Group Chief Executive Paul Kissack listened in and hosted the final session.
Paul explained ‘Joining JRHT and JRF in the midst of a pandemic has been a very different experience for me and meant that I have not been able to get out and about in communities and meet both staff and residents as I would have hoped. Listening in to the online conversations and meeting residents has proved invaluable to me and I am looking forward to when I can meet residents and staff in person’
Experiences of the pandemic
Residents shared their experiences of the year and how they coped and connected with neighbours during periods of lockdown. They confirmed JRHT had done a good job in keeping essential services going with emergency repairs, more than 1116 weekly welfare calls and 10500 daily welfare calls to residents who were isolating, and the delivery of hot meals in retirement villages. There were concerns around communication and linking in with local communities more to get messages out when local community facilities had to remain closed. Residents also welcomed the opportunity to engage online but urged JRHT to do more to ensure that digital options were available to all and to ensure the views of those not online were sought.
Power of community
As well as hearing information about JRHT’s financial position from Stuart Coe Deputy Director Finance, Angela Dearing Deputy Director Housing presented the headlines of the work of the housing and communities’ teams. She described how inspired she had been by the power of the community and how residents had connected and supported each other during the first waves of the pandemic.
Angela explains ‘ It has been heart warming to see and hear the stories of residents taking the lead in their communities with just small acts of kindness in many cases helping to lift everyone’s spirits. From balcony and doorstep coffee mornings to seed shares and bulb planting these acts have been about people connecting, getting to know their neighbours and supporting each other locally which can only be a great thing.’
View the Power of Community show reel on our Youtube channel.
We know there will be many stories we have not captured or heard about and if you have something you would like to share about your experiences of the pandemic and how JRHT has responded please get in touch.
What is next?
We will produce and share the full details of the online discussions, including residents’ feedback on the sessions, and how together with you we can take forward some of the suggestions raised. In January all residents will be sent a survey, via email, SMS text or in the post to find out your individual experiences of our services over the last year, please look out for it as it is important that we hear the views of everyone. It’s the only way to make sure we are hitting the mark with our services.
There will be further opportunities to engage online between January and April, but one of the key messages from residents was that they want to see and talk to staff face to face and we will be planning for events later in 2021 when we all hope we can meet in person again.