Healthy Homes adapts to COVID-19

Healthy Homes adapts to COVID-19

We are all having to adjust to the impact of the coronavirus and find the best ways to keep everybody safe. It’s a fast learning curve and our Healthy Homes project has had to change the services it can offer.

Before the crisis took hold our Healthy Homes project was extremely busy. We had talked to over 1000 residents since 1st Aug 2019 and 497 of these had received an in-depth LEAP home visit.

Since Monday 26th March all of our drop-in advice clinics and LEAP home visits have been cancelled.

Healthy Homes support during the current situation

Whilst we have had to cancel our usual way of supporting people, we are keen to help as many people as possible. These could include those having difficulty in topping up their prepayment meter, who have a broken boiler, are facing financial difficulty and those people who are particularly vulnerable in the current situation, who are in the ‘shielded’ group or are self-isolating.

We are providing the following new services:

  1. Telephone and email support for vulnerable and isolated residents to help with:
    a) Energy advice
    b) Billing issues and tariff comparisons
    c) Signposting to other local community services supporting the current situation
  2. Emergency support for those with urgent energy or billing issues, or heating issues such as broken heating. This might mean a home visit as long as the home energy advisor and resident(s) can be kept safe in line with government guidance.
  3. Assistance with delivering food, medicines and other essential goods to those who don’t have this support.
  4. Telephone support to help those isolated feel supported and less alone.

We have liaised with our referral organisations about these changes and are also contacting the local COVID-19 Community Support Hubs so we can receive referrals from them.

Also, we will be contacting those residents previous helped by Healthy Homes to check if they are OK and offer support as needed. We hope to be able to resolve practical issues and other concerns like loneliness and isolation. If we cannot help ourselves, we will use our networks and those rapidly growing in response to the situation.

We have been successful in securing a small grant from Exeter City Council to help with this work. And an existing grant from Western Power Distribution has been reallocated to provide for this work. Their support is much appreciated as it allows us to provide these services.

Please ring 0800 772 3617 and 07731 540215 or email Healthyhomes@ecoe.org.uk for help or to refer somebody who needs help.