also follow Riverside Customer Voice on social media at @rcustomervoice on Facebook or Instagram and @VoiceRiverside on Twitter.
Q – How can I help my community?
A – Here are a few top tips:
- Think of others, consider your actions and be kind: People in every community will face the challenges of Coronavirus in some way – from needing basic provisions to help whilst they are unwell.
- Connect and reach out to your neighbours: As self-isolation increases, we need to find new ways to stay connected and check in on one another for our physical and mental wellbeing. Share phone numbers and other contact methods and stay in touch.
- Make the most of local online groups: Keep up-to-date, share information and be a positive part of your local community.
- Support vulnerable or isolated people: Different groups in our communities are at increased risk and social isolation and loneliness are key concerns for all ages. There are things you can do like volunteering for local support services or donating to food banks to help.
- Share accurate information and advice: Support anyone who may be anxious about Coronavirus. Signpost them to the correct advice from Public Health England and encourage people to follow the correct hygiene practices.
Q – Is information available for customers who don’t have access to the internet?
A – Yes, we’ve written to all customers directly to promote a recorded telephone message which will give non internet enabled customers the information on this web page. This is available by calling 0345 112 4466.
Information for other stakeholders (councils, councillors, MPs and other advocacy bodies)
We have written to all MPs and council leaders to explain our arrangements. If you are a council, a councillor, an MP, MPs staff member or work for other advocacy bodies e.g. Citizens Advice Bureau and need to contact us about casework arising from the situation, please use your usual contact and prioritise the use of email, bearing in mind some of our offices may be closed. If you are unsure of who to contact, please get in contact with the relevant Regional Director.
Maintaining Our Supported and Older People’s Services
We provide a variety of retirement living, supported housing and non-accommodation based homelessness support services to over 9,000 people nationwide.
We have created some simple guides which provide assurance and insight as to how we are continuing to practically manage and deliver the vital services our customers need while ensuring that the health, safety and wellbeing of our customers and staff remains our number one priority.
You can download these guides here: