Service updates

As well as the changes we have made to our main repairs and contact services, it has also been necessary to make some changes to other services:

Repairs

Please continue to book repairs. For information on how we are managing our repairs service during the lockdown go to our Latest Updates page.

Drop in Citizen's Advice service

We have suspended the Citizen's Advice drop in sessions at Emily House but we are continuing to work in partnership with Citizens Advice to provide free, independent and confidential advice about benefits over the phone. Simply call us on 020 8354 5500 to make a telephone appointment (CAB will call you back) or call your local CAB directly. 

  • Citizen's Advice appointments are available every Thursday and Friday from 9.30am-12.30pm and 1.30pm-4.30pm. 

**THIS SERVICE IS CHANGING**- In December, we will be replacing the Citizen's Advice service with our own in house benefits and money advice service. We will provide more information on this, including how to access it, in before the end of November.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) service 

In line with government guidance we have made changes to the way we deliver our ASB service - suspending all face-to-face home visits and office interviews.

We continue to take all reports of neighbour disputes and illegal or anti-social behaviour seriously and are now using telephone and video conferencing to interview victims and witnesses of serious ASB. We also continue to offer an independent mediation service which is also being conducted using telephone and video conferencing.

Along with these changes, the introduction of the Coronavirus Act 2020 means we will encounter delays in progressing some types of legal action. We are still able to apply for injunctions in the most serious cases and, where appropriate we will also work closely with other agencies such as the Police and Local Authorities. The changes may mean it takes us slightly longer to investigate and resolve ASB cases with our aim to resolve matters without legal action.

You can report ASB via our online form, the MyOctavia app, or by calling us on 020 8354 5500.

Sales and lettings
Buyers and renters are able to take a virtual tour of a selection of our homes which give a realistic walkthrough of the properties. We are adding virtual tours to our website, so look for these. If you have questions regarding any of the homes you see, please contact us on 020 8354 5500. Please note that we are unable to complete any Mutual Exchange agreements at this time. 

Communal cleaning services
Our caretakers are continuing with normal cleaning services as far as possible, concentrating on areas such as door handles, hand rails and lift panels. But there is some pressure on staffing resources at the moment, so if you are not receiving your normal service, please bear with us. Our staff are issued with Personal Protective Equipment for their protection but we do ask that residents contact their local caretakers by phone wherever possible for the time being, rather trying to meet them to talk face-to-face or knocking on their doors.

Grounds Maintenance 
Our contractors are continuing to provide our grounds maintenance service to our schemes. This will be regularly reviewed in line offical guidance and staffing levels. 

Play areas/ play equipment  
The use of playgrounds and play equipment is currently not allowed. 

You can find frequently asked questions regarding communal services here  

Extra care schemes

We are reviewing measures in our extra care schemes to ensure we are following the up-to-date advice. Please contact our individual schemes for further help, advice or updates on specific measures in place.

All group activities in our care schemes, community hubs or group befriending sessions in other local locations have been suspended until further notice. We continue to run socially-distanced wellbeing activities, limiting the number of people that can attend each time. Please visit our other pages to find out how we are helping older people in our care and the wider community.

Befriending

All group befriending sessions have been temporarily stopped. Our popular one-to-one befriending service has been replaced by one-to-one phone befriending sessions to limit face-to-face interactions. We have been touched by the number of new people who have come forward to offer to volunteer with our befriending services since the lockdown began. If you would like to offer help, you can find out how here.

Charity shops

In light of the latest advice from the Government we will be closing our charity shops again until the end of the lockdown period. As a consequence, we will be unable to accept donations for the time being. We kindly ask our supporters to please not leave any donations outside our shops. Thank you for your patience and understanding with this. 

Food Bank Referrals 
We are still carrying out Food Bank referrals remotely so contact us on 020 8354 5500 if you would like to make a referral. To minimise the spread of the virus, food parcels are being delivered by the Food Banks straight to people's homes.