Executive Director's statement on coronavirus


Posted on13 May 2020

Our latest response to coronavirus

On 10 May, the government announced the next stage in their plan to fight the coronavirus. Over the coming weeks, we will be considering what the recent announcement means for our organisation and the services which we deliver. Considering this JRHT are reviewing their response to the coronavirus outbreak

As a housing association and care provider Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT) are committed to supporting our residents, people living within our communities and staff.

Over the past two months, we have tried to be flexible and responsive so that we can continue to deliver essential services for all residents but particularly vulnerable and elderly people. JRHT have focussed our efforts on supporting all residents by maintaining the following;

  • Continuity in our care services
  • Emergency repairs and maintenance services
  • Access to free and confidential money & benefits advice.
  • Signposting to external agencies who can support with issues such as shopping and prescriptions.
  • Welfare calls to over 400 residents every week
  • A limited parks and landscaping service to keep areas safe and accessible

Residents, their families and our staff in our Care services have clearly been affected. In all locations visits and contacts have been limited. In some locations we have been forced to change the way we deliver services. Uppermost in our mind has always been the wellbeing of all those concerned, and our care teams have worked creatively to support people and keep them in touch with their loved ones.

A key part of our response has been to continue to use staff from other parts of Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT) to support with delivering essential services especially in care. We are also hiring more staff to support us with delivering care across our communities.

Despite the challenges faced, it has been heartening to see the incredible resilience and common sense of purpose which has been shared by residents, family members, staff and people living within our communities.

We have also been touched over by the kind messages and gestures of support from our local communities. Residents in some of our care and retirement communities have received wonderful parcels to help them celebrate special occasions such as birthdays, Easter and Victory in Europe (VE) Day.

In response to the Government's recent statement JRHT’s absolute priority continues to be the safety, health and wellbeing of residents and staff. Therefore, we will be taking a cautious approach which starts with careful consideration of how the best way is to safely reintroduce services. As part of this approach JRHT will be discussing plans and options with our key stakeholders including residents, families, our staff teams and partner organisations.

For the time being we have decided to maintain all current measures and we will not be making any changes to the services outlined above.

We will continue to use our website and social media to keep people updated as well as regularly communicating to residents and tenants via letters, email, telephone and our newly introduced JRHT e-newsletter.

With best wishes

Chris Simpson, Executive Director