As we emerge from lockdown, the Riverside team continues to go above and beyond by providing vital additional support to customers affected by homelessness, keeping them off the streets of Gloucester in safe accommodation.
Staffing levels have been maintained throughout the pandemic, with colleagues continuing to deliver 24/7 advice and guidance for their 70 customers with complex needs at Riverside’s supported accommodation for people affected by homelessness, Newton House and Claremont House.
Innovative solutions have been introduced such as providing 15 pay-as-you-go mobile phones, ensuring customers are reachable by the Riverside team at all times and can gain access to benefit support, which as well as enabling social distancing means customers can stay in touch with family and friends.
Riverside has also developed new procedures to tackle the crisis in Gloucester such as making emergency cash available to customers, as well as assisting to order food and prescriptions online, helping to minimise social contact.
A great deal of support to assist customers to stay at home has been offered by Gloucestershire County Council as well as from volunteers from local charities such as Gloucester Feed the Hungry, which has made daily deliveries of healthy food, Gloucester City Mission, which has provided toiletries and Bibles, the Nelson Trust Women’s Centre, which has delivered food and vouchers and Gloucester Foodbank, which has supplied food parcels.
David Wainfur, Area Manager for Gloucestershire – Riverside, said: “I’m really proud of the way our team has stepped up to maintain our levels of service, supporting our customers in an unprecedented situation. We’ve helped our customers to maintain their social distancing and social isolation, whilst assisting their health and well-being.”
Nigel Potter, Service Manager for Newton House – Riverside, added: “It’s fantastic how our team have pulled together to ensure we continue to provide a safe accommodation service for those affected by homelessness. Our support is needed now more than ever. So proud we have kept all our services open and running, maintaining business as usual.
By having fantastic partnerships we’ve also been able to provide our customers with additional support, rising to the challenge presented to us by COVID-19 and enabling us to make a positive difference.”
Mandy Edwards, Service Manager for Claremont House – Riverside, said: “We have endeavoured to operate as Business As Usual and our dedicated staff teams have done this. Riverside’s values are We Care, We are Trusted and We are Courageous and with the help of our community groups, commissioners and stakeholders we have been able to uphold these values during this unprecedented time.”
Hash Norat, of Gloucester Feed the Hungry, said: “We are proud to have supported Riverside and its customers during this pandemic. Our ethos is that we’re in this together and we leave no one behind. We are trusted to support the most vulnerable at this most difficult time. Nobody in our lifetime has witnessed anything of this calibre; it’s a life-changing experience.”