Coronavirus - 24th April

Coronavirus - 24th April

Dear Residents,

Despite the self-isolation, I hope you’re all well and finding some joy in your Estuary homes. These are tough times, but you’re part of Estuary and we’re all in this together.  We’re on your side.

Residents are still our key focus.

I know these are worrying times for many of you.  but you’re part of the Estuary family and we’re still here! We’re still working. We’re still looking out for you our residents. We’re still trying to keep you safe.   
Thank you for helping us.

I wanted to say a big thank you to you all. You’ve been so responsive to all that we’ve asked you to do. It makes such a difference. You’ve been: 

-    Keeping the noise down to be thoughtful to your neighbours 

-    Keeping to the self-distancing rules and not getting together outside your household

-    Keeping it clean by not fly-tipping or dumping rubbish 

-    Keeping it safe by letting us in to check fire-doors and gas/electricity safety 

-    Keeping away the risk of fire by NOT having BBQs on balconies and keeping communal  areas clear

 What we can and can’t do

Although things have relaxed a bit, there’s not a huge amount of change to social distancing yet, so we need you all to keep going. That said, it’s a relief that  we are now allowed to do a bit more. Here’s a quick reminder of what the Government’s saying and what it means for us all at Estuary. From Wednesday 13 May in England:

  • We need to continue to keep our households apart – there’s no change there. We still can’t get together in groups or for social events. Please ensure you keep to this rule and don’t gather in more than your household outside or in communal areas.
  • We can play sport as often as we like with our household - but not with other households.
  • ALTHOUGH, we can exercise outside (not inside) with one other person so long as we socially distance.
  • We can drive to outdoor spaces but not to other areas of the UK. So, if you need to go to the beach near where you live, you can do that.
  • We should aim to wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not always possible like at the supermarket or chemist.
  • We should continue to work from home if possible. Estuary is still doing that and we’ve put more money into technology to make sure we can serve you our customers from our homes.

Thank you ! You’re doing a great job. I hope you can see we’re trying our best too! We’re cleaning, we’re tidying, we’re checking you’re safe. 

Please keep thanking our staff if you see them around. They’re here to keep you safe and healthy.  

So, there are a few things that we’re introducing to assist our residents, which I hope are helpful to you.   

Paying rent  -  we’re on your side

Some residents are worried about paying rent. We understand that.

That’s why we’re developing a flexible and supportive approach for our residents, but we do expect residents to continue to pay rent when they can. Rent should be paid in the normal way, if you'd rather pay differently, visit ways to pay to see if there's a more suitable option. If you are struggling to pay rent, please contact us and we will try to help.
We are not going to be evicting people during this Covid 19 period. For rent queries contact income.team@estuary.co.uk. If, however you have a loss of income due to the economic downturn, or poor health, as a result of COVID 19, our approach will be to help you manage your payments flexibly. Please get in touch if you’re worried.

Try out new rent portal - keep an eye on your rent

To make life easier for you, we’ve created a portal called ‘My Estuary’ where you can access your rent account. You may need this to make claims. 

To access the portal, your details must correspond exactly to the information we hold on your tenancy record, including surname, date of birth, postcode and email address. If your details have changed or if you’re struggling to access the portal, please contact the Corporate Services Team  0300 304 5000, by email to info@estuary.co.uk or send us a private message via Facebook.

Is it an emergency? We are still doing emergency repairs

As you know we’re only able to carry out emergency repairs during COVID 19 because there aren’t as many operatives, and supplies are difficult to get a hold of. Some residents have been asking about what an emergency is. This is a good question! Here’s a list of emergency repairs we will be able to deal with during COVID 19 lockdown: 

-    Total loss of electricity 
-    Dangerous electrical installation
-    Total loss of water
-    Water leaks that can’t be contained 
-    Blocked or leaking toilet where there is only one in your home 
-    Blocked drains and sewers if they’re backing up into your home or overflowing
-    Defective smoke detectors/fire alarms 
-    Loss of heating in winter months (October to March)
-    A roof leak which can’t be contained
-    Insecure property (front or back door), or ground floor window that cannot be locked 
-    Loose roof tiles, gutter or drainpipes that are dangerous
-    Loose bricks or masonry that are dangerous

So we’re still here for you, we’re still looking out for you. we’re in this together with you, so thanks for being with us on this journey. We’re going to get there – but this is a marathon, not a sprint, so please bear with us. 

Thanks again for your patience. 

Stay safe, stay strong, stay in touch.

Ian Martin
CEO

Important Reminders

We have dedicated Coronavirus page where you can get all the latest information and useful links.

We cannot give personal advice so if there are any concerns about health or what to do, please consult the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions

To make it easier for our people to work effectively, please avoid phoning our call centre. If you can, please use one of the other ways of communicating with us:

If you have to speak to someone, our core hours for telephony are Monday to Friday 10am-4pm. Social media hours are Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.

Be aware of scams - Notifications from Essex Fraud Alert

Notification from Essex Fraud Alert System30.3.20.pdf [pdf] 223KB

Useful Links

The below give links to information which will all open to external sites.

Whilst we do our best to ensure the detail is correct and only link to official, respected or impartial sites, we cannot be held responsible for external sites or their content. We always recommend you fully check information with relevant bodies before accepting the detail as fact.

These links will be reviewed and added to regularly, so please do check back.

Looking After You and Your Family

Food Bank - Trussel Trust
We're now registered with the Trussel Trust to create Evouchers for Estuary tenants in need.

This means that, after a consultation, we're able to issue a code which you can take, along with your ID to the food bank to collect your parcel. We don’t have to send vouchers out in the post and you'll get a code the same day.

Please note that the same rules apply as they always have – no more than 3 vouchers in any 6 month period and checks will be carried out in accordance with this.

Looking after yourself & family if you have to stay at home with confirmed or possible infection
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Mental Health - Supporting Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-supporting-children-and-young-peoples-mental-health-and-wellbeing

Repeat Prescriptions
You should only order what you need, when you need it and you can now order repeat prescriptions via the NHS App. 
Visit nhs.uk/app to find out how.

Social Distancing
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

What's On In Your Area - Estuary Website
The What’s on in your area section on our website has the details of our Local Authorities, food banks etc which may help as a first point of call for help
https://estuary.co.uk/whats-on-in-your-area

Local Authority Specific Coronavirus Information

Essex County Council:
Essex County Council updates including Essex council services like waste and recycling services
https://www.essex.gov.uk/news/coronavirus

Barking
https://www.lbbd.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19

Redbridge Facebook community group
https://www.redbridge.gov.uk/news/march-2020/council-volunteer-network-launched-to-support-redbridge-community-through-covid-19/

Suffolk
https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/council-and-democracy/council-directorates-services-and-senior-officers/directorates/public-health/coronavirus/

The Havering Daily - Online Newspaper
https://thehaveringdaily.co.uk/covid-19-community-support-page-bringing-the-community-together/

Looking After Workers

Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees
https://www.acas.org.uk/coronavirus